Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: The daily grind for the police officers of the Child Protection Unit - taking in child molesters, busting underage pickpockets and chewing over relationship issues at lunch; interrogating abusive parents, taking statements from children, confronting the excesses of teen sexuality, enjoying solidarity with colleagues and laughing uncontrollably at the most unthinkable moments. Knowing the worst exists and living with it. How do these police officer balance their private lives and the reality they confront every working day? (Sundance Selects) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    May 24, 2012
    The entire movie is pitched at a scream. But the screaming is more Janis Joplin, Axl Rose, or Mary J. Blige than Jamie Lee Curtis. All the tears I shed were hard-earned. So were all the laughing and clapping and eye-covering. In each case, it was involuntary.
  2. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    May 31, 2012
    Polisse is hard to watch at times, but it's also hard not to.
  3. Reviewed by: Matt Glasby
    Jun 16, 2012
    Based on genuine cases, the film reveals its horrors in a matter-of-fact manner, taking care to show the characters grasping every chance for laughter - however inappropriate - amid the grimness.
  4. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    May 16, 2012
    The film can be rambling and glib, yet it's no mere crime drama. It captures a middle-class French society that looks more humane than ours, but is just as messed up.
  5. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    May 23, 2012
    I'm not sure I feel more at ease after seeing this prize-winning film about a child protection unit in Paris. No doubt a lot of children get protected, but the professional standards of the police sometimes seem inspired by TV cop shows, on which the plots center around the camaraderie of the cops.
  6. Reviewed by: Jesse Cataldo
    May 13, 2012
    Polisse has been compared to "The Wire," but beyond a shared interest in the Sisyphean nature of police work, the two are mostly comparable as inverses of each other.
  7. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Jun 16, 2012
    A drama with interesting moments, but also some false notes and a wildly bizarre ending.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. Jun 30, 2012
    I feel that this is a near great film. It tells the story of a group of men and women who work in a police unit specializing in protecting children from sex crimes (arresting and prosecuting pedophiles). As it starkly demonstrates the nature of the predators and the damage to the victims, it never oversimplifies, condescends or preaches. At the same time that it is an action good guy versus bad guy film, it draws us in to the romantic life of several of the cops, and their lives are complicated too. I was struck by the contrast between the cops in France and American cops, and the non-authoritarian more diffuse police heirarchy. The director (unintentionally?) draws a sharp contrast between USA and France, and for that sociological perspective alone, the film would be significant. But it's rare when the film draws you in and allows you to feel the full gamut of human emotions without attempting to manipulate the viewer-but just lets you see society's reflection in the mirror of the camera lens. See it! Expand
  2. Aug 9, 2012
    Cada persona configura el mundo de acuerdo a sus vivencias. El cine es una paleta de opciones de los colores con los que se compone el mundo. Pero cuando se llegan a los extremos de la paleta, comienzan los colores más oscuros, las bajezas de la naturaleza humana, las cotidianidades de la sociedad de las que se niegan su existencia. Polisse es una película basada en hechos reales, testimonios de una decadencia en valores, y la confrontación de unas dinámicas que no se quieren aceptar, no se quieren reconocer como parte de la (pos)modernidad.

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  3. May 26, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. One of the reviews the makers of this film used to promote it mentioned that it felt like a whole season of The Wire packed into 2 hours. Not even close. But that's a very high bar. It's still a solid film that makes you think and entertains. The ending is shocking, but it comes out of left field just enough that sure, the film-goer can go back and connect the dots leading up to the act, but it could have used a bit more foundation and more of a discernible through-line. And for a team dedicated to the protection of children, they certainly do humiliate a girl who admits to giving oral sex to a bully in order to get her cell phone back. Yes, it's a bit of gallows humor, and the girl in question wasn't an infant, but it made the team look pretty horrible. Compared to most of the drivel you see in theaters this time of year, it's time well-spent. Just don't sit too close to the screen. I was right up there, and there's SO much dialogue, which means that if you don't speak French you're doing a ton of reading when you'd like to be focusing on the action, the facial expressions, etc. Expand
  4. May 5, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The movie was bizarre. Parts of it were so over the top and unrealistic. In one scene, a drug addict mother kidnaps her baby. 40 cops go on the search for her to rescue the baby. It was ridiculous. There was a lot of tasteless stuff too. At one point four or five cops make fun of a teenage girl who said she was forced to fellate a group of boys to get her smartphone back. The juxtaposition in the very last scene of a previously victimized boy's gymnastic success and one of the female cop's suicide is disturbing. It's as if the movie makers are trying to say that the woman died because of the boy. Overall this film is bizarre, unrealistic, and of questionable moral taste. Expand
  5. Jan 18, 2013
    In the worst scene, a group of adult (although peurile and immature) police officers laugh at a child sex victim who is disclosing sexual abuse to them. (Yes, a whole roomful of them, they have nothing better to do than sit around and laugh at the dumb girl). I don't know how this "joke" plays in France or the US, but where I saw it people were swearing at the director - I wish she could have heard it.

    Actually, I take it back - there are 2 even worse scenes, when a police officer punches a man who has confessed to sexually abusing his daughter (the audience is meant to cheer), and a Muslim female cop giving a lecture to a Muslim sex offender on gender equality, at the top of her voice. In short, they do anything but their jobs. You would swear the film is written by an immature, spoilt 22 year old, and then you find out that it is. Maiwenn also "stars" in it, as a shy photographer who nauseatingly has to let down her hair and reveal how utterly gorgeous she is (in French kind of way) in the middle of the film.

    For a film about people investigating child abuse, it is alarmingly cruel about the victims' experience. The plot is stupid, and the ending (if you're still watching) will make you wonder why the hell you don't have better things to do with your time and money. WOEFUL.