OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies


Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 20
  2. Negative: 2 out of 20

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Critic Reviews

  1. The real joy here is the performance of Jean Dujardin, who, besides being very funny as the Gallic Maxwell Smart, is also enormously charismatic and is made to look uncannily (and I do mean uncannily) like the young Sean Connery of "Dr. No" and "Goldfinger."
  2. 83
    Nest of Spies may be a small, subtitled release, but it's also a gauntlet thrown at the feet of the upcoming big-screen adaptation of "Get Smart." See it and you'll have a substantial idea of what a spy comedy should be.
  3. 83
    The film bounces along on cheap but entertaining Mel Brooks-worthy audio and visual gags, like the live-chicken-throwing fight, or the sequence where the camera discreetly pans away from Dujardin and a partner making out on his hotel bed--only to focus on a full-length mirror in which they're still fully visible.
  4. 78
    A consistently entertaining parody that never once makes you feel like an idiot for laughing out loud at its idiocy.
  5. A huge hit in France, Michel Hazanavicius' straight-faced spy spoof unleashes a French operative of incomparable incompetence on the volatile Middle East of 1955.
  6. There are more chuckles than laughs, but the film does a witty job of replicating the hermetic, overlit shot language of '60s studio movies.
  7. 75
    For a parody, the movie is surprisingly competent in some of the action scenes, when the dim-witted hero turns out to have lightning improvisational skills.
  8. Reviewed by: Lisa Nesselson
    A spy spoof that -- rarity of rarities -- represents a remake actually worth making. Current comic fave Jean Dujardin plays title character OSS 117 as a kind of James Bond crossed with Maxwell Smart.
  9. 70
    A frequently uproarious send-up of Jean Bruce's long-running series of spy novels.
  10. 70
    Light and fun, if also a little slight, OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies is like a pleasant sorbet to wash away the aftertaste of the pre-summer clunkers.
  11. 70
    Director Michel Hazanavicius captures the jet-age atmosphere, form-fitting wardrobes, jazz-ethnic soundtrack and bouffant hairdos of JFK/de Gaulle-era espionage films in perfect detail, but it's Dujardin's performance as the suave, confident and utterly clueless Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath (to Francophones, a name that drips with phony aristocratic pretension) that gives "OSS 117" its edge.
  12. 70
    This French comedy fondly lampoons both the popular French spy movies adapted from Jean Bruce's novels in the 1950s and '60s and the colonialist era they were set in.
  13. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    It hardly adds up to much, but it doesn't mean to, and it'll leave you with a cleaner conscience than an Austin Powers picture.
  14. 63
    An arch espionage comedy that's never as amusing as it thinks it is.
  15. Reviewed by: David Parkinson
    Plenty of mileage is derived from Dujardin's dismissal of everything Arab, Michel Hazanavicius also throws in some supremely silly running gags, while keeping the plot moving at a clip and establishing a rapport between the hapless hero and his insouciantly accomplished assistant, Bérénice Bejo.
  16. 50
    Not that Cairo, Nest of Spies is meant to be a thriller, but even as a self-consciously anachronistic knockabout farce it rarely rises to the level of wit, either verbal or physical.
  17. 50
    A movie whose satire proves as lame as its clunky title.
  18. The comedy is strained to the point of lameness, most of it exaggerated clumsiness, stupidity or inappropriateness.
  19. 25
    Let the French stick to love stories and leave stupid comedies to Tinseltown.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. May 11, 2016
    This was a solid debut for Hazanavicius and a very fun film. There's uneven pacing, but I was very pleased with this, which seemed anThis was a solid debut for Hazanavicius and a very fun film. There's uneven pacing, but I was very pleased with this, which seemed an interesting hybrid between the James Bond and Pink Panther film series. I loved the scoring and cinematography as well. Dujardin's character was a bit strange and the pacing was a tad uneven, but those are small flaws. This is the first of Hazanavicius' films I have seen, though I have 'The Artist' on blu. I've heard that in the sequel, he jumps a decade to the 60's--it would be interesting, if they decide to eventually continue the series, if each film could be of following decades, straight through to the present day. It was clever of the writers, through parallelism, to subconsciously suggest a linkage of the Nazis to radical Arab terrorists, so soon after 9/11, and, six years before 'Skyfall', what anyone knowing anything about espionage and counterintelligence would undoubtedly know--that all agents would probably be bisexual. I look forward to checking out Hazanavicius' other films, and hope there are eventually more in this series, for I have loved all kinds of spy films and spoofs of them, in the history of cinema. Full Review »
  2. Jan 9, 2015
    For a few smart scenes, this movie is unfunny for me. It was been there, done that, plain and simple. I hate the silliness in it, theFor a few smart scenes, this movie is unfunny for me. It was been there, done that, plain and simple. I hate the silliness in it, the embarrassing scenes which people are mechanized to laugh at, which is an insult. I don't like it. It isn't a good comedy, dumb and sophomoric. Bad. Full Review »
  3. AlanB.
    May 13, 2008
    Great French farce of 60's Spy films with brilliantly comedic performance by Jean Dejardin in the title role of French secret agent OSS 117.