Tell No One

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Tell No One
Tell No One (2006).jpg
UK release poster
Directed byGuillaume Canet
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based onTell No One
by Harlan Coben
Music byMatthieu Chedid
CinematographyChristophe Offenstein
Edited byHervé de Luze
Distributed byEuropaCorp. Distribution (France)
Music Box Films (US)
Release date
  • 1 November 2006 (2006-11-01) (France)
Running time
131 minutes [1]
Budget$13.8 million
Box office$32 million[2]

Tell No One (French: Ne le dis à personne) is a 2006 French thriller film directed by Guillaume Canet and based on the novel of the same name by Harlan Coben. Written by Canet and Philippe Lefebvre and starring François Cluzet, the film won four categories at the 2007 César Awards in France: Best Director (Guillaume Canet), Best Actor (François Cluzet), Best Editing and Best Music Written for a Film.


Alexandre Beck is a doctor who has slowly been putting his life back together after his wife Margot was murdered by a serial killer. Eight years on, Alex is doing well, until he finds himself implicated in a double homicide, which has plenty of evidence pointing to him as the killer – though he knows nothing of the crimes. The same day, Alex receives an email that appears to be from Margot, which includes a link to a surveillance video clip that features his late wife looking alive and well. The message warns Alex that they are both being watched. He struggles to stay one step ahead of the law, while henchmen intimidate Alex's friends into telling them whatever they might know about him – the henchmen eventually kill one of them, Charlotte. In the meantime, Alex's sister Anne persuades her well-off wife Hélène to hire a respected attorney, Élisabeth Feldman, to handle Alex's case.

It is gradually revealed that Margot is apparently still alive. She attempts to arrange a meeting with Alex by sending him an email which he must read in an internet cafe to avoid being spied on. Before this meeting, a warrant is issued for Alex's arrest for the murder of Charlotte. He goes on the run whilst his friends and lawyers struggle to find out the truth about the murder, as well as Margot's reappearance. Alex, chased by police officers, is rescued by Bruno, a gangster from a rough part of the city who feels he owes Alex a favor. The mysterious henchmen reappear to prevent Alex's meeting with his wife, but he is rescued once again by Bruno. Margot is seen almost escaping on a flight to Buenos Aires. Elizabeth, the lawyer, proves that Alex has an alibi for the murder of Charlotte, thanks to eyewitness accounts at the internet cafe.

Alex noted the numerous mysteries about his wife's death – mysterious photos of her covered in bruises and traces of heroin in her body. He soon discovers the truth that Margot's father faked his daughter's death. Margot had discovered that Philippe Neuville, the rich young son of a local aristocrat, was a pedophile rapist whose activities were being hidden because his father had influence over the police; when she confronted him, Philippe beat her up, causing the bruises. Her father explains that he walked in on the beating and shot Philippe. The elder Neuville hired thugs to kill Margot. Margot's father knew this because he tapped the phone call, so he doubled the payout for one of the thugs to fake Margot's murder instead, kill the other thug, and knock out Alex in the process. Margot's father then shot the second thug and buried both, then used the body of a dead heroin addict to stand in for Margot's.

Police, listening in on the father's confession, attempt to arrest him. Margot's father shoots himself dead before he can be arrested.

It is revealed that Margot's father knew Alex was wearing a wire, and that during a moment in which he had blocked the bug's transmission he had told Alex one last thing: it was in fact Margot who shot Philippe after he beat her; her father was covering up her crime, not his. His actions have ensured that she will never be suspected. Finally, Philippe's father is arrested, and Alex and Margot reunite at the lake where they fell in love as children.



The script made several alterations to the book; a torture expert changed from an Asian male to a white female, and the identity of the killer was switched. The book's author was quoted in an interview as saying that the film's ending was better than his original ending.[3]


Tell No One was well received both critically and commercially.

Academy Award-winning British actor Michael Caine said of the film it was the best he had seen in 2007 on the BBC's Film 2007 programme. He also included it among his Top Ten movies of all time in his 2010 autobiography, The Elephant to Hollywood.[citation needed]

Critical response[edit]

Rotten Tomatoes gives Tell No One a "Certified Fresh" rating of 94% based on reviews from 104 critics.[4] Metacritic give the film 82/100 based on reviews from 30 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[5]

Box office[edit]

The film generated $17 million in ticket sales during its first four weeks at the French box office.[6] In total, the film grossed $22,194,261 in France becoming the 12th highest-grossing film of the year with 3,111,809 tickets sold.[7][8] Music Box Films acquired the rights to the film and gave it a limited theatrical release on July 2, 2008. The film opened in eight theaters grossing $169,707 during its opening weekend.[9] In total, the film grossed $6,177,192 in North America.[10]

Top ten lists[edit]

The film appeared on many critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2008.[11]



  1. ^ "Ne le dis à personne: Tell No One (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 2007-04-27. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
  2. ^ "Tell No One (2008)". Box Office Mojo. 2009-02-08. Retrieved 2010-12-23.
  3. ^ Saner, Emine (June 18, 2007). "Tell everyone: Interview with Guillaume Canet, director of 'Tell No One'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
  4. ^ "Rotten Tomatoes".
  5. ^ "Metacritic".
  6. ^ "Channel Four".
  7. ^ "2006 France Yearly Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo.
  8. ^ "Ne le dis à personne (Tell No One) (2006)". JP’s Box-Office (in French).
  9. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for July 4-6, 2008". Box Office Mojo.
  10. ^ "Tell No One (2008): Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Metacritic: 2008 Film Critic Top Ten Lists". Metacritic. Archived from the original on January 2, 2009. Retrieved January 11, 2009.
  12. ^ The Jeff Buckley version of the song Lilac Wine, from his album Grace (1994), was used as background music in the 2008 French film Tell No One.

External links[edit]