Rachid Bouchareb (Days of Glory) recasts Algeria’s struggle for independence as a gangster flick with this story of three Algerian brothers killing crooked cops and laundering money for the revolutionary cause in 1950s France. Impeccably paced, decorated, and acted, it’s a case study in craftsmanship overwhelming art; Bouchareb’s emphasis on assassinations and family intrigue makes for suspenseful entertainment, but that entertainment comes at the expense of political consistency. Because most of the action is motivated by vendettas rather than ideals, this supposedly pro-Algerian movie could pass for anti-Algerian propaganda; if you don’t think about that too hard, you may enjoy it as a solid genre piece. In French and Arabic with subtitles.
Outside the Law
NR • 2 hours 18 min • 2010