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Chris Kavan's Movie Reviews (3227)

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M (1933) 
The M stands for Masterpiece
4/4 stars

An amazing piece of cinema that even though is 75 years old, still manages to evoke a powerful response. Even today you will be hard-pressed to find a more compelling story dealing with crime - especially as one as abhorred as a child-killer.

Pretty much any film dealing with a search for a killer - think Se7ev, Silence of the Lambs, etc. owes its existence to a chance that Fritz Lang took with this film. Peter Lorre ranks near the top of the villain category with his portrayal of the murderer that is so evil, not only are the cops after him, but so are common criminals for marring their image.

The tension is palpable throughout M - whether it's the creepy whistle of Hall of the Mountain King or a deadly game of hide in seek in a darkened attic - it never lets. The use of shadows and reflections is also key - the black and white is perfect for this film.

Justice, and the lack thereof, is a big part of M. The trial at the end, though presided by petty criminals, raises some serious questions. The final line of the film is a powerful a statement as you will find. I recommend this to fans of serious cinema and those who enjoy crime/thrillers and would like to know where it all started.


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