CRIMINAL: FRANCE covers the French episodes of the new Netflix crime anthology series Criminal. All episodes are focused on interrogation. Read more in our Criminal: France review here!

Criminal: France are the three French episodes of the new Netflix anthology series Criminal. The three episodes in this particular segment take place in France, but just as it’s the case with the other three segments, the police station and interrogation room remains the same. 

Even if you’re not too keen on French productions, I hope you’ll give this one a chance. Also, if you’re a fan of horror, I really hope you’ve recently been watching the new French Netflix horror series Marianne.

Be sure to check out: Our Season 1 review of the Netflix horror series Marianne here > 

Not since The Haunting of Hill House have I seen both reviews and viewers be that positive about a horror series. 

Read more about each of the three French episodes in our Criminal: France review below.

Sara Giraudeau is Émilie

Episode 1 of Criminal: France is about Émilie and features guest star Sara Giraudeau in the episode title role. The plot revolves around the terrorist attacks at the Bataclan concert venue in Paris during the Eagles of Death Metal concert. It’s not about the actual terrorism since this episode is all about Émilie.

Sara Giraudeau does an excellent job at portraying Émilie who you’ll probably both dislike and emphasize with. Maybe just one of the two.

From the very first epiosde we’re also introduced to the police detectives who are played by the cast regulars that are in all three episodes. Just as it was the case in Criminal: Germany, I found myself interested in their stories as well. Only the Spanish segment never managed to really draw me in when it came to the cast regulars.

Especially Margot Bancilhon has a fascinating character as the young temaleader, Detective Larsen. One of her colleagues is portrayed by Laurent Lucas who was also in the brilliant Raw.

Criminal: France – Netflix Review

Nathalie Baye is Caroline

Criminal: France episode 2 is about Caroline with brilliant veteran actor Nathalie Baye guest starring. Caroline is a true boss lady and doesn’t shy away from any form of intimidation. However, a worker at her construction site just took a brutal fall and might not survive, so the detectives are trying to pierce her armor.

Nathalie Baye is fascinating to watch as Caroline and she manages to draw you in with the tiniest of facial changes. It’s a really interesting story with lots of twists but nothing that goes too crazy. 

If you’ve watched the brilliant French thriller Tell No One, then you might recognize Nathalie Baye from that. 

Jérémie Renier is Jérôme

The final episode of Criminal: France is Jérôme and guest stars Jérémie Renier. This is another story that feels very real and could easily be based on a true crime. Much like episode 1 of the French segment of this Netflix anthology.

I don’t want to give away too much but the crime in question is a murder case which starts out as a hate crime.

Jérémie Renier delivers a very nuanced and important portrayal of Jérôme. It’s not something you haven’t seen before, but that doesn’t make it any less valid.

Watch Criminal: France on Netflix now!

The three episodes in Criminal: France gave me exactly what I expected. Somehow, the French police detectives have already managed to become quite recognizable to me. Maybe it’s from watching French Netflix series like La Mante (The Mantis) – you can read our review of La Mante here >

I’m not complaining about being familiar with the style of French interrogators. In fact, it’s rather comforting to experience a form of familiarity despite not having been involved with the police in France.

All three episodes taking place in France are directed by Frédéric Mermoud. If you watched the original French version of The Returned (org. title Les Revenants), then you’re familiar with his work. Frédéric Mermoud directed four episodes of the series.

You may not lead with the French episodes of this Netflix series (unless you speak French), but you should definitely take the time to watch the three Criminal: France episodes as well. 

Criminal: France is on Netflix as part of Criminal season 1 from September 20, 2019.


Director: Frederic Mermoud
Cast: Nathalie Baye, Jérémie Renier, Sara Giraudeau, Margot Bancilhon, Laurent Lucas, Stéphane Jobert, Anne Azoulay, Mhamed Arezki.


Secrets emerge and entire cases unravel inside a police interview room in Paris, where suspects and investigators face off in an intricate dance.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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