Dave Kehr of the Chicago Reader wrote:
Robert Bresson’s 1983 film returns to some of the themes of his earlier work–the notion of stolen grace from Pickpocket, the suppression of scenes in favor of a continuous flow of action from A Man Escaped–but there is also a new passion and electricity in Bresson’s minimalist images; it nowhere feels like the work of an 80-year-old man. Among the violent events are a bank robbery, a car chase, a prison insurrection, and a series of brutal murders; the world is ready to explode into chaos, but Bresson retains his contemplative distance, searching for the sense in which this “avalanche of evil” can lead to the ultimate spiritual victory of his protagonist. Bresson, working his sound track as assiduously as his visuals, once again makes us realize how little use most films make of the resources of the cinema. A masterpiece. 90 min.
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