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Carlos Prime [Celluloid 09.28.16] France action crime

Guns. Drugs. Passports. All common currency on the black market. Getting any of those in your hands is going to require the services of a professional like Yanis- a slender, laconic man of exemplary discipline who plays the game wisely and launders his money through legal fronts. Keeping a low profile means making sure no attention gets drawn to his operation- which proves to be difficult when in the company of a pillhead and a fast-and-loose little brother.

One careless misstep gets them in deep with the wrong people and they have to use their exceptional skills to dig their way back out. It’s a showdown of opposite camps of criminals- finesse and restraint versus chaotic brutality. Every decision they make takes them farther down a path of increasingly ruthless peril.

Easily one of the best crime movies of the modern era, The Crew has the sleek sophistication of Layer Cake with the heartbreaking realism of The Connection all burst-fired into one tightly edited package.

Julien Leclercq (The Informant, The Assault) pierces his way back onto the big screen with white-hot intensity and immediately captivating style. What truly defines this gritty heist film is its length- it’s lean and direct at 81 minutes of runtime. There are no excessive scenes or loose ends to muster- just meat.

Pay attention to the behavioral details and lifestyle of Yanis (Sami Bouajila) - they perfectly exemplify how the choreography of script-to-screen character execution should be. Small obsessive habits that come out in conversations tell you that this is an exceptionally practiced man who stays several steps ahead of the criminal competition and the law alike. At first it feels like character backstory and depth is thrust too soon upon the viewer, but at the end it’s understood that those early details were there to let you know there’s mile-a-minute incendiary action for the rest of the film.

Tightly-edited shootouts and high-octane chases set the mesmerizingly tense film. Buckle up and set your brain to full-auto for this superbly taut thrill ride.

Imagine if Heat were half the length with all the action.

Recommended Release: Chrysalis

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