Although the shorthand description of this movie is “The French Connection from the French side,” viewers may be forgiven for flashing instead on GoodFellas and even American Hustle for their reference points. The Connection comes loaded with the sideburns and wide lapels of the ’70s, embedded in a cascade of short, violent scenes syncopated to a pop soundtrack. You half expect to see Robert De Niro lurch out of the shadows. If we do think of The French Connection, it’s because the characters cite that movie’s title—in English—as shorthand for their case. The Connection begins in 1975, so its world is already aware of the 1971 Oscar-winning Best Picture. (Check out the underrated French Connection II, by the way, for a strong depiction of the French side of the story, albeit via Hollywood.) The heroin trade is still going strong, and Marseille is awash in drug money, the corruption so pervasive a strong hand is needed to clean house.