Murder In (Film Review)

Murder In


Title: Murder In . . .

Alternative Title: Meurtres à...

Country of Origin: France

Episodes: Television Show (10 Seasons)

Aired: 2013 - Present

Genres: Police Detective, TV Tourism, Revenge, Episodic, National Police

Each episode of this long-running French police procedural features a new cast of detectives and a new breathtaking setting across the varied regions of France.

Although some detectives reappear across the various seasons, the locations are rarely featured more than once and are actually filmed on site. The episodes intertwine the original history of each region into the story of the episode, introducing viewers to the culture and heritage of the various French towns and villages.

The stories are episodic, featuring a new case and cast in each show and even where detectives reappear, the story itself will be new.




Directors: Varied

Screenwriters: Varied


Rating: 4 out of 5.


Rating: 3 out of 5.

Technical Elements

Rating: 4 out of 5.

We are fast becoming addicted to the glimpses of French life showcased in the crime series Meurtres à….” (aka ‘Murder In‘) and the beautiful landscapes and architecture featured within.

A fascinating combination of police procedural and television tourism, the show is carefully crafted to interweave the history and culture of the various featured locations into the storylines themselves. Perhaps the criminal is a devout believer in the locally worshiped Saint for whom thousands of followers genuinely visit the region each year to pray. Or maybe the victim was found at the foot of the ancient statue for which the city has become famous over the centuries. Often the area’s economic and societal conflicts make their way into the tales, from the steel workers protests to the pirate radio stations that so greatly influenced politics for a time in French history. From the religious to the mythical to the historical, from the tropical French Guyana to the snowy French Alps to the wineries and fisheries across the costal regions, the viewer is introduced to a France so rarely portrayed in film.

The show is episodic with none of the stories (except perhaps one or two) crossing over more than one episode. Most feature a police detective duo, often a local police detective and an out-of-town representative of the prosecutor’s office, forensic specialists, or the regional homicide squads. This allows the local cast of characters to bring out the history and myths of the entirely real setting by sharing it with the visiting detective(s) as the show progresses.

Frequently the story reflects the plot or themes of the myths that are popular in the area. For example, if the city is known for a legend of star-crossed lovers who cast themselves off a particular cliff due to their parent’s opposition, the detectives themselves may be a parent and child in conflict or were once star-crossed lovers themselves. Often the criminal is either relating their motives to that of the legend or they are appropriating the methods of vengeance and justice that were enacted therein.

The show rarely features truly evil villains, it is virtually always depicting the perpetrators and victims as people who were driven to their crimes and deaths by past mistakes and crimes of passion. Emotions and driving forces the detectives both empathize with and must carefully sort through to find the true killer.

The show has features such a wide variety of cast, directors, and screenwriters that the episodes vary significantly in nature and style from one to another. Occasionally a pair of detectives will reappear (usually one every couple of seasons or so), but many only appear once. For fans of French crime shows, the cast are often quite popular actors and actresses from other crime procedurals including Florence Pernel who plays the perhaps most frequently recurring investigator Elisabeth Richard but who has also featured on shows like L’art du Crime; Samual Labarthe from “Les Petits Meurtres”, a French adaptation of Agatha Christie’s novels; Guillaume Cramoisan who plays the lead detective of a team solving unidentified persons cases in “Les Invisibles”; and Pierre Arditi, the private detectives from “Blood of the Vine.”

The story lines are generally decently written and often leave us guessing until the last minute. They tend to slowly released key facts throughout the show but leave you missing that defining information until the last moment. Occasionally you can figure out the motive but are left with too many suspects.

The characters are fairly well acted though, they tend to be emasculating towards men and to feature domineering, overly-aggressive females stars. They kind where she repeatedly behaves irrationally or outright rudely but it is brushed off as her “just trying to prove herself”. That is however somewhat par for the course though with French TV.

Overall, we have enjoyed the show so far, with about 75% of its hold on us due to the gorgeous scenery and the wonderful stories about the history and heritage of these regions that we have often never heard of before. It’s well worth watching just to get a glimpse of France outside the city of Paris!

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