review for Tell No One on AllMovie

Tell No One (2006)
by Craig Butler review

Tell No One is an absolutely first-rate mystery-thriller, blessed with a labyrinthine plot that may lose a few people but which will hold the attention of even the most confused viewer. On the surface, No One has a lot in common with the films of Alfred Hitchcock, starting with its "innocent man on the run" premise. But whereas the "Master of Suspense" tends to mine emotions mostly for the thrill that they create in the viewer and delivering his protagonists to safety and comfort by the final frame, No One director Guillaume Canet (and screenwriter Philippe Lefebvre) is more interested in really exploring how the traumatic events depicted in the film actually affect his leads. Thus, there is a sense of melancholy throughout the film, which ultimately becomes a palpable sense of loss; even when the film's resolution brings about a "happy" ending, one knows that these characters, reunited though they might be, have lost not only the actual years that they have been apart but an innocence that cannot be regained. One should hasten to add that Canet achieves this without once sacrificing the thrills and excitement that such a story demands. The director's work is exemplary, and the screenwriter's equally so. They are aided by a dream cast, starting with the ideal François Cluzet, whose perfect performance is invaluable. François Berléand brings nuance to the role of the detective, Nathalie Baye is a treat as the tough lawyer, and Kristin Scott Thomas brings sympathy and nuance to her role as Cluzet's friend and "sister-in-law." Tell No One is a wonderful roller coaster of a movie that also packs an emotional wallop.