The French Connection (re-release) Image
Metascore
96

Universal acclaim - based on 4 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 146 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Based on what was then the largest heroin bust in U.S. history, 1971's The French Connection raised the bar for crime dramas, chase scenes and all the details that deliver what an authentic New York story looks and feels like. (Two Boots Pioneer Theater)

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Gene Siskel
    100
    There is only one problem with the excitement generated by this film. After it is over, you will walk out of the theater and, as I did, curse the tedium of your own life. I kept looking for someone who I could throw up against a wall. [8 November 1971]
  2. 90
    Producer and screenwriter have added enough fictional flesh to provide director William Friedkin and his overall topnotch cast with plenty of material, and they make the most of it.
  3. The New York Times
    Reviewed by: Roger Greenspun
    90
    The French Connection is a film of almost incredible suspense, and it includes, among a great many chilling delights, the most brilliantly executed chase sequence I have ever seen. [8 October 1971]
  4. This tough, brilliant crime film features Hackman as the indefatigable Popeye Doyle, who passionately hates drug pushers.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. Dec 17, 2010
    10
    Gene Hackman as the dumpy tough cop.. superb!! Must see movie with a gritty feel you can almost imagine being there. So rare to find aGene Hackman as the dumpy tough cop.. superb!! Must see movie with a gritty feel you can almost imagine being there. So rare to find a Hollywood movie that is actually believable... this one is!!!!!!! Expand
  2. Jul 1, 2014
    10
    I stated that "The French Connection" is one the best cop films besides "Dirty Harry." It shows that the experience of the true story of theI stated that "The French Connection" is one the best cop films besides "Dirty Harry." It shows that the experience of the true story of the cops who is hurting the streets of Brooklyn. The movie has it chills and suspence with the car chase. Expand
  3. Jun 7, 2015
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The French Connection is a thrilling, morally troubling, and important movie on the war on drugs. A complex web of truth and lies, of black and white, I found it hard to discern who or what I was rooting for in the end. These detectives Cloudy and Popeye have dedicated so much time to finding and catching these elusive heroin smugglers – namely Charnier.

    I think the most intriguing aspect overall was watching the descent of these detectives (mostly Popeye) from doing their jobs to becoming hopelessly obsessed and entangled in their work and catching these people. I think the chase scene was by far one of the best I have ever seen. It was real, showed a true sign of danger, and was even extreme with the train. It was certainly one of my highlights overall and I can't recall a time where I was so invested in exactly how the chase went down and who got hurt.

    Nicoli the hit-man does an exquisite job at showing the true danger and power coming from these mob groups that just want to smuggle their heroin in cars from unsuspecting French people. It's so out there that it's actually believable and leaves me wondering why my life is so mundane compared to this. As for the invisible lines that everyone in this movie crosses – it's fascinating. In what world is shooting and killing someone on your side not worth a second glance? It is here.

    The locations of New York and Marseille were completely on point and only helped to enhance the inner workings of the police department, the mobsters, and their constituents. A classic and a staple in the book of chase scenes.
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  4. TonyB.
    Aug 14, 2007
    9
    I placed "The French Connection" in the #3 spot on my 1971 Best Film's list. It would have been #1 if its much praised car-train chase I placed "The French Connection" in the #3 spot on my 1971 Best Film's list. It would have been #1 if its much praised car-train chase sequence had been more carefully photographed and edited. Any viewers familiar with the section of Brooklyn in which it was filmed should have been able to spot how sloppily it was put together. Expand
  5. Nov 28, 2012
    9
    Although the ending is a bit of a downer, "The French Connection" still ends up as a richly entertaining detective drama; featuring one of theAlthough the ending is a bit of a downer, "The French Connection" still ends up as a richly entertaining detective drama; featuring one of the greatest Gene Hackman performances on film. Expand
  6. Mar 1, 2016
    8
    For a movie based on real events and purported to have a documentary style it is curious that it contains such flights of fancy as the carFor a movie based on real events and purported to have a documentary style it is curious that it contains such flights of fancy as the car chase that made the French Connection iconic. Actually the movie has two chases of note, both equally nonsensical, one in which Popeye Doyle, played superbly by Gene Hackman, an unconventional narcotics detective, shadows a French drugs dealer, played by Fernando Rey, an Spanish actor who never got the credits he deserves for all laurels go to Hackman and Scheider.

    Perhaps it is illustrative that the makers didn't much care for finding a real French actor to play the part of the French villain and chose a Spanish one instead. His French was deemed under par. So they finally had to dub over the voice of Rey by someone who was able to speak proper French. At least you got to give credit for trying to make him speak French, for nowadays French in an American movie is just American English with a funny accent, just like the entire rest of world nowadays speaks American with a funny accent, even the neighbors.

    Gene Hackman was probably the best choice for Popeye as he is good at playing the almost thuggish violent impulsive detective who works more with his guts than with his sense. This perhaps explains why he and his pal Russo is said to have been taken of narcotics four years later in the movie. In fact the movie gives the feel that he was mostly good at arresting (and beating up) the street dealers and junkies and this big bust was more the odd one out.

    The other chase is the famous car chase which involves Hackman chasing a bumbling assassin who aims for Hackman but hits a woman with a baby instead, keeps on missing because he is badly positioned on a rooftop from which he can only hit his target if he hangs over the side. Hackman ascends the stairs of the building only to find the hitman gone. Hackman looks over the side and then sees a shadowy figure run down the street. Hackman teleports to the street and runs after the man who tries to make his escape via an elevated railway car. Hackman commandeers a private car and races after the railway car through the oncoming traffic of New York, crashing into various other cars, but finally making it in time as the train too crashes, into another train, because the driver got an heart attack and apparently trains in this movie didn't have dead man's switches that makes them stop. The hitman is finally confronted by Hackman who shoots this witness dead, totally messing up any police investigation and making the whole chase pointless.

    I will not discuss that other chase, as equally unproductive as the other in which Hackman tries to shadow someone by wearing a hat that makes him stick out so obvious Rey must have been blind not to notice. How stupid can you be?

    The movie is gritty and leaves virtual no room for anything but the chases and the police work and it is done with such fervor that it awes. Also laudable is that they tried to make the bay guy at least human and do not give him all the nasty attributes that movies feel villains should have. In fact we get more of an impression of the man than we do of Doyle who we almost never see outside the context of his police work. The movie also ends in an unconventional way. There is no closure. This leaves room for the sequel.. but this doesn't seem intended. This movie also ends with a handful of lines telling us what happened.. which is a weakness in any movie. A movie should show or end. We don't need an epilogue thank you.

    All in all, probably an impressive movie at the time and with it's gritty feel and superb acting a must see, but I think it can't really stand story wise on an equal level to movies as Serpico or Fort Apache, the Bronx. The problem is simply that almost no time is spend on character development and to be honest, none of the cops actually endear. They seem often to be the most abusive and thus most abject as their are supposed to serve and protect, not kick and beat up people just because that badge shields them.

    Therefore, after long pondering I have decided to revise my scoring mechanism to make an 8 from the 9's I give.
    An 8 therefore, but a weak one.
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  7. Oct 22, 2010
    1
    I can't understand the reputation this movie has. It has an extremely misleading title, and gives you a very negative impression of theI can't understand the reputation this movie has. It has an extremely misleading title, and gives you a very negative impression of the country. It's not my experience of France at all. It was such a lovely place when I spent my honeymoon there. I didn't see any drugs the whole time I was there. Expand

See all 21 User Reviews

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