Movies can impress in many different ways. They can overwhelm you with spectacular action, or emote you with heart wrenching drama. Or sometimes a movie can manage to impress, with all of its simplicity. This movie is such a humble, little, quiet movie, that takes a realistic approach to a genre that normally brings you a whole different kind of entertainment.
In essence this movie is still really featuring a very genre-typical type of story in it, about an assassin, who is trying not to get killed or caught after a job. The approach to the story however is not being very typical. It's not necessarily being a fast paced movie, or one with any spectacular thrilling moments in it but it still is a very exciting and tense movie to watch.
The movie manages to become a really tense one through its approach. Because the movie is often such a quiet one, without any dialog and it takes it time at times, the movie manages to create a very sensible, almost constantly present, underlying tension. While watching this movie you feel that things could go very wrong at any moment for the main character. Because of this, the movie constantly puts you onto the edge of your seat, even when there isn't an awful lot happening at all.
The main character of the movie is also one great and intriguing one. The fact that he hardly talks makes him all the more fascinating and also makes him believable as a cold and calculated killer. Definitely another great role from Alain Delon.
It's a greatly directed movie from Jean-Pierre Melville. Not just because of its approach to its story but also the way the entire movie got shot. It has some beautiful shot moments in it, that you might not even notice the first time watching. It's a movie made with an eye for attention to detail. The movie is in color but it does still feel like a classy black & white production, from the '50's.
The more realistic approach of this movie also definitely prevent this movie from being one for just 'everybody'. However if the premise and approach do sound interesting for you, by all means go and watch this movie.