Director: Cedric Jimenez
Starring: Jean Dujardin, Anais Demoustier, Sandrine Kiberlain, Jeremie Renier, Lyna Khoudri, Cedric Kahn, Hugo Dillon
Distributor: Palace Films
Runtime: 106 mins. Reviewed in May 2023
Reviewer: Fr Peter Malone msc
| JustWatch |
Rating notes: Mature themes, violence, and coarse language

Five days into the heart of the French anti-terrorism services during the hunt for suspects after the November 2015 attacks in Paris.

The terrorist attack on a concert venue in Paris in November 2015 which left 130 dead and many injured, made a powerful impact in France. And, with the release of Novembre, it would seem that it still does. However, for those outside France, memories may be receding.

This thriller does not focus on the terrorist attack in any detail. Rather, it is the story of five days in November 2015 where the police investigated and pursued the perpetrators of the atrocity.

The early part of this film moves rapidly with lots of action. With the swift pacing, swift editing, the audience caught up in the urgency of the investigation as police follow many leads. In many ways, the action is quite frantic.

Then the focus begins to narrow, with the screenplay concentrating on some of the chief investigators. At the head is Fred (Dujardin), intelligent, sometimes too quick to fly off the handle, persevering, coordinating, showing skills at interrogation but then drastically losing his cool. While he is something of a hero in his pursuit of the investigations, he has his limitations and is not a superhero. Meanwhile, there is another coordinator, Heloise (Kiberlain), reminding audiences that police investigations are carried out by both women and men. The expectations from the public, from government officials who turn up, are immediately demanding.

There are also some next-rung investigators, especially Captain Ines Moreau (Demoustier) who has come from the country and takes a private initiative in pursuit of a criminal, making a huge strategic mistake that could jeopardise the investigation. However, she perseveres, especially in working with an informant Samia (Khoudri) who has come forward with information.

In the background is ISIS and Jihad leaders, in France, Belgium, Syria, as well as connections in Morocco who need to be interrogated. We see the intensity of the jihadist-terrorist mentality, symbolised in the arrest of one suspect who sits, arrogantly surly, defying the interrogation, reminding audiences of the relentlessness and intensity of ideologies.

Each of the five days is highlighted by name and number on the screen. Interesting because of its relationship to events but in itself, a top police investigation film.

12 Random Films…



Scroll to Top