Metascore
92

Universal acclaim - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. A plan for a perfect murder goes wildly wrong in this 1958 melodrama by one of France's great filmmakers.
  2. As French crime thrillers go, this is about as good as it gets.
  3. A suspenseful, elegant entertainment.
  4. 100
    A consummate entertainment rich with the romantic atmosphere of Paris in the 1950s. Coming at a turning point in French cinematic history, it drew upon several major talents - director Louis Malle, star Jeanne Moreau, cinematographer Henri Decaë, musician Miles Davis - and achieved near-legendary results with all of them.
  5. 91
    Malle, only 25 when the film was released, bounces confidently among several threads -- classic French policier, juvenile delinquent film, doomy tale of tragic love, clock-ticking thriller.
  6. 90
    A tightly structured thriller with a brilliantly moody performance by Jeanne Moreau, and depending on your point of view, it's either one of the few genuine French noir films or an early entry in the New Wave.
  7. It's precisely Malle's omnivorous appetite that makes his first feature, adapted from a policier, so delectable, one stuffed with many sumptuous sights and sounds.
  8. 90
    Moreau's nocturnal wanderings are made unbearably poignant by an exquisite Miles Davis jazz score that became famous in its own right.
  9. 88
    These 1950s French noirs abandon the formality of traditional crime films, the almost ritualistic obedience to formula, and show crazy stuff happening to people who seem to be making up their lives as they go along.
  10. Reviewed by: Dave Calhoun
    Feb 4, 2014
    80
    It’s no masterpiece, but it’s slick and tense, and the camerawork has something of the in-the-moment, on-the-ground immediacy of the French New Wave films.
  11. 75
    The film's look makes a divine accessory for its music, which Miles Davis composed. There's not even 20 minutes of it in the film, yet it still defines the atmosphere, transforming a crime yarn into a bebop noir.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Sep 10, 2012
    0
    Please, this film was properly titled "Elevator to the Gallows", and only casually referred to as "Frantic", which was actually a 2005 Harrison Ford film of much lower critical acclaim. I'm led to believe that this was no mistake, but a calculated means of boosting media sales of the more recent film. You should point this out, correct your error, and list the Ford movie, because the absence of its listing in your catalog gives me all the more reason to believe that the confusion you caused was intentional. List both films in your catalog , and title both of them correctly. And please, spare me any drummed-up excuses that come to your mind that will play to the illusion that this was some sort of oversight. Full Review »
  2. Mar 7, 2011
    10
    Fantastic film that anticipates the French New Wave.The cinematogrophy is incredible,and the jazz score by Miles Davis is one of the best ever ,in my opinion.Highly recommended. Full Review »