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Le Samouraï
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Le Samouraï

1967
Drama
Suspense/Thriller
1h 41m
Hitman Jeff Costello is a perfectionist who always carefully plans his murders and who never gets caught. One night however, after killing a night-club owner, he's seen by witnesses. His efforts to provide himself with an alibi fail and more and more he gets driven into a corner. (imdb)
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Le Samouraï

1967
Drama
Suspense/Thriller
1h 41m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 75.21% from 2715 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(2715)
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Rated 09 Aug 2007
5
91st
Jef Costello is such an awesome character. So elegant, smooth, and skillful, and Delon gives him weight through the sense of honor and longing he offers. His existence is portrayed through visual detail so well that there is hardly need for any dialogue. Melville achieves a minimalist elegance that never seems contrived or forced; it's glossy yet naturalistic.
Rated 27 Mar 2007
87
98th
I don't have much eye for smarter-than-thou ganster fiction. Yet take ten renowned directors from different decades, let them shoot this script; I believe none of them can make it with such elegance. The score, pastel colors, rain, countless shadowplay, expanding camerawork, on the clock editing and Delon at his best are the merits of irrepeatable performance called Le Samouraï.
Rated 30 Dec 2008
5
96th
A taut, intelligent thriller, Le Samourai builds suspense from the first minute, culminating in a conclusion that's satisfying, yet leaves you craving more. It's an excellent film not only for what it chooses to include, but what it chooses to omit: there's no superfluous explication or unnecessary character development. This is drama boiled down to its leanest, most essential ingredients.
Rated 09 Feb 2007
6
99th
Old Master Melville's pièce de résistance. The improbable synthesis of noir gangsterism, ronin motif, and 1960s couture is simmered until elemental. Spartan, sparse, spare. Diligence in all things: control and choice, even in death. One almost wishes for even less dialogue. Any other filmmaker, not least of all Melville's younger contemporaries, might have opted for excess.
Rated 31 Jan 2007
90
85th
Every time I think I'm sick and tired of movies about gangsters and criminals, I see another one that restores my faith in the genre. What I like the most about Le Samouraï is the excellent direction. It's just so... perfect. It's like the camera and the characters are always positioned exactly where they're supposed to be.
Rated 26 Jul 2018
81
83rd
Very solid neo noir with a simple but intriguing setup and a stripped down style to match. Melville does good in understating everything to the point of openly stylized, almost dreamlike ambiguity, expressing enveloping paranoia, guarded mystery and ethical gridlock. Delon carries it wonderfully. What the heck it has to do with the samurai I didn't quite catch.
Rated 08 Jun 2010
89
95th
Compared to a lot of regular gangster movies, Le Samouraï is stripped of all excess fat and distracting stylistic additions, and it's all the better for it. Delon is a great choice to portray an interesting character with fairly limited dialogue who is put into an impossible situation. The muted colors and great camerawork boost the pervasive sense of isolation and paranoia. This movie is the standard that any intelligent gangster movie should be measured against.
Rated 02 Aug 2008
100
98th
Countlessly awesome and just explodes in your face. The character of Jeff is so smooth, arrogant, elegant, skillful and cool! The antics, tactics and knowledge he possesses is astounding. Every second caught on camera is pretty much deliberate in almost every way possible. Restored my faith in the Crime genre, and it's one of the leading forces of gangster flicks.
Rated 07 Feb 2007
82
73rd
I'm a bit on the fence about the movie. In a lot of ways it's incredibly compelling... the crooked tactics of the police, the poetic atmosphere and almost leisurely attitude, and of course Delon's icy portrayal. Still, I don't think it's as great as it's often hyped up to be.
Rated 25 Aug 2008
7
57th
The only interesting aspect of this film was its main character (Delon was perfect), the other characters were 1-dimensional and that script was far too dreary. The film also contradicts itself and is filled with a lot of pointless/overlong scenes (I wanted to kill that bird!). It's about a hitman, it's like they chose that title to make the film sound more appealing. If this film came out today, it wouldn't be considered a masterpiece, which it isn't.
Rated 23 Feb 2013
65
25th
Glacially paced and starring a wooden protagonist. I really wanted to like this one, but I just don't see what all the fuss is about. Well directed, but ultimately disappointing.
Rated 04 Jun 2011
71
48th
I know that it was being subtle and minimalistic, but I was still bored most of the time. It does have a few great scenes though.
Rated 13 Mar 2011
90
96th
By far the coolest noir-protagonist! That certain Melville style might feel a bit dated(the loose narrative and the incredibly long and "actionless" scenes), but Alain Delons ruthless depiction of coolness is unbearably awesome. I have to direct attention to the first 10 minutes in order to make my point clear - no words exchance, but Jeff Costello steals a car, gets a gun and smokes 2 cigarettes in the process (and he does so, like it was as trivial as breathing).
Rated 09 May 2008
91
92nd
This may be the only movie I know of where the style actually gives substance.
Rated 16 Jul 2008
96
97th
Le Samouraï is great. You got Alain Delon turning in a marvelous performance, as well as François Périer. Melville's direction fits the profile of Delon's character Jef Costello extremely well. The shot's incredibly show the loneliness that follows "the samurai" wherever he may go. This film has a lot to show for it, the performances, the story, the direction, but one thing is for certain, the greatest thing about this movie, is Jef. His character is so cool, and obviously inspired many. Great!
Rated 26 Jun 2009
100
99th
Le Samouraï is perfect. Never does anything feel out of place, anyone feel out of character, nothing is superfluous. Minimalist and slow for a reason, it furthers the mood of Jef and reinforces the elegant atmosphere. The photography is so good I feel like most frames would be at home hanging on my wall. Every actor is at their best. Alain Delon commands your attention, he is Jef Costello. The best crime movie I have ever seen, and my personal favorite film.
Rated 23 Feb 2009
9
93rd
I wish this was longer. The subway chase was brilliant and Costello was one of the most interesting characters ever. Love that ending.
Rated 29 Apr 2019
90
97th
I'm in awe of how well executed this was. Melville lets action speak more than his characters, and still creates characters that are complete and complex. Maybe sets a new highwater mark for me in terms of just plain cool, too. And it has a pitch perfect ending. I also enjoy how the cinematography was beautiful, in spite of the fact that it's not picturesque.
Rated 13 Dec 2010
41
36th
Wow PSI was way off for this one. Yes this film has lots of style, and some nice tension during certain scenes, but I was hoping for far more substance in the plot and characters than was delivered. The decisions made by the main character toward the end make no sense and are not explained at all. Actually no character's motivations are explored or revealed at all at any point in the film. Disappointing.
Rated 11 Nov 2013
90
98th
Le Samourai, aka Grand Theft Auto: French New Wave
Rated 07 May 2013
59
40th
With respect to its speechlessness ,but get tired of irritating rhythm and very ordinary story, telling nothing.
Rated 03 Sep 2020
98
95th
Brilliant, hypnotic study of Delon's spare and methodical attempts to outwit pompous but dogged Périer is more about attitude than plot - Melville's dragging his audience into a seedy, grimy yet somehow seductive and appealing 60s Paris is the major draw here, with Delon's inscrutable hero the template for the Bronson/Stallone monosyllabic action heroes of the 70s & 80s (but never this stylishly). A truly captivating experience.
Rated 02 Jan 2017
40
13th
Melville seems to think that silence and a trench coat is all it takes to create a monolith of cool, but Costello is just a personality void whose motivations or philosophies are never explored. What limited minimalist style the film offers is vastly overplayed, and subsequently its paper-thin plot and characters make it a largely tedious affair. Only a tense chase sequence alleviates the boredom.
Rated 30 Jan 2009
40
48th
Characters with motivations falling from the sky. Why does the detective pursue Delon so strongly? Why does everything even vaguely related to crime get called neo-noir?
Rated 16 Aug 2008
80
84th
Cool, crisp and immaculate, Le Samourai is an excellent detached and dream-like crime drama.
Rated 27 Feb 2007
87
93rd
Alain Delon is just so damned cool.
Rated 14 Jul 2019
84
84th
It’s great to watch it and see how Jef’s gray projected itself onto the future of gangsters and stoic anti-heroes. Le Samourai can be studied both on its own merits, within its own confines, or as a great influencer in the history of film — a truly rich, deep, and revealing experience.
Rated 24 Oct 2010
90
94th
Jef Costello. Cool character or coolest character?
Rated 25 May 2022
74
5th
Slow and boring. Super overrated it gets away with way too much just because its an old classic. Very nice cinematography though.
Rated 19 Mar 2007
96
95th
Jef Costello is a bad ass, hello!
Rated 11 May 2014
83
81st
True to its name, Le Samouraï shares much in common with the Japanese New Wave films that I've become very inimate with in these past few months. An emotionless, blank killer on the run is a structure I've seen time and time again, but Melville pulls it off in a masterful fashion. Costello's dead eyes looking up at a gun with the same indiscriminate indifference he offers at all times is one of my favorite images in movie history.
Rated 11 Sep 2009
70
15th
Delon is doing a good job here, but the movie as such is dated and overrated. I'll take "The Day of the Jackal" or "Payback" or "Ronin" or "Léon" or "Chinatown" over this one any day.
Rated 30 Dec 2015
10
97th
'Le Samourai' is an almost deceitfully minimalist picture; the plot escalates and grows in complexity while still remaining predictably simple, all right under the viewer's nose. What won't go undetected, however, is Delon's equally subtle and undeniably cool Jef Costello; a remnant form a bygone age who stands at the middle of this smooth and perfectly concise movie.
Rated 29 Sep 2017
5
19th
one of those borderline comically Super Serious style-over-substance old french noirs starring some silent loner who never smiles that a 15 year old who watches a ton of anime would think is super badass **edit** oh this is the same guy who made Le Cercle rouge, pff go figure
Rated 06 Dec 2009
4
96th
Melville's style appeals to me so much. There's something about his precise way of filming things that I just love. Alain Delon is just impossibly cool, and I mean in both senses of the word.
Rated 02 Sep 2022
100
97th
I once saw a critic call this the film equivalent of Miles Davis's In A Silent Way--as both are "immensely cool and calm in a badass way." Like that jazz album, Jean-Pierre Melville created a brooding, quiet, and atmospheric piece that rewards you for paying attention. You could say it's dull, but as a sucker for any story about a loner with a code of conduct, I could spend hours watching Jeff plan all of his crimes. Highly recommended and influential for Ghost Dog, The Wire, and Drive.
Rated 02 Mar 2013
86
83rd
Alain Delon simply can't catch a break. This is Melville's version of Meet the Parents, where everything that can go wrong does, except I wasn't rooting for Ben Stiller.
Rated 28 Mar 2019
50
24th
Slow and aimless film that drifts into disaster. I like the inspector, but otherwise not very memorable.
Rated 09 May 2021
70
29th
Seen this on a bunch of lists. It inspired John Woo to make The Killer. And yet, I haven't been this let down since Rebel Without a Cause. Don't get me wrong, the main character is cool as fuck. In that cool, French way. And he's a fucking assassin for Christ's sake. And there some cool shots/vibes, considering it's a noir set in 60s Paris. But it's not enough to carry 100+ minutes. Not a bad film, just overall forgettable.
Rated 22 Feb 2018
80
58th
Minimal and yet profound. A seriously cool atmosphere developed through Melville's style. Use of light and shadow were elements that personally heightened the cinematic experience. The film and Delon's role itself prompt way for the hitman story in this mixture of French noir, American gangster and Japanese action.
Rated 09 Oct 2009
99
97th
Alain Delon glides through Melville's cold and minimalistic world as Jef Costello, a cool, calm and icy hitman with his back against the wall. Minimal dialogue, no background info, very slow, stylish and deliberate, "Le Samourai" is a triumph of French filmmaking, and indeed, one of the best films I've ever seen; nowadays, it would be very difficult to replicate or remake.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
75
89th
Classic.
Rated 31 Aug 2008
9
90th
One of the most influential crime/film noirs of its time, if it hadn't dragged in a few scenes this would be a perfect movie.
Rated 07 Oct 2009
90
96th
The movie, like its central character, is deliberate, impeccably presented, short on words and very, very cool.
Rated 27 Oct 2020
27
7th
voguing for straight poseurs in grisaille and trench coats with some dialogues and scenes worthy of Z movies.
Rated 29 Oct 2007
89
92nd
Stylish and deliberate, it really draws you in to Delon's character with minimal dialogue and background info. For some reason I felt like the whole wasn't quite as good as the sum of its parts, but all those parts were excellent so it's still a great film.
Rated 08 Jun 2008
87
86th
A beautiful movie which tells a story more with actions than with words. The ending was very surprising.
Rated 05 May 2008
95
87th
An incredibly influential neo-noir that rises above mostly mediocre acting talent to become something special. The scenes in Costello's apartment are particularly brilliant.
Rated 03 Jun 2009
83
93rd
Nice Movie
Rated 21 Mar 2020
72
42nd
Should be called LE COUL GAI.
Rated 26 Nov 2011
90
97th
Alain Delon lays the groundwork for generations of slick muthafuckaz to come. This movie encapsulates "cool," and I'd watch it again and again.
Rated 31 Mar 2009
85
83rd
Beautiful and well executed. Great editing. The acting was perfect. The plot was a little simple. There are some poignant moments, but I'm not taking away much from this film. Still, a fun watch.
Rated 18 Nov 2008
90
90th
An extremely well shot film with strong performances from all involved. Delon is simply incredible as a nearly silent Hit man driven by his own code of honor. Every scene is just perfectly laid out by Melville and the film score is a perfect touch. A must for anyone interested in French New Wave or any Noir aficionado. Also, if you have the criterion edition make sure you find the alternative ending. It's something I really wish they would have kept.
Rated 25 Apr 2011
95
97th
A film about ascetic solitude. Seldom has this been so painstakingly portrayed. It's also about fulfilling one's inevitable destiny. The film's simplicity, economy and austerity are very much reminiscent of wabi-sabi. Alain Delon is the very embodiment of cool. He does not need to speak, and when he speaks, he is always effectual. Yet when we see him alone we can see that he is an ordinary man. Every scene in this is just perfectly shot. A truly marvelous work of art.
Rated 30 Jun 2013
85
90th
A gangster film without a love story, a noir without a femme fatale. Melville strips away these genre's staples to invoke an atmosphere that is simultaneously isolating and cold, yet completely poetic and dreamlike. Nearly flawless in every technical area, Melville studies the characteristics of paranoia, honour, and duty through a cat-and-mouse game in which his antihero (the strikingly handsome Delon) is caught, the narrative as ambiguous to him as it is to the viewer. Wonderful.
Rated 22 Sep 2013
78
77th
"Why are you doing this?" "...They pay me?" And the band leaves the stage.
Rated 17 Sep 2007
75
79th
slow, but stylish and interesting
Rated 20 Oct 2009
100
98th
An elegy on the American gangster genre by Melville (note to the unwary: no actual sword-wielding samurai are to be found herein). The opening 20 minutes or so are as smoothly tooled as any stretch of cinema you could ever hope to see, with each shot clicking into place with incontrovertible finality. The story interest tails off after that, but the character interest (or rather, stereotype interest) holds up all the way to the monkish hitman's ritualistic self-sacrifice.
Rated 25 Aug 2007
89
90th
This film is the very definition of suspense. From start to finish you're wondering what will happen next. Alain Delon's calm and cool portrayal of the emotionless but perfectionist hitman perfectly mirrors Melvilles calm and cool directorial style of the film. However it is moderately dated, when his home is bugged I laughed out loud of the sheer size of the bugs used. The action scenes are lackluster by today's standards (but this film isn't about action). Still well worth seeing.
Rated 02 May 2008
80
76th
Reserved and oddly mysterious.
Rated 09 Mar 2023
90
87th
In Alain Delon's grey, spare room, he has a bottle of water and a pack of cigarettes on his bedside table. Later in the film, you can see a neat row of water bottles and a neat row of packs of cigarettes on top of his armoire. Yes.
Rated 18 Jul 2009
75
81st
A slow, deliberate movie, but it really pays off. Delon gives a great performance as Jef Costello, who, in my opinion, is one of the finest characters in movie history. Melville's fantastic ability to frame shots is clearly demonstrated here, with everything falling perfectly into place as though it were a beautiful painting.
Rated 21 Sep 2020
90
96th
So ahead of its time. Even today you'd be hard-pressed to find a film that makes the seedy underbelly of the crime world look as sleek as it does here.
Rated 29 May 2021
75
83rd
Taş gibi film. Seksi anlamda taş. Tüm duyularınızdan arının ve Alain Delon karizmasını hissedin.
Rated 26 May 2020
83
82nd
I love how every official synopsis of the movie calls the MC a cunning calculated brilliant perfectionist while we watch this stoic idiot make the dumbest decisions from minute one.
Rated 19 Aug 2009
80
65th
Pretty good but not as gripping as I had hoped. "Jeff" is cool, there are several great moments of directing, and the ending is good, but the plot is standard crime thriller boilerplate and some scenes feel needlessly sluggish.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
80
92nd
Score based on distant memory.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
95
94th
Incredible, atmospheric and cool film with Alain Delon providing a scene-stealing performance.
Rated 16 May 2019
80
80th
Jeff Costello: "I never lose. Never really."
Rated 21 Feb 2012
80
84th
In the words of Melville: "A black and white film made in colour." Everything is stripped down to the bare minimum. The washed-out colours, the sparse dialogue, the cold cell-like decor of Delon's flat. It all adds to the haunting atmosphere of loneliness and isolation. If I have one small gripe, I felt the film tended to lag a bit when the focus moved from Delon to his pursuers, but that really is nitpicking.
Rated 17 Aug 2012
86
82nd
I really liked the way it was shot and how that feeling of loneliness runs throughout the whole movie. It's also beautiful (due mainly to the lightning and that constant blue and gray) and Alain Delon is very good, but I can't consider this a masterpiece.
Rated 21 May 2021
90
91st
Charisma and nothing more. There is no greater solitude than that of the samurai.
Rated 05 Apr 2018
90
95th
Beautifully shot between shadows, narrated through contained dialogues and furtive, subtle, elegant gestures. A hitman in a cage after killing off a night club owner and been seen by multiple witnessses. So procedural, direct and detailed — despite its crude, raw plot — that it works almost as a silent version of itself. As Bressonian as baroque.
Rated 18 Nov 2012
90
98th
wow! terrific piece of filmmaking! extraordinary atmosphere that just sucked me right in and kept a tight grip. splendid camera work, soundtrack and choreographed action scenes. wow!
Rated 14 Aug 2007
93
94th
The film is cool and calculated as the main character, and Alain Delon's chillingly captivating performance make's that mean a lot. Awesome!
Rated 07 Jan 2021
100
99th
Within its genre, there are films that are revolutionary in being innovative and stylized. These films are a source of inspiration for the future and manage to be way ahead of their time. Le Samouraï is Jean-Pierre Melville's gift to world cinema. It’s a pure masterpiece. Extraordinary.
Rated 26 Feb 2007
88
80th
Both the film and main character is cold yet intriguing. Very compelling and with great compositions.
Rated 26 Aug 2010
93
91st
Whatever happened to the bird? We'll never know. :(
Rated 20 Dec 2009
89
80th
Hip film about a very cool hit man who has a code and lives by it.
Rated 12 Jan 2009
99
92nd
Alain Delon is one of the best actors ever ! The sex-symbol status is ruining him however. His performance here is pure gold !
Rated 14 May 2009
92
89th
Jeff Costello is probably the most effective badass I've seen in any movie. Good thing he's not given any backstory at all, you're not even left wondering how or why he is. You just bask in his character as the epitome of awesome. Also, this lack of information perpetuates a great crime-thriller aura about the movie in general. Very good, well-paced movie, nice and subtle but still keeps the viewer interested consistently. I recommend this to anyone who enjoyed the themes in Taxi Driver.
Rated 10 Nov 2011
72
56th
Our largely impassive anti-hero carefully plans and executes a crime, and an expert detective pursues him. Minimalism; few spoken words; visually interesting; suspenseful.
Rated 30 Oct 2013
78
63rd
If you like noir, add this one to the list. Atmospheric and well-done.
Rated 28 Jun 2011
95
98th
The dialogue may be scarce, but that only makes the atmosphere more perfect.
Rated 17 Aug 2015
65
59th
rewatch
Rated 05 Feb 2012
86
79th
The coolest character ever.
Rated 09 May 2016
98
94th
Everything about this movie is just so...cool. And damn is it suspensful to watch.
Rated 03 May 2012
75
63rd
Very cool, nice photography (although heavy on the zoom). There is very little dialogue, sometimes this silence works, at other times it seems false - like the crowds being herded out by the police after a shooting. But this is pretty pared down, lean stuff.
Rated 31 Jul 2009
80
80th
Le samourai: 9 // 8 // 8 // 8 // 10 // 9 // 9
Rated 25 Aug 2013
90
97th
(A Lonely Tiger)
Rated 09 Apr 2009
75
82nd
Moodily atmospheric, engrossing, low-key thriller with minimal dialogue, shot in tones of greys and blues.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
95
96th
A beautiful, stark, steely film about a hit man with nothing to lose. French new wave cinema directed by Jean Pierre Melville, big nods to American flicks and dudes like Bogart. So cool this film leaves you blue. wow...
Rated 01 Apr 2008
80
40th
Great opening shot, the rest sets a brilliant tone even thought I can't remember exactly what happens.
Rated 03 Sep 2023
82
81st
So cold, yet so perfect, IMO, because meticulousness means no surprises so it appears superficially dull. Delon in his trenchcoat gives Yun Fat a run for his money in the ultra-cool stakes. This may not work for some as it is no high octane actioner. There is a neat explanation for the (puzzling?) close if you Google for it (AFTER watching). As someone said, there are no ninjas here, the title is more a code of the life to be followed. Difficult but exceptional watching.
Rated 22 Apr 2024
85
72nd
Atmosphere and slow burn are my type of films.
Rated 20 Jul 2014
86
94th
Great suspense done in a minimalistic, no-nonsense way. Delon is fantastic and the plot nearly flawless.
Rated 11 Jun 2015
55
52nd
Kind of perfect for what it is i guess, although i can't say that i ever really cared very much about what was happening onscreen, per se. Still, i have to admire it for it's style and how clearly influential it's been. Plus a lot of the interiors are just gorgeous.
Rated 06 Nov 2010
90
90th
Melville at the top, sober, precise, efficient.
Rated 02 Aug 2010
90
92nd
Alain Delon's Jef Costello is one of the coolest characters of film I've ever seen. His stone-faced, cool as a cucumber demeanor is so entertaining. We aren't told much about him explicitly, but rather we come to understand him by watching the way he works. Just as Costello is methodical in his meticulous planning, the film is methodically directed with a deliberate pace that allows the visuals - not excessive dialog - to create the mood and tell the story.
Rated 28 Dec 2014
85
91st
With Le Samouraï, Melville crafts a minimalist noir where absolute silence is golden, a foil to the heavy use of grey tones that cast dark, foreboding clouds over the slow proceedings. Possibly the most beautiful film of the 60s, every scene takes place in real-time as if a natural coil is slowly wrapping around Jef Costello. Voyeuristic, spacious, and above all, cautious, Le Samouraï is one of the finest examples of a movie speaking louder without words.

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