Cercle Rouge, Le

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Year Released: 1970
Rating: 2.5

Marginally effective cops-and-robbers film that evokes the same lethargic/world-weary approach towards crime his last picture (in 1972) Un Flic did: the act of robbing is treated as a job, like any other, and the men that commit the crimes do not appear to take a lot of pleasure in it (it's something they must do, or perhaps the only thing they can do). The portrait painted of the police officers is also one of corruption, as they bend rules and manipulate whomever they want to get what they want - at times, they're no better than the fugitives they're chasing. People of the style-as-substance school of cinema will rate this higher, no doubt, but I like a little more 'meat,' as it were: "crime doesn't pay" is not enough; a carefully orchestrated break-in is also insufficient.