Universal acclaim - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. No matter how many heists you've seen, how many gangs you've watched fall apart or how many aging crooks you've seen walk up a mean street to a violent destiny, Rififi never loses its ruthless grace and force.
  2. Among the picture's many surprises is a superb robbery scene filmed in a near-total silence that contrasts exhilaratingly with the noisy flamboyance of more recent films in this venerable genre.
  3. The new print does justice to Philippe Agostini's splendidly atmospheric cinematography.
  4. A sweaty-browed exercise in precision filmmaking, but one that doesn't cheat you with wisps of tension and the pretense of attitude.
  5. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    It's terse, atmospheric, fatalistic, with vertiginous camera angles and edits offsetting its gray documentary flatness.
  6. 100
    Rififi, with its stark visuals, dark humor and constrained performances, earned Dassin the Best Director nod at the Cannes Film Festival and a secure place in film history.
  7. Reviewed by: Frank Lovece
    Manages to inject more than a little humor into this tension-filled genre classic.
  8. The granddaddy of all caper/heist movies. The work that defined the genre for the subsequent four decades of filmmakers, none of whom was able to surpass it for style or suspense.
  9. It becomes as savage as ''Reservoir Dogs,'' ''The Killing,'' or any of the other dozens of films over which it still casts a shadow.
  10. 100
    But the human elements -- jealousy, anger, weakness, fortitude, loyalty, vengeance and honor, all acted out by a resolutely realistic cast -- make the movie extraordinary.
  11. 100
    One of the great crime thrillers, the benchmark all succeeding heist films have been measured against, it's no musty museum piece but a driving, compelling piece of work, redolent of the air of human frailty and fatalistic doom.
  12. 90
    A vivid exercise in hokum that more or less invented the idea of French film noir...and not just for Americans.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 27 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. Sep 29, 2010
    "Rififi" is often considered the landmark film that modernized heist movies, and it shines brilliantly as a suave, sexy crime noir (that"Rififi" is often considered the landmark film that modernized heist movies, and it shines brilliantly as a suave, sexy crime noir (that happens to be French). There are flashes of expressionism throughout - the tantalizing 'Rififi' nightclub song sequence and the shadowy night shots, but the classic quick-slung dialogue and refined criminal setting really give the movie its stride. Of course, it would be impossible to review this movie without mentioning the heist - a complex suspense sequence that takes up a full 28 minutes of running time and has no audio other than the slightest tap of a hammer or patter of a footstep. You can hear your own heartbeat race as each new step of their setup is revealed, bringing a new fear that it won't work or they may be discovered. Even though they carry the stride of first-class cons (they break into the jewelry store wearing complete suits), the characters express both confidence and doubt in their maneuvers, making every second of the continuity exhilarating. When it is finally over, you breathe a sigh of relief for these guys. Even though the heist is the pinnacle of the film, it only takes place halfway through. The second half is a moralist plug that chronicles the downfall of the cons after their perfect crime. Though it has some great scenes and completes the circle of development of each of the characters, it feels like the movie blew off most of its steam by the end. Even though the tension has all but left, there is a strange sense of loss seeing all the characters you cheered for in the first half take their inevitable fall. It's a classic tale, but told with complexity and craft that was completely new for its time, and served as a basis for every other heist-crime movie, from "Reservoir Dogs" to "Ocean's Eleven." Full Review »
  2. Feb 10, 2014
    If you like heist films that are filled with suspense and action then you’ll love the French film, Rififi. The film is about an aging gangsterIf you like heist films that are filled with suspense and action then you’ll love the French film, Rififi. The film is about an aging gangster called Tony le Stephanois (Jean Servais) who reluctantly decides to team with 2 of his friends and a safecracker, called Cesar (Jules Dassin), and do one last job after he’s just been released from a five-year prison sentence. But the heist isn’t easy, the hardness of the job is particularly emphasised when Tony shows how sensitive the alarm system in jewellery shop, they plan to rob, is. Overall most of the film kept me interested right up until the last minute. But scenes in the film were a bit slow and seemed unrelated to the rest of the movie. And I think these scenes made the film too long and they should have been shortened down or deleted altogether. I also think the film title is poorly chosen.
    On the other hand most of the film was filled with action and suspense, my favourite scene in the film is the heist which had me sitting on the edge of my seat and hoping that the alarm wouldn’t go off. Shortly after this scene the film also kept me interested by showing that the robbers weren’t safe even after the heist seemed to be successful. The film also got me interested at the beginning by showing Tony as a frail character who had just been released from a five-year prison sentence. This got me interested because it made me think that he may be too old and too weak to rob a jewellery shop with a very complicated alarm system.
    I would recommend this film to anyone who is interested in Heist film that are filled with suspense and action and I would rate it 6 out of 10.
    Full Review »