District B13

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 89 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 79 out of 89
  2. Negative: 2 out of 89

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User Reviews

  1. [Anonymous]
    Jun 12, 2006
    4
    Action porn. Uninspired dialogue and story delivered by stuntmen instead of actors.
  2. MikeN.
    Apr 23, 2007
    6
    Too much aciton- other Luc Besson films have a moral messge or internal conflict of the hero but not here.
  3. Jan 12, 2012
    6
    Luc Besson has written a quite staggering quantity of high-octane action movies in recent years. Though he now rarely gets behind the camera himself, he's clearly not out of ideas by any means - in Hollywood, he's scribed all three Transporter films, Taken and From Paris with Love and have all been released in the last decade. Back home in France he's got another franchise on the go -Luc Besson has written a quite staggering quantity of high-octane action movies in recent years. Though he now rarely gets behind the camera himself, he's clearly not out of ideas by any means - in Hollywood, he's scribed all three Transporter films, Taken and From Paris with Love and have all been released in the last decade. Back home in France he's got another franchise on the go - District 13 (a sequel was released three years later). So it's not quite as slick or full of ideas as Besson's own directorial efforts, it's still immense fun. Martial artist Cyril Raffaelli and parkour founder David Belle play a crusading cop and a slum resident wronged by a powerful drug lord respectively, and their incredible physicality is exploited to the max in a series of eye-popping, gravity-defying, wirework-free action set pieces. The scenes that really stand out are the film's opening, where Leito (Belle) flees from some thugs across Parisian rooftops, and demonstrates the most creative way of getting down a stairwell ever committed to film, and also the scene where Tomasco (Raffaelli) single-handedly dispatches wave after wave of armed henchmen in a drug den. These are the kinds of scenes action movies are made for. They are truly outstanding. The scenes in between the action are a little under-whelming, and though Raffaelli and Belle are decent actors as well as stuntmen, they have very little to work with considering the emotionally empty script. The themes that the film addresses are also directly borrowed from Besson's previous French dystopian thriller Nikita - this isn't an outright complaint, it still makes for an entertaining enough back-story to the film, but it's a little less hard-hitting the second time round. District 13's jaw-dropping choreography and stuntwork make it a cut-above most action movie fare, and it's a heart-pumping thrill-ride throughout, but a hollow core and Besson's recycled ideas hold it back from being anything more. Expand
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Lisa Nesselson
    70
    Fast, dumb fun.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    90
    Makes everything Hollywood has lately done in the action genre look clumsy, dull and stale. It is a short, nonstop stuntfest that, by going back to basics and placing them on the screen with simple, breathless stylishness, turns what is essentially a lowlife movie form into something one is not embarrassed to call "pure" cinema--all energy, movement and high kinetic wit.
  3. 80
    Spread the word: This delirious import is the most (maybe the only) fun action movie of the summer.