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Stars: François Cluzet, Denis Podalydès, Simon Abkarian, Alba Rohrwacher, Sami Bouajila, Daniel Hanssens, Alexia Depicker

Director: Thomas Kruithof

We're almost as much in the dark as our hapless hero, Duval (Cluzet), in this efficient Gallic paranoia thriller.

A humble filing clerk, Duval finds himself out of work after reconstituting his firm's files and stretching them out over the length of the office. Contacted by the mysterious Clément (Podalydès), Duval, who has recently kicked booze and joined the AA, finds himself alone in an office, strictly nine to six, transcribing cassette tapes, which he receives each day.

The dialogue on the tapes, however, begins to take a disturbing, even sinister turn; then Gefault (Abkarian), supposedly an employee of Clément, and Duval's superior, turns up demanding tape number six and its transcription.

Pretty soon, Duval finds himself mixed up in a murder, and becomes piggy-in-the-middle between criminals and law enforcers, endangering a fragile girl (Rohrwacher) he's met at AA.

Cluzet, who looks a little like Dustin Hoffman, has a stillness about him that suits this role, and compels us to stay to the end and ascertain his fate. The drama's edginess makes it comparable in feel to the current season of TV's Fargo.

David Quinlan

France/Belgium 2016. UK Distributor: 40/45 Films. Colour (unspecified).
88 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 17 Jul 2017