Red Lights


Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 28
  2. Negative: 2 out of 28

Critic Reviews

  1. Strange, scary, and atmospheric, with a delicious Claude Debussy score.
  2. 90
    Splendidly sinuous twister Red Lights sees Gallic helmer Cedric Kahn ("Roberto Succo") take his game to the next level with this inky comic thriller.
  3. The brilliant, sinister French thriller Red Lights is a twisty road movie in which every sign points toward catastrophe.
  4. Taut, atmospheric, impeccably made psychological thriller.
  5. It conforms to that twisted French genius's typical opus: grisly, ironic but minuscule and sordid.
  6. 88
    Darroussin is killer good and director Cedric Kahn turns Georges Simenon's seminal novel into a darkly comic spellbinder that pins you to your seat.
  7. 88
    One of the best thrillers I have seen this year: tight, taut, and unpredictable.
  8. Cedric Kahn has caught the irrational compulsion, nail-biting tension and unpredictability of plot that is Simenon at his best.
  9. It evokes the spirit of Hitchcock and Highsmith.
  10. A classy and clever French thriller. Jean-Pierre Darroussin's performance as a browbeaten husband is entertaining, and Kahn's script brings wit and imagination to a straightforward story.
  11. 80
    With ruthless efficiency and wit, Kahn ratchets up unbearable tension and releases it in startlingly visceral fashion, but his placid denouement is the most chilling scene of all.
  12. 80
    A satisfyingly well-wrought, old-school thriller: Character drives the plot, literally.
  13. 80
    The true mystery, Red Lights' real thrill ride -- and what seems to interest Kahn most, despite his skill at arranging the trappings of suspense -- is marriage.
  14. Red Lights is the most ambiguously compelling romance around.
  15. Reviewed by: David Parkinson
    Accomplished and assured.
  16. The sights, sounds and traffic in Red Lights are oppressively ordinary; the people are unnervingly real. That reality doubles the suspense we might feel in a more slickly made but thinly plotted thriller.
  17. 75
    Somewhat leisurely paced, by American standards, especially in the beginning, but it's well worth sticking around for the payoff.
  18. The movie's clever ambiguity allows a number of interpretations. Perhaps it is all a dream, a parable, or a combination of wishful thinking and reality.
  19. An eerily affecting domestic drama combining elements of "The Lost Weekend'' with "Lost Highway.''
  20. Delightfully creepy suspenser.
  21. 75
    Red Lights is actually an examination of marriage -- of what keeps people together long after the passion has fizzled, and all that's left is bitterness and resentment.
  22. Director Cedric Kahn, Laurence Ferreira Barbosa, and Gilles Marchand collaborated on the well-honed script, derived from a Georges Simenon novel. The film works well with quiet tensions, but becomes less convincing and interesting once it moves beyond them.
  23. 70
    More reminiscent of Hitchcock's progeny than of the master's own films, Cedric Kahn's intelligently menacing thriller combines Brian DePalma's sexy style with the ice-cold cool tone of Claude Chabrol and the sense of mounting panic George Sluizer exploited in "The Vanishing."
  24. The slowness of the film's first half will be off-putting to many, but the film's turns and final twist will reward the patient.
  25. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Primarily a one-man show for Darroussin, and the actor, a longtime pro in the French film industry, comes through with a scarifyingly believable portrayal.
  26. Before it turns into a thriller, and goes badly awry, Red Lights paints a devastating little portrait of a marriage on the rocks.
  27. The film, like the cheap double-scotches quaffed down by the central character, leaves a distinctly sour aftertaste that's hard to wash away the morning after.
  28. It plays like a parody of suspense movies, then occasionally becomes serious, then boring, then makes a jarring 180, then frustrates, then gets vaguely interesting again.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 5 out of 12
  1. Apr 6, 2012
    I love the movie! I understand however, that in some countries, like in the States, a movie like this doesn't have the same effect that whatI love the movie! I understand however, that in some countries, like in the States, a movie like this doesn't have the same effect that what it has in Europe, Latin America or even in some areas here in Australia (i.e Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide that are more European-like) . In my case, this movie is 'my type', perhaps partly because of my European ancestry. I believe the exposure to European culture has given me a different perspective of things-besides the Australian- and that includes art. Nonetheless, I have to agree that the film could have been better, that is for sure! There were things to be improved and they could have prolongued the tension and twisted the plot a bit more, but I enjoyed it so much as it was, anyway! An excellent movie...original, well crafted, great performances...! A real delight! Full Review »
  2. FrankO.
    Jan 19, 2006
    For the initial two-thirds of the movie, I was hooked, plot pace was quick and unexpected. Once the story shifted to finding his wife, the For the initial two-thirds of the movie, I was hooked, plot pace was quick and unexpected. Once the story shifted to finding his wife, the movie losted its intensity and suspensefulness. Full Review »