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Witnesses / Les Temoins
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5.0 Witnesses / Les Temoins

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Witnesses (French: Les Temoins) is a French television police procedural drama by Marc Herpoux and Herve Hadmar. It made its debut on Belgian channel La Une on 22 November 2014 and on France 2 on 8 March 2015. It began streaming on Netflix on 1 May 2015.Witnesses is set in a small village on the coast of northern France, where the bodies of murder victims are being unearthed and left for discovery. The former chief-of-police, Paul Maisonneuve (Thierry Lhermitte), is implicated in the murders. Detectives Justin (Jan Hammenecker) and Sandra (Marie Dompnier) are tasked with investigating the case.Set in a small coastal village in France, this is a quiet thriller of crime and dark secrets. The opening sequence takes place in a house just put out for sale. In it, the discovery of what appears to be the dead family in the house, implicates the former chief-of-police to the plot. The now-retired chief-of-police, having made a lot of enemies in his past career, is recovering from a car crash in which his wife was killed and he himself barely survived.

Last 18 Comments About Witnesses Les Temoins Movie

  • Lisa Schwarzbaum Entertainment Weekly
    Lisa Schwarzbaum / 10, 20 2017 / Entertainment Weekly

    What the characters in The Witnesses - and the audience - pay testimony to in Andre Techine's urgent, compassionate, and ultimately optimistic French drama are the toll the epidemic has rung, and the responsibility of the living to choose life.

  • Andrew Sarris New York Observer
    Andrew Sarris / 10, 23 2017 / New York Observer

    Andre Techine's The Witnesses (Les Temoins) treats the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, first in the United States and then spreading to the rest of the world in 1984, as a devastating medical atrocity in a war that is still raging.

  • Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times
    Roger Ebert / 10, 16 2017 / Chicago Sun-Times

    The Witnesses doesn't pay off with a great operatic pinnacle, but it's better that way. Better to show people we care about facing facts they care desperately about, without the consolation of plot mechanics.

  • David Edelstein New York Magazine/Vulture
    David Edelstein / 10, 18 2017 / New York Magazine/Vulture

    Excitingly convoluted.

  • Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune
    Michael Phillips / 10, 15 2017 / Chicago Tribune

    Spanning a year beginning in the summer of 1984, The Witnesses offers the considerable satisfaction of a beautifully acted ensemble piece built on the foundation of a serious subject%u2014the dawn of the AIDS crisis%u2014handled just so.

  • Stephen Holden New York Times
    Stephen Holden / 10, 31 2017 / New York Times

    The beautifully acted ensemble film The Witnesses sidesteps most of its opportunities for high drama, political sermonizing and the jerking of tears.

  • John Anderson Washington Post
    John Anderson / 10, 13 2017 / Washington Post

    In The Witnesses, [director] Techine levels his gaze on the '80s, an era of seeming innocence, perhaps license, and one in which biological freedom has led to a loose, even sloppily knit fabric of humanity.

  • David Wiegand San Francisco Chronicle
    David Wiegand / 10, 01 2017 / San Francisco Chronicle

    Some may think the metaphoric possibilities of an incurable illness that can be transmitted through sexual contact have been all but exhausted. Director Andre Techine almost proves otherwise in The Witnesses, a kind of film opera without music.

  • Deborah Young Variety
    Deborah Young / 10, 14 2017 / Variety

    A fast-moving, engrossing multiple-character drama that brings the AIDS crisis of the 1980s into laser focus.

  • Jan Stuart Newsday
    Jan Stuart / 10, 31 2017 / Newsday

    Andre Techine's The Witnesses is one of the finest fiction-film accounts of a free yet frightful moment in time, when the relaxing sexual liberties of the previous decade were being squeezed by the onset of an unforgiving new virus.

  • Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune
    Michael Phillips / 10, 18 2017 / Chicago Tribune

    Techine's graceful, forceful drama has the tact not to play narrative games with its subject.

  • Nathan Lee Village Voice
    Nathan Lee / 10, 29 2017 / Village Voice

    Techine's triumph of compassion and craft shames the American cinema's indifference to gay history.

  • Wesley Morris Boston Globe
    Wesley Morris / 10, 26 2017 / Boston Globe

    Witnesses takes us back to the turmoil in the Balkans. But the movie is not directly about the war. It's a cleverly told murder mystery.

  • V.A. Musetto New York Post
    V.A. Musetto / 10, 16 2017 / New York Post

    Andre Techine's film features a strong ensemble cast. The film pulls no punches in its depiction of lives in crisis.

  • Carina Chocano Los Angeles Times
    Carina Chocano / 10, 15 2017 / Los Angeles Times

    An ambling narrative, but an atmospheric one that feels authentic despite its unlikely character pairings.

  • Colin Covert Minneapolis Star Tribune
    Colin Covert / 10, 13 2017 / Minneapolis Star Tribune

    Director Andre Techine's story is one of subtle emotional tones that require the most of an actor, and the cast is uniformly compelling.

  • Marta Barber Miami Herald
    Marta Barber / 10, 20 2017 / Miami Herald

    More than a thriller, the film is a portrait of the passions that drive ordinary people to kill and even worse, to accept the killing as something honorable.

  • Dave Calhoun Time Out
    Dave Calhoun / 10, 19 2017 / Time Out

    The occasional voiceover from Beart and a slightly mournful score from Philippe Sarde offer some sense of lament, but mostly this unfolds in the moment and is urgent and engaging.


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