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The Battle of Algiers
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The Battle of Algiers

1966
Drama
War
2h 1m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 78.74% from 1938 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(1938)
Compact view
Compact view
Rated 14 Aug 2007
5
91st
One of the most politically charged and emotionally involving films I've ever seen. Pontecorvo displays a mixture of technical mastery and storytelling prowess, treading a fine line that never goes for cheap sentiment or broad generalizations but doesn't understate the seriousness of the situation, either. The effect is incredibly powerful and makes The Battle of Algiers one of the greatest films, war or otherwise, of all-time.
Rated 17 Jan 2010
95
94th
I find it strange how many people are saying that this film is "even-handed" and that Pontecorvo isn't choosing sides. It seems pretty clear to me that while the insurgents are shown as doing some awful things, the film is clearly siding with the Algerians. As well it should, if you ask me. I suppose what people mean by even-handed is that it doesn't needlessly demonize specific persons like a film like, say, Schindler's List does. Instead it looks at the broader conflict.
Rated 30 Sep 2008
99
99th
The Battle of Algiers is one of the most well made films ever, plain and simple. Pontecorvo's direction is nearly flawless, the acting from the non-professional actors are nearly flawless, lets just say this is a near flawless masterpiece. The fact that Pontecorvo made a film about one of the bloodiest revolutions in history, and made it unbiased is rather original, especially considering when it was made. The Battle of Algiers is extremely relevant today, and is a must see.
Rated 12 Sep 2007
6
99th
It never takes the easy way out. Pontecorvo never forces you to pick a side, and even though it's clear who he sympathizes with, he presents this as the complicated and tragic story it is.
Rated 24 Dec 2009
9
92nd
No other word to describe this but flawless. Everything about this is incredible. Pontecorvo doesn't point any fingers which makes it more remarkable as at times it could be mistaken for a documentary. Still it remained compelling all the way through.
Rated 11 Sep 2008
100
99th
This is just one of those films that open-palms you in the throat and leaves you gasping for air, then kicks your perceptions while they're in the fetal position on the ground recovering. Viscerally and politically audacious with a firm, opinionated, but worldly view of the human condition. That it is iconoclastic precisely because it doesn't pander is equally bold and frightening.
Rated 07 Apr 2008
25
17th
I don't know if it was because I wasn't paying enough attention, because I didn't know/care about the source material or what, but this didn't feel remotely involving. By the end I still didn't know who I was supposed to be siding with. I ended up siding with the cops seeing as the other guys were blowing up random people which is hard to approve of. I'm fairly certain this wasn't the movie's intention. It's hard to feel involved when you can't take a clear stance on the issue.
Rated 13 Sep 2010
95
99th
I find it morbidly funny that after reading up about the 'Staircase to Terror' theory that most of this film takes place on them. Such an analogy can just as easily be applied to governments: despite displaying reason the French are clearly the villains here. Torture becomes rationalized, as does collateral damage. Need I spell out any recent parallels?
Rated 05 Jun 2009
9
90th
Pontecorvo never picks a side and rules out any form of emotional involvement. Technically, it's a bold and fascinating directorial achievement but one wishes for something more.
Rated 26 Jul 2018
84
89th
Good gritty film about the escalating tactics of a modern revolution. Made great by its imposing relevance not only for political history but also for the history of western depictions of war on film. It's the kind of movie that is virtually inseparable from its real world context & thus hard to rate on its own merits. Its rough documentary-style look at a moment of modern insurgency warfare is impressive & sobering by any measure although the perspective it offers beyond that is very limited.
Rated 28 Jan 2010
96
96th
Must see for all of us who live in this age of terror, occupation and empire.
Rated 12 May 2011
97
97th
Incredibly intense political film about two sides of a coin who are both right and wrong at the same time. If there's got to be an essential film about the inherent contradictions of colonialism this is the one. Perhaps the only thing missing here for me is the side of the Arab loyalists, who stood with the French until the end. That would have made the film even more interesting imho.
Rated 01 Dec 2020
97
93rd
The most visceral film I've ever seen. With most films I look back to understand why they had an initial emotional impact on me. It could be the story, performances, or technical construction. But here, Pontecorvo's docudrama approach almost defies analysis as he creates an immersive world that embeds you with the characters. It's obvious why years later this film has been an influence not just on countless political thrillers (Children of Men, Selma), but actual worldwide social movements.
Rated 21 Jun 2015
85
89th
"Former dir. of American counter-terrorism operations under Presidents Clinton and Bush: "When colleagues asked me what to read to understand the problem after 9/11, I instead urged them to get an old film, The Battle of Algiers. In it, French authorities round up all the known terrorist managers but lose the war because they did not address the ideological underpinnings" TBoA was used by the IRA and other organizations as educational material. nssa.us/journals/2007-29-1/2007-29-1-25.htm
Rated 15 Jan 2009
97
91st
A wonderful film in which virtually every act is violently regrettable.
Rated 22 Sep 2013
86
94th
European neo-realism thrown back in the occupiers' faces; the no-nonsense approach of the straightlaced war hero versus the chaotic, winding corridors of old Algiers. The new overturns the old, neither comes out looking like a winner.
Rated 12 Jul 2012
95
96th
A movie that 50 years later is all too relevant. Gripping, heartbreaking, terrifying, uplifting. The documentary style is pulled off masterfully (without the now ubiquitous shaky-cam), immersing you in a revolution and the attempt to quash it. Required viewing for all imperialists/colonialists.
Rated 13 Jun 2012
80
90th
I knew pretty much nothing about the Algerian War before seeing this film, but this didn't hinder my understanding or enjoyment of watching it. It was an excellent film, in pretty much every aspect. It contained another brilliant score from Ennio Morricone. They presented a very honest and relatable view of revolution in a country struggling to find its independence. It's a must-see.
Rated 23 Jul 2010
90
69th
This movie is what all political movies should aspire to. It is coldly apolitical while being deeply invested in the events it covers at the same time.
Rated 24 Sep 2008
79
71st
An engaging film on the NLF's struggle for independence in Algeria during the 1950s. A classic and must-see for students of insurgencies and irregular warfare.
Rated 22 Mar 2011
95
96th
"They want us out, and we want to stay." Many scenes are eerily familiar, now. It is admirably even-handed, and by even-handed I mean that it doesn't fall back on hyperbole and demonization (unlike so much of contemporary media). Morricone's score is haunting. One of the few films I've seen in the faux-newsreel style that doesn't come across as manipulative in its use of it.
Rated 01 Jun 2007
88
81st
What shockey said
Rated 03 Apr 2011
78
89th
Effective anti-colonialist film that strives for a degree of political complexity as well as some cinematic sophistication, factors that lift it above the norm for this type of thing. Viewing this in 2011, it remains as relevant in the post-colonial context as it was in the 1960s, and for a number of reasons.
Rated 24 Mar 2009
95
93rd
I really enjoyed this film. I didn't know anything about the history of this revolution, so watching this was quite informative for me. The DVD also has alot of interesting bonus material. Recommended highly.
Rated 16 Mar 2009
90
96th
Others have summed this up quite nicely already, but I would like to add that some of the points that remain relevant to this day are not only the old adage that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter, but also that without a political struggle and a civil uprising, all the killing is useless.
Rated 03 Mar 2016
4
74th
Pontecorvo's is a unique and still-relevant war film, shot with a fierce, no-nonsense realization of the viscera of occupation and insurgency. I actually find its sobriety a little hard to stomach at times.
Rated 10 Nov 2012
90
97th
An intense albeit relatively accessible political movie.
Rated 12 Mar 2008
9
93rd
A must see. Incredible.
Rated 09 Jul 2011
90
96th
Well crafted film from Pontecorvo who smoothly switches between film and documentary style, never taking sides in the brutal battle for the city of Algier. You never sympathise with any of the characters and that works out well, cause instead you get a thrilling and unsentimental account of the bloody revolution. Watch this over Hors la loi any day, cause even if you dont know anything about the conflict it doesnt matter since its quite educational as well...
Rated 25 Dec 2009
96
98th
A film delivered like a punch in your stomach.
Rated 10 Aug 2013
90
99th
Awesome.
Rated 14 Jun 2012
95
98th
Harrowing, nerve shredding docu-drama sort of thing that doesn't take sides. Incredibly well made. The bombings and the subsequent aftermath look far too realistic...
Rated 19 Dec 2008
97
90th
Farzan's review pretty much sums it all up....
Rated 06 May 2016
91
97th
As a film of political history, this is maybe the best I've seen. The details in the action, in the acting and in the atmosphere is wonderful. The cinematography creates suspense and it feels very real. The portrayal of both sides of the battle is done with precision, giving an authentic feel to the understanding of the ordeal through this movie.
Rated 09 May 2013
90
90th
Nearly as immediate & gripping as real-time war reporting, Gillo Pontecorvo's docudrama about the struggle for Algerian independence from France manages a fair bit of exciting storytelling combined with a balanced & clear-eyed account of atrocities committed on both sides of the conflict. Essential viewing.
Rated 18 May 2014
80
89th
It's scary how relevant this is still today (2014). History will always repeat itself. A must see.
Rated 19 Jul 2010
9
71st
Movies today often strive for "grit" and "realism," which usually translates to desaturated colors and an epileptic cameraman. The Battle of Algiers, on the other hand, could only be more real if it were a documentary. It deals with an ugly struggle for independence in an evenhanded and brutally honest way. This came out only a few years after Algeria gained its independence, and it shows.
Rated 08 Jan 2012
97
98th
Nothing quite like it came before or since.
Rated 03 Sep 2011
97
98th
Pontecorvo fills his humanistic account of the Algerian war for independence with faces, faces of Algerians and faces of French, faces moving through the tangled streets of Algiers. This stylistic choice serves as a strong reminder not to get caught up in the simple action of the story, but rather to remember the human cost of oppression and revolution. The film's complexity deepens with each successive viewing, a testament to its openness and its avoidance of simple polemics.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
91
98th
An excellent dramatization of a turbulent and complicated political situation. The film manages to effectively present the perspectives of both sides (including all the underlying moral ambiguities) and has an absolutely wonderful realist style that infuses the film with a dynamic energy. A truly compelling watch.
Rated 07 Apr 2010
85
88th
The whole film has an incredible air of authenticity and an amazing historical process, with scenes and phrases just memorable.
Rated 10 Sep 2008
90
86th
A great cinematography. But I don't see those damn terrorists as heroes. And, of course, I'm also against a violent government opression.
Rated 06 Mar 2007
87
77th
Great visual style. Compelling story. A lot more than I was expecting.
Rated 28 Feb 2010
85
94th
Great documentation. Well-balanced portrayal of both sides in the conflict.
Rated 17 Oct 2009
90
74th
A really quality movie that kind of blends nonfiction documentary with some individual stories acted out by pros. I found it interesting because of the complete lack of information that Americans are given on world events like this.
Rated 04 Jul 2011
85
75th
Ali la Pointe still lives!
Rated 13 Jul 2019
95
99th
Considering when it was made it feels quite ahead of its time and remarkable. The brutality of the colonial power desperately trying to hold on to the country while the people are ready for them to leave is eye-opening. You can see from this how the world powers haven't learned from past mistakes.
Rated 05 Feb 2014
100
95th
A masterpiece of a film that was able to show an unbiased look at the bloody revolt in French Algeria. This film is gorgeously shot and framed, the acting is top notch, particularly since some of the actors weren't professional actors. It's still very relevant today some 47 years since it's original release to the point where it was used as a educational tool for the US military leading up to the Iraq War. A must see for film fans, history buffs and political junkies.
Rated 31 Jan 2011
86
69th
A universally acknowledged masterpiece, I know, but isn't it a bit sloppy? Stylistically very impressive, but you can feel it straining not to be a biopic, and the self-conscious decision to not make it a character piece makes some sections - esp. the final minutes - come out of nowhere; the loose ends have to be tied up by a hitherto absent narrator. Still a great film, though: gritty, ahead of its time, and still unique today; the flaws are a side-effect of an otherwise successful experiment.
Rated 10 Jan 2015
90
80th
Political cinema at its finest. Filming and presenting the action as if it were a documentary, director Gillo Pontecorvo succeeds in creating a raw and realistic portrait of a revolution. I also admire the relative lack of bias within this film. Particularly telling is that the deaths of Algerians are presented with the same amount of sadness as the deaths of the French.
Rated 27 Feb 2015
65
47th
Yes it is a very successful film in depicting the resistance and social movements as inevitable historical phenomena stemming from a nation as a whole, in that sense sometimes people lose their individual faces in the pixels of the movie. However, contentwise it's too agitative and cliche for me. Would it be respected more than Casavettes' worst movie if it was not about Algerian independence war?
Rated 29 Jun 2014
89
92nd
Nice directing and acting, beautiful cinematography and score and above all, well crafted and unbiased story.
Rated 11 Jul 2016
9
98th
war in the streets
Rated 21 Feb 2009
80
74th
this movie has some great filming/direction, but there was NO, i mean NO character devlopment, or in fact, main characters at all, it was just a sequence of events in the same city. i also have a certain feeling that the movie demonized the algerian arabs, while almost, but not quite glorifying the french, there wasnt anything that i picked up on directly, it was just a sort of subdued feel.
Rated 09 Oct 2010
91
93rd
Almost a purely objective piece of film. There is rarely any emotion displayed between characters, most of their reasoning is based on ideals, or trying to apply logic to wartime events. The real emotion is found when you look at the two masses of people as a collective persona. The colonialist pragmatism and the revolutionaries passion both swelling and diminishing during the tide of events. The art direction & the direction stand out in depicting the urban chessboard that was Algiers.
Rated 30 Oct 2010
86
87th
The way the movie was shot combined with the time it was made makes all the action look like real footage. I liked that while the movie tended to side with the rebels, it didn't hesitate to show them doing awful things. An overall excellent look into modern warfare that resonates just as well today as it did when it was released.
Rated 12 Sep 2016
81
90th
Really harrowing, and absolutely fascinating in its even-handedness. I knew nothing of the revolution before, so it was definitely a great history lesson as well. If I could fault the film, it would only be in a lack of artistry in the film-making itself. Its documentary-feel is perhaps an asset, but it also makes it somewhat less enjoyable than it otherwise might have been.
Rated 30 Jan 2008
95
97th
This is the war epic of our times. Insurgents vs. occupation. Not one of the dozens of Iraq movies they've made in the last few years is as current as this 40 year old masterpiece.
Rated 25 Apr 2015
59
57th
definitely a vital, Important film. where's the movie showing CIA torture tactics today? however, viewed purely as cinema, the faux-documentary style plays quite clunky and dated. wooden characters -- actually the one that seemed the most nuanced was the French colonel. Watch it for the historic element.
Rated 01 Jun 2018
100
94th
A highly political movie based on true events that's not self-important mawkish oscar-baiting trash. I didn't know those existed. Rant aside, the realist style works exceptionally well with the impartial presentation and gives a strong sense of objective, almost documentary, accuracy.
Rated 02 Jan 2007
91
92nd
Amazingly relevant!
Rated 26 Sep 2007
17
94th
Incredible. I've always been interested in the Algerian war of independence, and this is as unbiased and informative an account as I can imagine.
Rated 02 Oct 2011
100
99th
This is THE cinema! best thing I've seen up to now
Rated 26 Nov 2016
96
92nd
Sometimes it's really hard to forget that this was a film dramatization of a terrible war that was made in 1966 and not a documentary that captures how ugly and brutal war could be. Pacing could be a bit more tight, and the music choice could just be a bit better, but the brutality and realism of what is presented makes it more than worth it.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
86
87th
Produced in a very convincing realistic style, quite compelling. Superb score by Morricone.
Rated 14 Jun 2012
90
90th
The tragic moral dilemmas of a war/revolution exposed dramatically. Also, a powerful soundtrack by Morricone.
Rated 02 Jul 2012
40
97th
"The film establishes a kinetic documentary effect, making the impact of every shoot-out and explosion a deeply personal experience." - Glenn Heath Jr.
Rated 04 Mar 2009
60
85th
Pontecorvo's re-staging of the Algerian struggle for independence tries for a journalistic effect -- an historical epic in a newsreel idiom. But this effect really owes less to the grainy black-and-white image than to the selectivity of information, the slanting of same, and the editorializing. The cast -- well-chosen faces of frozen intensity -- is nonprofessional with one notable exception.
Rated 29 May 2007
96
99th
Flawless picture that truly resonates in Dubya's torture-happy America.
Rated 21 Dec 2011
86
82nd
This is a film that tells a true story of a violent point in history (what points in history AREN'T violent?), and it does so in broad strokes. The emotional core isn't in the lives of individuals, but in the overarching tumult and violence of another of history's bloody revolutions. The episodic documentary nature adds to the film's broad vision. I appreciate how Pontecorvo avoids making the French into faceless villains. As much as any historical piece can, this movie tells it like it is.
Rated 27 Aug 2008
70
75th
What's really unique about this film is that Yacef Saadi, an actual FLN commander, not only stars but drafted the script, based on his propagandist memoir. The Italian filmmakers then drastically revised it to balance it out, but it still has a decidedly pro-insurgency slant. It's very well-filmed and interesting throughout, but like many straightforward war films, feels numb and lacking in depth. What little music it has, although penned by Morricone, only damages it.
Rated 16 May 2008
90
91st
Powerful.
Rated 22 Feb 2010
88
50th
A testament to the ills of occupation.
Rated 30 Jun 2009
90
88th
A look at colonialism through an anthropological lens. The first time I watched this it didn't leave much of an impression. Ten years later, it feels like one of those tales at once so specific and detailed that it could relate to one of many real life scenarios. The final few minutes sent my skin to flames like no other. Morricone's score is a rabid beast. Some of the most fluid, powerful editing I can recall.
Rated 02 Feb 2017
87
62nd
the key opened the door of freedom to algerians were not leftist revolutionist terror tactics, but civil rebellion.
Rated 23 Jul 2019
78
89th
The movie was captivating and intense, had a great score, the acting was solid but there was no character development or character depth and that hurt the film more than anything else.
Rated 29 Dec 2016
63
54th
A Neo-Realist style treatment of the conflict at Algiers, The Battle of Algiers is highly reminiscent of Rossellini's war trilogy, merging a visceral, somewhat detached perspective on events with a strong political critique. Knowledge of the French-Algerian conflict is probably necessary to fully appreciate it, and perhaps my ignorance on the subject prevented me from seeing its greatness. The torture sequence was effective though, and the random acts of violence are chillingly realistic.
Rated 29 Mar 2018
5
95th
History on Film.
Rated 09 May 2020
94
99th
I thought this was going to be a film I would respect rather than enjoy, but it is absolutely stunning: exciting, fast-paced, intelligent, moving - the best film about urban guerilla warfare I've ever seen, and perhaps the best war film. It is evenhanded but you are clearly led to sympathise with the 'terrorists'.
Rated 02 Dec 2018
70
53rd
Ben M'Hidi: "It's hard to start a revolution. Even harder to continue it. And hardest of all to win it. But, it's only afterwards, when we have won, that the true difficulties begin. In short, Ali, there's still much to do."
Rated 14 Oct 2020
90
90th
Lt Col Mathieu has the second most intimidating sunglasses ever behind only the sheriff's cartoonish glaciers in O' Brother, Where Art Thou
Rated 25 Mar 2007
90
86th
Very, very realistic movie about the guerrilla war in Algeria for independence. It's been used as a training film by guerrilas and counterinsurgents alike
Rated 21 Jan 2020
82
92nd
People should know when they are conquered or something like that.
Rated 16 Sep 2011
80
85th
cezayir bagimsizlik savasi, terorizm, sokak catismalari, fransa, cezayir, grev, asker, (cezayirli gerillalarin silahli mücadelesini anlatiyor. ilk yöntem kendi yasalari koymak ve uygulamak, taraftar kazanmak ve karsi olanlari belirlemek. uyusturucu ve fuhus yasagi. ikinci yöntem medeni kanun uygulamasi; evlilik düzenlemek. üc sialahli saldirilar; polisleri öldürmek, fransizlarin bomba patlatmasi üzerine ayni sekilde karsilik verilmesi. dört; toplu grev... tüm gerilla liderleri yakalanir.
Rated 09 Aug 2020
95
97th
Expertly made, very powerful and inspiring.
Rated 24 May 2012
90
88th
nisan 2012, ist film fest & '66 yapimi Cezayir Savasi'ni #istfilmfest12 'de izlemenin anlami buyuktu. Emperyalizm ve fasizmin 46 yilda hic degismedigini gorduk. Film, aklima Camus'nun 'Dogrular' adli tiyatro oyununda sordugu soruyu getirdi; 'Eger devrim kanliysa, devrim sonrasi toplum hangi insancil temele kurulacak?' Filmi izlerken aklima turkiyenin guncel sorunu olan kurt sorunu geldi ki, bu da filmin ne kadar gercek, guncel oldugunun kanitidir.
Rated 15 Jan 2013
80
83rd
It is amazing how this account parallels so many modern day events. A look at a Algerian revolution from the point of view of the oppressed as well as the oppressors. Foreign colonialism versus the peoples right to govern themselves leads to terrorism and bloody insurrections at the cost of so many innocent lives. This movie fails to show the true scope of the violence perpetrated by both sides. It's really sad that there isn't a better way to accomplish these things without so many deaths.
Rated 21 May 2013
85
81st
I'm shocked and awed that this film was made in 1966. The action and crowd scenes are surprisingly realistic, and the cinematography is truly inspired. Neither the colonists nor the insurgents are treated as righteous heroes, making this deeper and more mature than nearly any modern tale of revolution.
Rated 03 Feb 2008
4
38th
I've watched this twice and just can't get into it...
Rated 18 Jan 2022
60
66th
oyunculuklar hariç filmin hiçbir özelliğinde sorun yokken bu kadar korkak bir film olması işleri berbat ediyor. 90-100 civarı puan veren çoğunluk sömürgecilik eleştirisi olduğunu düşünebilir. ancak ben eleştiri göremiyorum. dümdüz bir belgesele indirgenerek güzelim filme yazık edilmiş. olsa olsa bir savaş eleştirisi vardır, hepsi bu.
Rated 29 Nov 2021
65
64th
This is an odd film; the mix of Italian Neorelism and French New Wave is an unsatisfying union. There are moments of brilliance, mainly due to the cinematography of Marcello Gatti and the music of Morricone, with extreme variations in depth of field powerfully fused with alarming music and accompanying soundscapes. However, as a whole, the film is unnecessarily disjointed (stylistically, narratively and thematically) due to poorly considered and executed editing and undisciplined directing.
Rated 18 Nov 2023
98
98th
pek tabi, insanların açlıktan kırıldığı bir coğrafyada ekmeği bandoyla dağıtacak kadar sembolizme boğulmuş batı paganizmi; eninde sonunda o yokluğun içinden çıkan ali ammarlara, caferlere, ömerlere ve onların arkasından yürüyen, havlularına, mendillerine ve hatta baş örtülerine istiklal sancağını kazıyacak kadar hak davaya inanmış yürekler karşısında anlamayacağı bir hezimete uğramaya mahkumdur.
Rated 29 Jan 2023
84
73rd
Grim and unsettling depiction of political violence and uprising is perhaps a little too removed and dispassionate for its own good at times, making the moments that lean into sentiment (especially underscored by Morricone’s score) seem a little out of place. Keeps its grip thanks to Pontecorvo’s sturdy and naturalistic direction which does bring a sense of authenticity and immediacy to the scenes of bloodshed, and nicely understated performances from his cast.
Rated 01 Mar 2008
95
92nd
# 104
Rated 07 Nov 2022
79
50th
Admired more than I liked but a great down-to-earth look at a revolution and guerrilla warfare and the human cost.
Rated 19 Dec 2008
95
90th
95
Rated 19 Feb 2024
90
97th
Well paced, fantastic music and editing. Just superb.
Rated 12 Feb 2017
73
74th
Historically relevant, but a bit dry in its documentary style.
Rated 31 Jul 2021
100
97th
Powerful faux-documentary that shows how blurry the line is between "freedom fighter" and "terrorist": What's an atrocity on your side is "collateral damage" on my side. Frighteningly, this is still quite relevant in our complicated modern world.
Rated 26 Feb 2022
80
72nd
The large-scale, naturalistic depictions of violence are fantastically arranged. The actor playing La Pointe has a face that will be etched into my brain for the rest of my life.

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