Eurocrime at it's most gritty and gripping Le mataf features pretty much everything required to push all the right buttons for the genre enthusiast. A French and Italian co-production it is stylistically similar to the more familiar poliziotteschi yet largely eschews the genre typical set piece and instead is a far more understated affair.
Delightful urban and industrial location work compliment an engrossing heist movie that twists and turns without going as far off the wall as the more familiar caper type approach to the genre with films such as Grand Slam or Le casse.
The musical score, provided by Stelvio Cipriani, is used sparingly yet effectively and this, along with a slightly different pacing and aesthetic, contributes to something that has an ever so slightly different feel to the more familiar Italian Eurocrime favourites. Nevertheless this is a must see for the initiated and could easily rank amongst the finest of the genre.
Le mataf is directed by Serge Leroy and stars Michel Constantin and Adolfo Celi.