About the Movie
A pulse-pounding political thriller, Greek expatriate director Costa-Gavras’s Z was one of the cinematic sensations of the late sixties, and remains among the most vital dispatches from that hallowed era of filmmaking. This Academy Award winner—loosely based on the 1963 assassination of Greek left-wing activist Gregoris Lambrakis—stars Yves Montand as a prominent politician and doctor whose public murder amid a violent demonstration is covered up by military and government officials; Jean-Louis Trintignant is the tenacious magistrate who’s determined not to let them get away with it. Featuring kinetic, rhythmic editing, Raoul Coutard’s expressive vérité photography, and Mikis Theodorakis’s unforgettable, propulsive score, Z is a technically audacious and emotionally gripping masterpiece.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 39
- Fresh: 37
- Rotten: 2
- Average Rating: 8.2/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: A punchy political pic [from the novel by Vassilis Vassilikos] that mixes action, violence, and conspiracy on a robust, lavish scale.
Fresh: The military junta that ensued in Greece gave the film a sense of urgency approved by Cannes and Oscar alike.
Fresh: It is a great film for many reasons, not the least of which is that it can be enjoyed as a political thriller as well as a political statement.
Fresh: In its slick cinematic urgency and its outrage, Z still has the power to shake you up.
Still Relevant Today
I first saw this film in 1969 or 1970 when my high school class was taken on a field trip to view it.
I've seen it many times since then, too. It was filmed in French. Personally I prefer the dubbed version as opposed to sub-titles.
While based on an assassination in the 1950s, it remains relevant today. It is a well made, tightly scripted, black and white film, like a documentary. The story is essentially told through the eyes of a journalist, with a completely unexpected ending.
I recommend this film for those with an interest in politics and political thrillers.