Film review – Tell No One (2006)

Based on a 2001 novel by American mystery writer Harlan Coben, Tell No One is a terrific French thriller full of twists and intrigue that, for once, deserves to be compared to a classic Hitchcock film.

Alex Beck (played by prolific French actor François Cluzet) discovers that his supposedly dead wife may not be dead after all and he has been implicated in another set of murders that are somehow related. By trying to stay one step ahead of the law and some ruthless professional thugs, Alex must clear his name and discover if his wife is actually alive. As the revelations pile up, so do the bodies.

Tell No One is only the second film by director Guillaume Canet, who is better known as an actor, but it is a very sophisticated and entertaining film. Like Spike Lee did in Inside Man with post 9-11 American politics, Canet uses the thriller genre to imbed some very serious social critique about class and racial barriers in French society. Tell No One also contains one of the most exhilarating on foot chase scenes the cinema has ever seen. 

Originally appeared in The Big Issue, No. 291, 2007

© Thomas Caldwell, 2007