The Army of Crime

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The Army of Crime
2009 poster advertising the French release
Directed by Robert Guédiguian
Produced by Dominique Barneaud
Written by Robert Guédiguian
Serge Le Péron
Gilles Taurand
Starring Virginie Ledoyen
Simon Abkarian
Music by Alexandre Desplat
Cinematography Pierre Milon
Edited by Bernard Sasia
Distributed by StudioCanal
Release date
  • 17 May 2009 (2009-05-17) (Cannes)
  • 16 September 2009 (2009-09-16) (France)
Running time
139 minutes
Country France
Language French
Budget $9.2 million[1]
Box office $4.4 million[2]

The Army of Crime (French: L'Armée du crime) is a 2009 French drama-war film directed by Robert Guédiguian and based on a story by Serge Le Péron, one of three credited for the screenplay. It received a wide release in France on 16 September 2009 and opened in the United States in 2010. The film deals with the events of the Affiche Rouge ("red poster") affair. The title was taken from the caption on a propaganda poster, in which the Nazis sought to present prominent French Resistance fighters as foreign criminals; the caption read "Liberators? Liberation by the army of crime".


In Paris during the German occupation, an ill-assorted group of resistance fighters commits disorganized attacks. Missak Manouchian, an Armenian exile, is ready to help but is reluctant to kill; for him, being ready to die but not to kill is an ethical matter. However, circumstances lead him to abandon his reluctance. Under his leadership, the group structures and plans its actions and thus the Manouchian network is born. The film traces the story of this group, from its shaping to the arrest and execution of its members in 1944.



Box office[edit]

Opening in 250 screens, The Army of Crime debuted at number 7 at the French box office, making it the second highest grossing new release of that week following District 9, which debuted at the number one spot with almost twice as many screens.[3] The film grossed over 772,000 Euros in its first five days of release and attracted 349,940 viewers to French theatres.[4]

Critical response[edit]

It was screened out of competition at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival on 17 May 2009.[5] On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 90% based on 30 reviews and an average rating of 6.8/10.[6] At Metacritic, the film has a score of 76 out of 100 based on 9 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[7]

The film received largely positive reviews from French critics, with the website AlloCiné awarding it a score of 3.52 out of 5.00 based on twenty-five major reviews.[8] Positif's Jean A. Gili praised the film as "spectacular",[citation needed] while Libération's Didier Péron lamented the fact that the director seemed "paralyzed with respect" towards his subject, praising the young cast for its efforts in making the film seem fresh.[citation needed] In Paris Match, Alain Spira similarly stated that the film suffered from classicism and that emotion had trouble reaching the audience.[citation needed] In Première, Véronique Le Bris criticized the time taken to introduce the various characters.[citation needed] In one of the more negative reviews, Pierre Murat wrote for Télérama that while respectful, the film was insignificant and looked like a TV movie.[citation needed]

The Army of Crime fared well with international critics, with the website Screenrush awarding it a score of four out of five based on six major British reviews.[9] Peter Brunette of The Hollywood Reporter wrote a positive review after seeing the film at Cannes, saying, "Though it drags here and there and is a bit flat in places, the film is solidly made and for the most part quite involving".[10] In The Independent, Anthony Quinn described the film as "sombre and gripping,"[citation needed] while Dave Calhoun wrote in Time Out that the film is "always fascinating".[citation needed] In some of the worst reviews, The Sun compared the film to Inglourious Basterds, stating that Tarantino's film was "a lot more fun,"[citation needed] and The Financial Times's Nigel Andrews mused that it felt "like every resistance movie you have ever seen".[citation needed]

Home media[edit]

The Army of Crime was released in France on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on 19 January 2010.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "L'Armée du crime". JP's Box-Office. 
  2. ^ JP. "L\'Armée du crime (Army of Crime) (2009)- JPBox-Office". Retrieved 17 September 2016. 
  3. ^ "Box Office Mojo". 
  4. ^ "AlloCiné Box Office". 
  5. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Army of Crime". Retrieved 17 May 2009. 
  6. ^ "Army of Crime (L'Armée du Crime) (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. 
  7. ^ "The Army of Crime". Metacritic. 
  8. ^ "AlloCiné: L'Armée Du Crime". 
  9. ^ "Screenrush: Army Of Crime". 
  10. ^ "The Hollywood Reporter film review". Archived from the original on 13 February 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2009. 
  11. ^ "". 

External links[edit]