There's plenty of powerful material in this gritty French police procedural, taken from actual cases of the Paris police's Child Protection Unit which handles everything from child kidnapping to exploitation to pedophilia.
The film's director and co-writer, the one-named actress Maïwenn, is more interested in the private lives of the detectives, most of whom are in some level of marital conflict because of their jobs' stresses. One (Marina Foïs) battle bulimia, another (Karin Viard) is in the middle of a divorce and another (Joey Starr) bickers with his wife while growing attracted to a photographer (played by Maïwenn) documenting the unit's work.
The balance between the casework and the personal melodramas is off kilter, and by profiling such a large unit, Maïwenn doesn't allow many of her characters to develop enough to make them compelling.
Opens Friday, June 22, at the Broadway Centre Cinemas; not rated, but probably R for violence and sexual conent, much of it involving children; in French with subtitles; 127 minutes. For more movie reviews, visit nowsaltlake.com/movies.