Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Intimate and human yet deeply ambitious, a powerhouse of a film made with a disturbing vision.
  2. You are left with an overall impression of a movie so full of life that it is almost bursting at the seams.
  3. Reviewed by: David Stratton
    Guediguian's seemingly sprawling but in fact quite precise picture takes a while to establish itself, but is eventually rewarding viewing.
  4. Fumbling characters find that survival is not a matter of economics alone, it's also a matter of hope.
  5. 80
    Leaves you reeling from the force of the humanity it captures and -- in its own gut-wrenching way -- honors.
  6. An audacious film, set in contemporary Marseille.
  7. 63
    The movie may not be as toxic and ultimately hopeless as Todd Solondz's "Happiness," but it also fails to find humor, dark or light, in anything.
  8. Intermittently compelling drama.
  9. The sense of loneliness and disaffection makes its effect. Guédiguian offers no answers, and the hope he supplies is almost surreal.
  10. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Multi-character drama that reveals a vivid cross-section of the city's inhabitants but fails to live up to the director's high ambitions.
  11. Reviewed by: Saul Austerlitz
    Strives toward greatness, toward a complete understanding of life in the roiling, unsettled, complex locale they call Marseilles, and its partial success must be applauded.
  12. It doesn't quite wash. Guédiguian has a telling instinct for the buried shame of working-class squalor, but his film is inflated with a doom that feels programmatic rather than earned.
  13. 50
    Rambles on for nearly two hours with subplots that go nowhere -- and half-baked leftist political commentary -- before focusing in for a quietly devastating climax.
  14. The challenge faced here by writer-director Robert Guédiguian (Charge!) is to keep his cheap melodrama from curdling his insightful societal appraisal.
  15. 50
    Some of the film's situations and motivations seem convenient or underdeveloped, but Ascaride and Darroussin are riveting, and Guediguian's frankness and empathy illuminate this kaleidoscope of lonely lives.
  16. 40
    The last-minute combination of Greek tragedy and Janis Joplin is so genuinely startling that, had the movie been shorted by a third, it might have turned everything around.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. ChadS.
    Nov 14, 2005
    If the mother is going to turn tricks, why doesn't she use that money towards rehab rather than shoot her daughter up with drugs? Michele(Ariane Ascaride) clearly loves Fiona(Julie-Marie Parmentier) but her judgment is even more haphazard than the mother played by Holly Hunter in "Thirteen". In a film with multiple storylines, equal, or close to equal time should be spent on each narrative. In comparison to the cabbie's and the aforementioned mother with a junkie daughter's story, the music teacher and ex-convict's affair seems hardly there. It's sketchy, as is the narrative of the ultra-right organization, which makes this ambitious film a little more than uneven. Still, "The Town is Quiet" has its moments. Gerard's reason for giving Michele the drugs surprises us when we learn their shared history. And even though Paul(Jean-Pierre Darroussin) was raised by liberal parents, the cab driver takes full advantage of a foreign couple on holiday. Paul is basically a nice guy, which prevents "The Town is Quiet" from the interesting possibility of Paul joining the nationalist movement to avenge his revoked license. This route might've been a more graceful way to intergrate the ultra-conservatives with another story. Full Review »