The drama and suspense within Porumboiu’s tense policier relies not on chase scenes, interrogations, murder victims or perpetrators finally brought to justice, but instead derives from the very elements which structure civilization: time, space, ethics, language. Cristi, the detective in Porumboiu’s existential crosshairs spends his days surveilling a group of teenagers smoking pot after school. He watches, he waits, he follows, he writes dry, meticulous reports. Upon these minor incriminations of youth hinge enormous, hardly verbalized crises which are discovered through the same close observation carried out by Cristi day after day. Moving through isolating spaces, using “objective” language, following procedures, Cristi bides his time trying to discover a circumstantial loophole through which his conscience can find solace. The festering disconnections between meaning, actions and words leads to a riveting climax as outlandish as it is perfunctory—with the fate of all resting upon a dictionary.