A film by Bertrand Bonello
2016, 130 minutes
No. 097


The new film by Bertrand Bonello (Saint Laurent, House of Pleasures) is a terrorism thriller like no other, recalling Robert Bresson’s The Devil, Probably as much as it does George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead.

We first follow a group of tense, shifty adolescents as they prowl the streets and subways of Paris, learning through carefully delineated sequences that they’re already well underway with a bombing plot. And then it becomes something familiar, yet altogether different, as these subversives tuck away inside a shopping mall and lose themselves in consumer culture — clothes, televisions, toys, and a stirring soundtrack that includes Blondie, Chief Keef, Shirley Bassey, Bonello’s menacing electronic score, and Willow Smith.

Will they survive the unseen, encroaching authorities? Or, as the walls close in, will they even survive each other? Nocturama presents no easy answers; what it does offer is one of the 21st century’s most stirring cinematic experiences.

Official Selection, Toronto International Film Festival
Official Selection, San Sebástian International Film Festival

"Exquisite and symphonic. A display of pure genre pleasure." — Sight & Sound

"In every respect, Nocturama is a bravura feat of filmmaking." — The AV Club

"A disturbingly relevant snapshot of contemporary tensions. Magnetic and purely cinematic." — Variety

"Graced with a distinctive young cast and real cinematic verve, there’s lingering food for thought in this borderline surreal, delectably tense, artistically coherent venture." — Screen Daily