6.8/10
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37 user 65 critic

Red Lights (2004)

Feux rouges (original title)
Unrated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 3 March 2004 (France)
Antoine and Helene drive to South France to return their kids from a holiday camp. The traffic is dense and the atmosphere growingly tense; he is an alcoholic and becomes increasingly drunk... See full summary »

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2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Antoine
...
Hélène
Vincent Deniard ...
L'homme en cavale / Man on the Run
Alain Dion ...
Le collègue de bureau
Olivier Fornara ...
Le serveur de la brasserie
Damien Givelet ...
Le présentateur des actualités (on tv)
Philippe Ivancic ...
Le serveur quartier Antoine
Candide Joseph ...
La femme accidentée
Brigitte Pain ...
La serveuse du bar routier
Igor Skreblin ...
Le Croate au téléphone / Man Yelling into Phone
Fabrice Robert ...
Le barman du Nirvana
Micky Finn ...
Le Rocker Irlandais / Irish Rock Musician
Moussa Boucetta ...
L'employé gare de Tours
Thomas Germaine ...
Le gendarme du 1er barrage
Patrick Servoin ...
Le chef de Gare de Ste Maure
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Storyline

Antoine and Helene drive to South France to return their kids from a holiday camp. The traffic is dense and the atmosphere growingly tense; he is an alcoholic and becomes increasingly drunk the more often they stop. After a fierce discussion they split and both have to face great danger during the night. Written by Moritz Muehlenhoff <jmm@inutil.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Always keep your eyes on the road


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

3 March 2004 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Red Lights  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,202 (USA) (20 August 2004)

Gross:

$49,251 (USA) (10 August 2012)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

At the beginning of the movie, the main characters meet at a cafe in the late afternoon. They then go home and get ready to travel to Bordeaux to pick up their kids. On the trip to Bordeaux, they are stuck in heavy traffic. Although it is now early evening, the vertical shadows cast by the cars indicate that the traffic scenes were shot at mid-day. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 20th IFP Independent Spirit Awards (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Nuages
from "Nocturnes"
Written by Claude Debussy
Performed by Etienne Baudo and L'Orchestre National de l'Opéra Paris
Conducted by Manuel Rosenthal
See more »

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User Reviews

Two thirds of a good thriller
14 September 2004 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

Red Lights does not disappoint for artful cinematic tension, mining the rich resources of the French thriller -- no one can craft a thriller like the French. As the story unfolds, the viewer is driven increasingly into unease by the movie's primary conceit: the sudden unraveling of the milquetoast male lead before and then during a road trip into the country (in the throng of traffic during French vacation season) to pick up the couple's kids from camp. This ultimately has disastrous consequences for both husband and wife, despite their separating early in the story.

There are very effective touches here, unique to the French thriller. I especially liked Kahn's fearless willingness to run a protagonist straight into the ground so we can watch him grossly err and see him swerve into disaster, a risk most American directors wouldn't have the guts to take. He infuriates us and we are in total fear for him all at the same time. I also liked the way that Kahn can imbue simple sequences, like a series of phone calls, with utter tension.

What I did not like was the encroachment of pat, storytelling elements. The resolution is purely canned, and in particular there is one coincidence in the movie that is so Hollywood -- so Jerry Bruckheimer -- that it made me wince in embarrassment. It almost seems that, at the end, another director altogether stepped in to take the helm.

Red Lights is definitely worth seeing, but Kahn should have stayed the course with his somber, bold storytelling, rather than chickening out as he did. A good movie that could have easily been better.


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