Le Cercle Rouge (The Red Circle) (1970) dir. Jean-Pierre Melville: Melville's last noir (and his penultimate film as a director) also stands as one of his best. Understatement is the name of the game, but even coupled with the film's deliberate pacing it never fails to intrigue, if at times from a very chilly distance. Melville takes his time setting up the four principals (three criminals, one cop) and their loose connections to each other. The film won't ever be remembered as a strong work of character study, but at least the gradual pacing and extreme understatement lend the material more depth than would have been there otherwise. Much more impressive is the narrative's build towards its masterful highlight: a near-silent heist sequence set inside a supposedly impenetrable jewelry house. It's stripped down, icy stuff, but Melville ultimately makes all of the pieces worth caring about, even if the emotional reactions it inspires are often rather muted.