User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
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  1. Jul 7, 2012
    8
    It's a great little history lesson. The movie is certainly implausible except for the fact that it is all based quite closely on the real life b#$tard. For all of his repugnance you still must watch to see how he pulls this all off and how it might all end. If there's an overarching persistent flaw it is the way the movie surveys his life and crimes and never once even tries to dig intoIt's a great little history lesson. The movie is certainly implausible except for the fact that it is all based quite closely on the real life b#$tard. For all of his repugnance you still must watch to see how he pulls this all off and how it might all end. If there's an overarching persistent flaw it is the way the movie surveys his life and crimes and never once even tries to dig into some pithy look at motivation. Still, very entertaining. Expand
  2. Sep 27, 2011
    7
    Il y a une ambiance à l'américaine dans cette première partie de Mesrine. Cette dernière se montre assez noire, tendue et palpitante. Tout ce qui peut manquer à un film français en fin de compte! Et on peut dire que Mesrine - L'Instinct de Mort est une véritable surprise car il n'est pas un simpleIl y a une ambiance à l'américaine dans cette première partie de Mesrine. Cette dernière se montre assez noire, tendue et palpitante. Tout ce qui peut manquer à un film français en fin de compte! Et on peut dire que Mesrine - L'Instinct de Mort est une véritable surprise car il n'est pas un simple biopic pompeux mais bien un polar superbement mis en scène et interprété à la perfection (Vincent Cassel au sommet, mais n'oublions pas Gérard Depardieu, Cécile de France, Gilles Lellouche...). Dommage cependant que les scènes s'enchaînent à un rythme (trop) effréné, à cause d'un scénario qui abuse des ellipses et d'un montage quelque peu brouillon. De ce fait, on a l'impression de passer à côté de beaucoup de choses vécues par Mesrine. Mais pour qu'un film français soit enfin de cette envergure, on ne va pas cracher dessus! Expand
  3. Sep 3, 2010
    8
    Riveting, action packed crime drama, with a mesmerizing performance by Vincent Cassel as Mesrine, the legendary French criminal. Amazed that I didn't know anything about this movie before I walked into the theatre, was glued to my seat for two hours, didn't want to chance missing anything for popcorn or a trip to the bathroom. Last hour of the movie superior to the first, detailing hisRiveting, action packed crime drama, with a mesmerizing performance by Vincent Cassel as Mesrine, the legendary French criminal. Amazed that I didn't know anything about this movie before I walked into the theatre, was glued to my seat for two hours, didn't want to chance missing anything for popcorn or a trip to the bathroom. Last hour of the movie superior to the first, detailing his burgeoning violence, his desire to defy the authorities at any cost, and his notorious infamy. That is except for its see you later ending which was rather abrupt and awkward. But can't wait to see Part Two. Expand
  4. Aug 28, 2010
    7
    The lead actor is excellent, and he's just repugnant enough that you're not rooting for him like you'd typically root for the bad guy in a movie like this. The supporting actors are uniformly outstanding. Even though I knew this is part one of two, it really ends rather abruptly - almost like they produced both parts to be seen back-to-back with a short intermission. I'll certainly seeThe lead actor is excellent, and he's just repugnant enough that you're not rooting for him like you'd typically root for the bad guy in a movie like this. The supporting actors are uniformly outstanding. Even though I knew this is part one of two, it really ends rather abruptly - almost like they produced both parts to be seen back-to-back with a short intermission. I'll certainly see part 2, despite the fact that it's pretty clear how it will all turn out from the directors use of the uroboros. Collapse
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Jan 19, 2011
    88
    Cassel's performance...the best reason to see this, one of the best French (In French with English subtitles) crime thrillers of the new millennium.
  2. 55
    Mostly it's frustrating; the film is an episodic jumble that runs hot and cold not in some implied thematic synchronicity with its subject's character but as part of a misguided approach that assumes the audience will find whatever Mesrine does, in whatever order and with whatever emphasis, inherently fascinating.
  3. There's enough action to keep us watching, but little incentive to return when the movie's second half - yep, another two hours - hits theaters next week.