Black Box

Black Box
Original title:Boite noire
Director:Yann Gozlan
Running time:129 minutes
Release date:08 september 2021 (France)
What happened on board the Dubai-Paris flight before it crashed in the Alps? Mathieu Vasseur, a technician at the BEA, the authority responsible for safety investigations in civil aviation, is promoted to chief investigator on an unprecedented air disaster. Pilot error? Technical failure? Terrorist act? The meticulous analysis of the black boxes will push Mathieu to conduct his own investigation in secret. He still doesn't know how far his quest for the truth will take him...

Mulder's Review

"Black Box starts with the announcement of an unprecedented air disaster on French soil. One of the most sophisticated aircraft on the market, one of the flagships of the aviation industry, has just crashed in the Alps and the BEA, the competent authority in charge of airplane accidents, is called in to help determine the causes of the tragedy - technical failure, pilot error, It is in this climate of strong media pressure that Mathieu, one of the BEA investigators, played by Pierre Niney, finds himself parachuted into this case and gradually immersed in this investigation that will quickly turn into an obsession. It's really a paranoid investigative film where sound plays a central role and it's also a dive into a world that I find really cinematic and fascinating, that of aeronautics and civil aviation" - Yann Gozlan

Boite noire has imposed itself this year as our favorite film of the Reims Polar Festival, as its presence in the competition testifies that French cinema remains one of the best in the world and is capable of standing up to Hollywood studios whose ever-increasing budgets often give rise to bloated blockbusters whose anemic scenarios often get in the way. For his fourth film, director and screenwriter Yann Gozlan continues to show that he is one of the directors to watch after Un homme idéal (2015) (also with Pierre Niney), La mécanique du cœur (2016), Burn out (2017). 

It is interesting to see that since his first film, this director has continued to improve his direction and especially to surround himself with excellent actors. Certainly Black Box is by far his best film to date and is similar to a thriller worthy of the great films of the 70s. Far from proposing a simple commercial film for the general public and built to shock no one, Black Box takes a new and chilling look at the world of aeronautics and civil aviation in which the amounts invested seem to be intrinsically linked to certain malpractices. 

Matthieu Vasseur (Pierre Niney) is a young and talented black box analyst who is given an important mission to understand what caused the fatal crash of a brand new plane. His investigation will lead him not only to circumvent the law in order to gain access to valuable information but also to put his life in danger by uncovering a real conspiracy.  Served by an excellent cast around Pierre Niney including Lou de Lâage, André Dussollier, Sébastien Pouderoux and Olivier Rabourdin, Boite noire keeps us on the edge of our seats until the terrible final denouement that will remain in our memories long after seeing this film.

Boite noire reminds us in some ways of the excellent thriller Le Chant du loup (2019) by Antonin Baudry, notably by the way it places sound and its interpretation at the very center of the story. In the same way by relying on a perfectly mastered editing, Black Box shows us once again that French cinema excels in its way of delivering films as effective as ambitious.

Black Box
A film by Yann Gozlan
Produced by Wassim Béji, Matthias Weber & Thibault Gast
Screenplay by Yann Gozlan, Simon Moutaïrou, Nicolas Bouvet-Levrard & Jérémie Guez
With Pierre Niney, Lou de Lâage, André Dussollier, Sébastien Pouderoux, Olivier Rabourdin, Guillaume Marquet, Mehdi Djaadi, Anne Azoulay
Music by Philippe Rombi
Director of photography : Pierre Cottereau
Editing : Valentin Féron
Production : WY Productions, 2425 Production
Distribution : StudioCanal (France)
Release date: September 8, 2021 (France)
Running time: 129 minutes

Seen on May 26, 2021 (Reims polar)


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