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Alphaville

Alphaville

1965
Romance
Drama
1h 39m
Lemmy Caution, an American private-eye, arrives in Alphaville, a futuristic city on another planet.... (imdb)
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Alphaville

1965
Romance
Drama
1h 39m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 58.52% from 1663 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(1663)
Compact view
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Rated 14 Jan 2010
4
74th
The stifling of individuality, emotion, and expression are tired themes, but Godard's realization of them is certainly unique. I didn't completely fall in love with this film, but I admire the hell out of it, and its sci-fi noir style has had considerable influence.
Rated 20 May 2011
73
59th
As mentally dense a movie as you'll ever find. For an intellectual or artist, Godard's monotony of tired sales pitches for universality, and his lifeless, concrete landscape hinting at some kind of failed technological achievement, is more horror than sci-fi or noir. It's just not nearly as fun to watch as it should be.
Rated 08 Feb 2008
55
12th
You need a lot of imagination to see the other planet in this movie set in paris.
Rated 06 Oct 2008
50
8th
Every monologue in this movie makes no sense, too bad half the movie is monologues. The frequent and unnecessary use of blinking lights almost made me nauseous. The dialog is incomprehensible and painfully dense. This movie only fits in as an art movie and I hate art movies. It's saddening how much the future in this movie looks like 1965.
Rated 31 Dec 2013
87
85th
So I guess people aren't too interested in a future that isn't all that futuristic. My tendency is to lean towards plot. The story here is strong, and where it isn't, it's still masterfully done and therefore exciting to watch. But hey, if you want crazy awesome futures instead of story I recommend The Island, Surrogates, I Robot, After Earth, In Time, Upside Down, Oblivion, Johnny Mnemonic, Chronicles of Riddick, or 2012. I guess 2012 isn't the future any more. Still terrible.
Rated 21 Jan 2009
70
66th
I'm not one of those people that didn't get it, but let's face it, this is just not quite as charming as Breathless nor quite as deep as Contempt. It is interesting, unique and stylish, but flawed.
Rated 05 Nov 2013
75
80th
An absorbing statement against technique -- and, to some extent, also against science -- both narrated by a raucous machine and lived by an American journalist/spy. Every burst of violence makes the climax feel like an Huxleyesque dystopia, in which words like conscience and kindness have been forgotten -- and people who doesn't believe in logic is terminated. The revolution must be angry -- only poetry and feelings save. Anna Karina strulling to say I love you is pure beauty.
Rated 28 Oct 2011
45
9th
Maybe when I grow old and senile, I will be able to appreciate something as self-absorbed and didactic as "Alphaville", but, for now, I simply cannot get involved in something so pretentious and boring. The noirish first five minutes or so are really promising, but then the film descends into Godard's typical pseudo-philosophical drooling. It's well-shot throughout and conceptually original, but the utter lack of a concise plot, characters or ideas and the heavy moralizing are vexatious.
Rated 08 Feb 2009
87
87th
This type of film is a perfect match for Godard's ideas. The story is bizarre and mysterious, and he uses that to his advantage, throwing in quips all over the place that match the mood of the scene. Sure, a lot of the philosophy is half-baked, but it fits the setting well and it's a captivating puzzle, even if it's a little hollow.
Rated 20 Jun 2019
44
9th
Juvenile politics delivered by sledgehammer.
Rated 29 Sep 2009
74
31st
I hate to lower a score based on a single complaint, but I think I'd have liked this film a lot more if it weren't for Alpha 60's voice. It's so hideously unpleasant that it detracted from my enjoyment of the film. If it had sounded something like HAL, then I might have loved Alphaville; as it is, the voice is incredibly distracting, and turned at least one sequence that could have been perfect into a grating experience. Was that the point? Probably, but it didn't work for me.
Rated 06 Oct 2019
60
26th
Interesting portrayal of a non-futuristic future, featuring a b&w spy/gumshoe in a dystopian society. He's the worst, most conspicuous spy I've ever seen, but luckily the thought-police are even more inept. I liked the dystopian portrayal, but the artsy writing felt forced. The best "future" bit is at the end, where interplanetary travel, it seems, is accomplished by driving down a highway. I actually like that.
Rated 22 Jul 2010
4
56th
Once more, Godard attempts something complex and impressive in a form I can't get with. :sigh:
Rated 11 Jan 2012
40
18th
Dystopian future film full of pretentious and empty dialogues. Curious mixture of a Multivac-like story through a nouvelle vague lense, meaning those same and easily interchangeable 'deep' scenes of nouvelle, bad acting, many things made wrong that look comical on purpose (but probably aren't) and feeling they're laughing at you. Paraphrasing: "It was my first 30 minutes in Alphaville but it seemed to me that centuries had passed". Quoting: "It's always like that. You never understand anything".
Rated 02 Feb 2012
80
59th
The references to sci-fi are bland and forced, but noir is well integrated (as one can expect from Godard). The social commentary is superficial and not at all biting or unique, so it's better viewed as a light genre picture from the New Wave. It has a surprisingly focused story for Godard, and by some miracle it successfully creates an aesthetic of urban decay; that combined with the genre aspects make it feel like an outlier in Godard's early career, but it's an engaging experience.
Rated 16 Feb 2013
4
35th
Looks like Godard put almost no effort into his sets and locations. Supposed to be set in the future but just looks like France with a dimmer switch. Too much random pontifications about BS for me. It's sad because it has flashes of brilliance but then quickly moves away from them as if to torture the viewer. Could've been so much better
Rated 13 Dec 2013
75
57th
Its depiction of a logic-obsessed world is mediocre at best when compared to other films of its genre. But like many of Godard's films, the distinctive style and atmosphere make up for it. Mixing film noir with dystopian science-fiction and blending it with nighttime-Paris at the time of shooting, it's a sheer visual delight.
Rated 02 Sep 2012
70
50th
Alphaville is Paris, for the New Wave had among all its moral principles the notion that Paris belonged to them. They claimed it as the Impressionists had done, or as novelists from Proust to Céline to Hemingway would. But every image of Alphaville says, See how the city has surrended already, and see how resistance is futile. In fact, we watch resistance fade. It is the ultra-Godardian impulse that he lovingly spells out the system of control.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
59
16th
Too much pseudo-philosophical nonsense. A lot of flim-flam babble. The parts that were supposed to be funny elicited little more than a smile, but the parts that were supposed to be deep and serious were hilarious. I can appreciate how unique and challenging it is, but I didn't enjoy it much.
Rated 13 Jan 2009
5
51st
It takes a while to get into the world that Godard created, mostly because of the low budget, but he gets you there, and it is a very unique one. Still, it's all kind of boring and not nearly as clever as it thinks it is. I give a lot of credit to Godard, allowing his pseudo-philosophical bullshit to slide because of his interesting visual techniques but here there is almost none of those.
Rated 29 May 2008
90
91st
An inspired and aggressively critical film, cogently using noir-elements (stylistic and thematic) to reflect the gruesomely inhuman conditions in a system shaped and controlled by assholes leaving no room for the illogic and irrational, and how one man stand up against this system. Thoughtful use of cinematography, sound and mise-en-scène undress the persisting bleakness of the realities in the world depicted. A film with irresistible potence and style.
Rated 20 Apr 2008
98
97th
'The comic strip side of Alphaville could be taken for a Brechtian form of "distanciation," for it is evident from the film's beginning that ironic distance must be maintained throughout the film. Otherwise, what is one to make of a film in which Lemmy Caution, the French Mickey Spilane, drives into Alphaville in a Ford "Galaxy" that has just traversed intergalactic space?' -Allen Thiher This quote reminded me of how much I love this movie.
Rated 16 Dec 2010
100
98th
somewhat of an epiphany! a science fiction film which avoids apocalyptic imagery and special effects and still manages to do what sf does best: freak me out (!) and make me reflect on which things define what's human. When Alpha 60 says to Caution "vous avez l'air d'avoir peur" my hearted stopped. fortunately, I lived to see the rest of the film - and it is amazing!
Rated 08 Aug 2016
75
72nd
Alphaville can initially be difficult to follow but Godard reveals its hand at a tantalising pace, offering a mystery that fascinates all the way to its wonderful denouement. The dystopian setting is achieved economically but impeccably through the inventive camerawork, and Constantine is terrific as archetypal grizzled private eye, Lemmy Caution.
Rated 06 Sep 2016
85
82nd
a lot of reference, being referenced a lot of times.
Rated 04 Oct 2016
26
1st
The only thing that wasn't hideous is cinematography. Everything else is just painful.
Rated 10 Sep 2013
78
70th
Poetry against Logic - after extensive shooting, the love prevails. Metropolis (1927), Fahrenheit 451 (1966), THX 1138 (1971), Nineteen Eighty Four (1984); Distopia - Bible-dictionary; Spy movie - cold war, 003, Figaro-Pravda; Film noir; Capitale de la douleur - Paul Eluard (1926, before becoming stalinist); Executions - swimming pool - Logan's Run (1976) carrousel;
Rated 26 Aug 2015
78
67th
Notable for being one of Godard's only true genre pictures, Alphaville's unique hybrid of science fiction, film noir, and romance frames the film's core themes--individual vs. collectivist thought, the effects of a society dictated by technology & logic, epistemological meditations on the human condition and communication itself--in a dystopian future that best suits the questions Godard poses. Easily possesses some of Godard's most striking photography.
Rated 03 Dec 2014
82
88th
Works best for its mixing of sci-fi with noir and Wester element and therefor being inspiration of later gender benders. The premise of a world being run by a super computer is more relevant now then than. All the philosophical musings thrown in meanwhile do feel hollow mostly, but the movie gets away with it by Godards directing.
Rated 18 Nov 2014
90
88th
25 Ekim 2014, Bilgi Sinema Gunleri &
Rated 13 Dec 2013
80
82nd
galaksiler arasi yolculukla alfakent'e ajan olarak yollanan adam, kentin mimarini kendi dunyasina goturerek kenti kurtarmayi amacliyor sanirim. kapitalist sistemle, koyulan yasaklarla insanlarin duygusuzlastigi, karsi cikanlarin idam edildigi bir kent. kurtulusu sistemin yok olmasi ve insanlarin kendi icinde cikisi bulmasi olarak goruyor. film agir ve karisik geldi biraz.
Rated 18 Oct 2013
6
54th
There are great moments but it's very inconsistent, often dull, and misses what it was aiming for by a large margin. Look, Godard, you son of a bitch, I'm with you, I don't want our spirit to be flattened by infrastructure and cold-hard logic. Sometimes I wanna go crazy and light shit on fire and have a lot of sex, just like you do. But your need to say everything aloud, as if I'm deaf, isn't necessary.
Rated 18 Sep 2013
79
61st
78.500
Rated 14 Sep 2013
4
52nd
genre-mixing oddness mixed with philosophical soliloquies. the first lends to off-centre humour, the second to irksome babbling. best thing is probably the rather amusing soundtrack.
Rated 24 Apr 2012
80
66th
79.625
Rated 01 May 2021
89
89th
There's a lot that's striking about 'Alphaville'--not least of which its dense, poetic, quote-laden script that presents its lessons readily in some places and resists interpretation in others--but my favourite aspect of the film is the way it uses the signifiers of noir (the car chase, the dame, the interrogation, the dying witness) and either recontextualises them absurdly or reduces them to their barest elements.
Rated 31 Dec 2023
90
93rd
it requires amazing filmmaking skills to create a science fiction world without using a single special effect, decor, or costume. it is a masterpiece, imho. its humanity and subtlelty in being a sci-fi reminds me of ursula le guin's work.
Rated 27 Nov 2023
50
32nd
Well shot and conceptually original sci-fi-noir but but the story itself is a bit too random, trying to balance between Bond and Shakespeare in Love.
Rated 08 May 2023
40
2nd
Was probably "deep" at the time. Now just pretentious and annoying, especially the dysphoric sound track. Yes, Alphaville is a terrible place, luckily they got out of there. The movie gives an illustration of what AI might yield. Yet in a mundane and simplistic way, indicative of the film industry of that era. As a result, a shallow representation of some people's apprehension of AI.
Rated 16 Sep 2022
41
56th
Made me think at times of the extraordinary expressionist choreography of Schroeter's MALINA.
Rated 15 Jul 2022
90
87th
Godard plays with the form in ways that go well beyond the lack of any real touches of sci-fi. The film's dramatic noir jazz score drops in and out at seemingly random intervals. A fist fight is just a series of still images and a car chase is shot from far above the cars and they circle a parking lot. Like a lot of Godard's films of this period, I think it's very funny, but all the humour almost floats above the film.
Rated 24 Jun 2022
60
26th
The formal experimentation is lively and inventive, which fits in with Godard's work from this period. This plays productively against the cold sterility of the settings in the film, and in this underlines his critique of the modern technological world in favor of poetry and love. Unfortunately, the ideas themselves are rather pedestrian: free love vs rules. The movie almost acknowledges this contrast when Lemmy starts shooting everyone in sight, but then he's a hero teaching her to love. Huh?
Rated 18 Jun 2022
80
72nd
Uneven at times and sometimes confusing but always fascinating Godard noirish dystopian sci-fi picture about an Orwellian society. The first half especially is great, and it's very different from the other Godards I've seen. Great score and disorienting sounds.
Rated 17 Apr 2022
98
96th
Wonderful postmodern fusion of "Brave New World" and "1984" with overtones of the cosmic thermodynamics of Burroughs and (later) Pynchon and Delillo. Equal parts weird sci-fi and paranoid noir, this movie proceeds along a well-known path while somehow addressing the question of the "why" behind human existence.
Rated 10 May 2021
70
69th
Is "too much trolling" just very good trolling?
Rated 12 Nov 2018
60
51st
An interesting movie filled with rambling mumbo jumbo dialogue and random scenes of people doing random things. It's is a kind of absurdest film noir with a science fiction ideological core.
Rated 20 Jan 2021
42
1st
I enjoyed the first 10 minutes. Ugh, I don't know, I guess Godard and I just don't get on that well.
Rated 01 Aug 2020
60
35th
A strange mix of pulp noir and science fiction, with JLG's surrealistic humor tossed in. This dystopian future (that somehow sees Paris as a new galaxy within the universe) is obsessed with the collective good, somewhat personified by an Oz-like voice box, which reminded me of those anti-cigarette ads in the 1990s. Like most of Godard's films, there are parts that are captivating visually and intellectually, but a lot of it feels like it's just pieces taken from somewhere else.
Rated 01 Mar 2020
53
40th
Virgem
Rated 03 Aug 2019
78
89th
Cerebral sci-fi is more successful than most because of Godard's steadfast commitment to his intellectual conceit. His futuristic dystopia is appealingly retro rather than dated, and the decision to shoot Paris at night ensures that it has aged considerably better than its contemporaries. This bleak nocturnal vision of an oppressively techno-logic society deprived of humanity and warmth is Orwell by way of Saussure, and while it hits a dead patch in the middle, its originality makes it a winner.
Rated 26 Jun 2019
25
2nd
This future looks like early 1966, another planet looks like "sorry, we don't have any budget for you" (typical car chase on another planet: i.imgur.com/MAdZ5TO.jpg) and Alpha 60's voice could be the most nauseatic experience I ever had watching a film. Also, good to know the script was only written to cheat the producer and sponsors (who wanted their money back), Godard din't even read it and everything was improvised. That makes it even more meaningful and worthwhile.
Rated 09 Jun 2019
95
56th
I'm pretty lukewarm on Godard. I like this noir-like sci-fi better than most, but not as much as his best.
Rated 06 Jun 2019
40
23rd
i give up on godard
Rated 26 Nov 2018
60
26th
Alpha 60: "Time is the substance of which I am made. Time is a river which carries me along. But I am time. It's a tiger, tearing me apart; but I am the tiger."
Rated 08 Mar 2009
57
46th
This '60s art house favorite was actually one of several films featuring expatriate American actor Constantine as Lemmy Caution but was the only one in the series to get a wide release outside of France. Beautifully photographed in glacial black and white but awfully slow going.
Rated 18 Jun 2010
65
38th
As allegory this is good. As a movie, it's only okay.
Rated 11 Apr 2010
91
83rd
godard's futuristic vision of big brother, a message he accomplishes to transfer using minimalistic sets and dialogues
Rated 15 Jan 2010
73
46th
548
Rated 02 Sep 2009
20
29th
beep beep beeeeeep graaaaaaargh beep boopoopoop
Rated 29 Aug 2009
80
48th
This is one weird movie. It kind of grows on you, though, once you accept that it has no plot in the traditional sense. Instead of being a story- and/or character-driven movie, Godard's "Alphaville" is much more a meditation on the human condition and at the same time a goofy take on the fallacies of a world shaped by (then) modern technology. It's like a dark sibling to Tati's "Hulot" films, with some poetry thrown in for good measure.
Rated 31 Jul 2009
34
92nd
totally cool
Rated 22 Apr 2009
77
77th
Reviewing. I always loved the style, bizarre and one of it's kind innerlogic of the story, strong cinematography, and soundtrack using striking music, noises and inhuman voice-over. You also have to remember that the low budjet made this film unique and unforgettable.
Rated 13 Apr 2009
5
93rd
"Although this is drastically different compared to the rest of Godard's oeuvre, it has without a doubt had a lasting impact with its ground-breaking visuals, which although have not proved accurate are still stunning now. The plot is also a great retelling of the old Greek myth."
Rated 12 Jul 2010
88
78th
A hip piece of Orwellian sci-fi, in the French style. Anna Karina is enigmatically beautiful and Constantine is so cool he's almost catatonic. The philosophical stuff is a little heavy-handed, but the film's black-and-white photography looks great.
Rated 19 Dec 2008
74
48th
523
Rated 29 Apr 2008
65
52nd
The combination of surrealism with a language I am about 10% proficient in made it difficult to follow. In the end, though, I thought it was pretty interesting. Dystopian stories are all very similar, but this one has a certain irony to it (the contradictory setting, references to 20th century events) and I think that much of Constantine's performance was intended to be deadpan humor.
this was my first Godard film, and it will probably bring me back for a second or third look.
Rated 17 Apr 2008
91
73rd
Hilarious, I guess.
Rated 12 Apr 2008
92
45th
it is a masterpiece!even after so much time it is still powerful,the movie which is one the pillars of science fiction,and great example of noir
Rated 01 Mar 2008
75
60th
# 496
Rated 31 Oct 2007
80
52nd
I love the imagery and the quirky little moments of humor. One of the more entertaining Godard films I've seen.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
50
34th
I'm one of the few people who DIDN'T like it
Rated 06 Apr 2007
75
61st
Only Godard could turn the streets of Paris into a sci-fi underworld. Only Godard!
Rated 09 Jan 2012
70
54th
lots of cool, albeit often nonsensical details. weak acting by the main character, the stupid hat and trenchcoat combination, stupid love ending as well as the major 1984 ripoff drags it down.
Rated 06 Aug 2013
95
93rd
Viewed August 5, 2013. An enigmatic and kinda goofy sci-fi noir that rarely makes any sense but gets by on dingy new wave charm, which it has in spades. Anna Karina in black and white. After seeing this movie, I'm pretty that that's why cinema was invented. The final 10 minutes are particularly inspired.
Rated 31 Jan 2013
58
15th
In all honesty, I enjoy the style and the whole concept of making an anti-thriller like this, replacing all the plot mechanics with wacky editing and random talk sounds appealing on paper... But Godard seems to want it to be a drag to watch too. I had to fight my way through.
Rated 28 Dec 2012
43
38th
Works a bit better, for me, than a lot of Godard's work, by being clear that it's not to be taken literally, and by toning down the soliloquies. My favourite part is the intrusions of the voice of Big Brother (uh, Alpha 60)...
Rated 25 Jun 2012
7
39th
The atmosphere is very cool, the world that Godard establishes straight out of reality (it was filmed in everyday Paris and the protagonist travels through the galaxy in a Ford Galaxie) is fantastic and it is very easy to slip in to it. However the film kind of beats you over the head with it being like 1984, which may have been necessary in 1965 but watching it now it is very annoying how much time is used to establish that, and there is a lot of vacuous philosophical prose that bogs it down.
Rated 15 Jun 2012
7
41st
An intriguing combination of noir and understated dystopian sci-fi, with some great visuals. Spies in trenchcoats are always good with me.
Rated 15 Jun 2012
8
54th
Some really neat shots in this one. Enjoyed the concept, too -- it made Godard's brand of surrealism a little bit more approachable for me.
Rated 18 Jan 2007
85
78th
https://letterboxd.com/ladyspiggott/film/alphaville/
Rated 09 Apr 2012
80
61st
Good: I wasn't a fan of a dystopian future that looks like 1960's France but eventually I thought it gave it a good feel. It's a pretty good movie. Bad: the whole philosophy of the leaders of this dystopia seems a bit cookiecutter to me.
Rated 19 Aug 2013
40
19th
Boring.
Rated 03 Jan 2012
8
2nd
Take me to Omegatown!
Rated 18 Dec 2011
58
12th
Godard does science-fiction, using only the Modernist architecture of 60s Paris to set the scene (the cinematography is great); he also uses narration by a cancer victim with a voice box to good effect. But his pacing is painfully slow, and the threads of the story unravel long before the end. As the mysterious Lemmy Caution, Eddie Constantine makes an interesting hero, and Anna Karina is a luminous heroine; the ending belongs to her, and it's quite poignant. But it's a long haul getting there.
Rated 30 Nov 2011
72
44th
#553
Rated 18 Nov 2011
10
0th
Perfect incarnation of the side of Godard I loathe, you feel like you're being buried alive under an avalanche of pseudo-intellectual drivel.
Rated 20 Jul 2011
87
94th
Film Noir meets 1984 meets James Bond.
Rated 21 May 2011
61
69th
I loved the first half, and the closing scene, as well as the camerawork and stylistic flourishes. But the middle seemed to fall apart slightly as it slowed down the plot, attempted to cover deep ideas without adding anything to them, and abused some science fiction and noir tropes. That being said, the beginning showed a much stronger mix of the genres, and it's a wonderful addition to the collection of dystopian future films.
Rated 05 Apr 2011
73
54th
Certainly an odd work, full of cutaways and rambling monologues. A bit of a shock at first (like it must be for Lemmy) but the mannerisms of the actors do slowly build an interesting, futuristic world of flashing lights and modernist architecture. Although I did enjoy it, the first half is stronger and it did take a lot out of me to watch. The film noir aspect is perhaps the best part of it.
Rated 12 Aug 2010
30
1st
Quite boring compilation of odd scenes and the story is not that special either. Too artsy for me.

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