The Code


Mixed or average reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 13
  2. Negative: 3 out of 13
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  1. The atmospheric, richly detailed La Mentale has terrific vitality with its volatile mixture of alternating camaraderie and savagery.
  2. 70
    If the plot comes off more like a reworking of Scorsese’s tales of Italian-American mobsters, Boursinhac nevertheless shows a sure hand with his story, lingering on the handsome, lost face of Dris as his world falls apart around him.
  3. Doesn't have much time for refinement of image or elegance of plot. What it's got instead is an insider's feel for the local, excitable hoodlum life and speech.
  4. It might seem as though there is nothing new to be done with the crime thriller, but The Code (La Mentale), directed by Manuel Boursinhac and written by Bibi Naceri, provides a new twist.
  5. Although it offers no new angles on the story engines of loyalty and revenge, the French film boasts an intriguing milieu and the off-center, hair-trigger intensity of Samy Naceri as a crime boss.
  6. 60
    Boursinhac and Bibi Naceri throw all the usual elements into the pot: Economic inequality, ethnic tensions, feverish family ties and the titular criminal code, which everyone invokes and everyone agrees is a load of claptrap.
  7. Reviewed by: Ronnie Scheib
    Gallic gangster actioner fuses many disparate generic and stylistic conventions, but, although script by co-star Samy Naceri's brother was purportedly pared down from several hundred pages, it still bears the weight of its pretensions.
  8. Interestingly, though, the actor who plays Yanis is a dead ringer (despite the scowl) for Adam Sandler. That's surely an effect director Manuel Boursinhac didn't intend.
  9. Light on inner conflict and heavy on cliches.
  10. Reviewed by: David Ng
    While Melville's films strike a pose of ironic bloodlessness, The Code attends to a thick stew of (soap-) operatic emotion, turning each internecine skirmish into an occasion for melodramatic brooding. Melville once described his films as comedies; The Code, unfortunately, knows no such wit.
  11. 30
    Probably should have stayed on a shelf back in Paris.
  12. 25
    A boring and violent French crime thriller, is the sort of routine potboiler that generally goes straight to video in this country, if it's seen at all.
  13. Choose to pass this one up.

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