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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 25.41%
Average: 6.56%
Pretty Bad: 0.82%
Total Crap: 1.64%

8 reviews, 74 user ratings

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Amores Perros
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Greg Muskewitz

"A Hollywood audition."
3 stars

Amores Perros, at a 153-minutes, contains three different storylines, and one by one takes us along for each, with little interspersions from the other two as a cross-section.

The first and plenipotentiary was the story of Octavio y Susana. Both young, she (Vanessa Bauche) is the wife or girlfriend of Octavio’s (Gael García Bernal) brother (Marco Perez). The brother is scum, treats her like garbage, and is involved in small-time stick-ups, while Octavio is infatuated with Susana. They have a fling, and he starts using his rottweiler Cofi to win money from dogfights in order to save up and take Susana and her son away. The second is a far more isolated storyline. Daniel y Valeria is about a magazine bigwig (Alvaro Guerrero) who leaves his wife and kids to be with an über-gorgeous model (Goya Toledo) for whom he just bought a condo for them to share. However, when she gets in a major car accident, her whole relationship becomes disheveled (the event that fasten all the stories together). Her legs are badly injured and she’s sentenced to a wheelchair, only for gangrene to set in. Things are only worsened when her little pup Richie gets stuck below the broken floorboards. (The closing scene strikes a vivid reminder of Kieslowski’s Red, whereby the billboard of Irene Jacob’s character is flashed back to her rescue.) The third and el último, El Chivo y Maru concerns an aging revolutionary-cum-prisoner-cum-assassin (Emilio Echevarría) trying to reunite himself with his daughter who believes him to be dead. While that might be the motivation of that segment, action towards reaching the goal is put on the back-burner while El Chivo deals with the current contract, and primping himself for a hopeful meeting.

All three storylines are unbalanced at least a bit, even if it is merely the differences in running times — in order, 75-minutes, 30-minutes, and 60-minutes (approximately). What Iñárritu has, is three whole movies on his hands, or at least what should be three movies. He is obviously a filmmaker with an itch, and his enthusiasm shows very visibly, but he does not yet have the capacity or depth of a filmmaker of the caliber he is trying to imitate. The story was written by Guillermo Arriaga, and of his three intersecting storylines, the first is the most captivating, attention-craving, and developed. Had this been stretched out only a little more — something that wouldn’t have been too hard with all that was available to the filmmakers, it would have made a mostly solid movie all on its own. The third story, for me, was the most interesting, the most unique, and in the end, the most short-changed. The middle diversion is the most isolated, least compelling, and stood out most as a sore thumb compared to the rest. Iñárritu has a high definition for visual flair, and that trait is one very common by new filmmakers. Where it is most detrimental is in the first storyline, which featured a lot more action; the camera was being tossed around, jerked and shaken up, especially in the opening scene that was out of context, and later viewed in its proper groove. The colors are all deeply saturated (shot by Rodrigo Prieto) and grainy (in the present sense of many digital video movies), presenting somewhat of a hard-edged look. Iñárritu is definitely perpetuating a certain estilo, and the concept of linkage in the stories is not unusual. He shows a preference to the first storyline, investing the most active interest and time into it, and it really shows. From the time that the second has started and ended, it is nowhere near matching or even catching up to the energy of the first. Probably the most assured thing about Amores Perros is that this is not the first and only time we will see the name of Alejandro González Iñárritu. The critical reaction, the viewership reaction, the noise and buzz to all of this have been more than enough to garner him additional attention in the future. Now whether he decides to stay with his native Mexico like or Arturo Ripstein has done, or like France’s Agnès Jaoui plans to do — or whether he will cross over to Hollywood like Ang Lee (to a point, but still tied in to Taiwan), Luc Besson, Wayne Wang, Shekhar Kapur, and so many others have done, is the real question.

(Note: The choice of all-white subtitles against such a saturated, and often bleached-white image was not a good one. Some difficulty trying to read them will ensue.)


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originally posted: 04/23/01 13:41:55
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User Comments

1/02/10 Norm Descoteaux A film for the ages 5 stars
4/29/08 victor l have not watch the film 5 stars
4/14/08 mr.mike Good , not great. 3.5 out of 5 stars. 4 stars
11/16/06 David Intense and gripping film. 5 stars
9/16/06 Christopher No animals were harmed in the making of this movie? As far as we know…However dogs were in 1 stars
8/28/06 Sonia Strashun Stories that stay with you. 5 stars
5/30/06 kelly blackwell Gael Garcia Bernal...Super Hunky!!!! 5 stars
3/24/06 luis wow no mames......................chida, chida ,chida, sin comentarios 5 stars
12/05/05 Gene Carmean Outstanding 5 stars
9/13/05 ray mero Spellbinding in its imagery and intersecting stories. its beauty and depth. 5 stars
8/11/05 LIZ THAT CRAP WAS RAW 5 stars
7/20/05 Chris Interesting 5 stars
6/13/05 Agent Sands IN-CRED-IBLE!!! 5 stars
10/30/04 María P. Película altamente recomendable... 4 stars
10/27/04 Oscar fue una pelicula gran que me cautivo hasta el final como se unieron las historias 5 stars
10/17/04 Mandy it's just VERY good! 5 stars
8/11/04 Jen esa pelicula esta chingonsisima 5 stars
8/06/04 Maureen Don't miss it! 5 stars
7/31/04 Dave Reed Very entertaining 5 stars
7/17/04 patricia rogosich so fucking awesome. a must see 5 stars
5/25/04 Ian Ratcliffe Great film - imensely intelligent 5 stars
5/20/04 Elizabeth Lozano Great Movie from a mexican director 5 stars
4/17/04 Morally Sound Amazing! 5 stars
12/23/03 smartmusician a brutal yet powerful film. I was Blown away by its greatness and realism 5 stars
12/17/03 Jonny Sycamore Best latin american film ive seen yet 5 stars
8/16/03 Headhunter the best movie i have ever seen 5 stars
7/06/03 Mr. Hat (I'm Back MoFos!!!) Extremely arresting, very powerful, full 3-D characters & story, and EXCELLENT direction!!! 5 stars
5/13/03 marienil jo z. ballozos i did'nt understand tha ending. 5 stars
3/27/03 Krishna Sadasivam average movie - interesting characters, but suffers from excessive length. 3 stars
3/18/03 Maegs I adored this movie 5 stars
2/25/03 Ana Mar In order to appreciate the movie, the viewer has to see beyond the dog fights and violence 5 stars
2/22/03 Goofy Maxwell All the temerity and turpitude of a rabid mongrel, all the logic of a dog playing poker. 4 stars
1/01/03 Andy Todes greg (usually the voice of reason), what are you talking about here, man? 5 stars
12/03/02 shikita you dont see stories like this to often, it rocks!!! 5 stars
12/02/02 Saul A person with a true understanding of film will understand whi I gave it "awsome".. 5 stars
11/16/02 Big Ted Wow. Awesome filmmaking. 5 stars
11/15/02 nikita super!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
11/12/02 assassin. it is real. 5 stars
11/02/02 liz lost not only did i like the fact that Gael was in it, but it was a nice theme, well made 5 stars
10/09/02 mirko lujan a film I sure respet after "fight club" with edwart norton and brat pitt! 5 stars
6/25/02 Robbie Banfitch I like pizza. 5 stars
6/12/02 natasha animal lovers beware: realistic, bloody dogfights 4 stars
4/03/02 Reini Urban Deeper and more serious than Pulp Fiction 5 stars
3/23/02 Milagros Gael is fucking Fine oh man he is orgazmic i got an orgazm just looking at his picture 5 stars
3/13/02 Faith Bernal has made it, cynic. 5 stars
3/07/02 Alan Smithee One of the move amazing movies that I've seen in recent memory. 5 stars
2/12/02 Jen Big WOW 5 stars
1/19/02 Daniel Orgasmic. 5 stars
12/28/01 Robert Classic 5 stars
12/13/01 Dominik Duprelle Full blooded, a masterful story superbly told, a real surprise-highly recommended 5 stars
12/04/01 slappy jacks fucking awesome 5 stars
10/01/01 The Bomb 69 great storytelling, intertwining stories have been before but this was done well 5 stars
7/23/01 David Seddon Wonderful - falls into a similar camp as 'Magnolia'. 5 stars
7/22/01 ^Elendil^ It's been a long time since I forgot that I was just watching a movie. 5 stars
7/16/01 bilal karaman great movie. it can't be told just see it. 5 stars
7/04/01 Paul Brilliant, especially in sustaining three stories with equal interest 5 stars
6/23/01 Ian Barr Rivetting filmmaking. An exceptional debut feature 5 stars
6/14/01 Ulysses Ramirez Best Movie I've ever seen in my life 5 stars
6/03/01 Blubberbot Some parts are good others bad. Too long. Super violent. 3 stars
5/21/01 skye great debut. fine flick 5 stars
5/07/01 kanji Unique! Non-Hollywood film! Real Life. 5 stars
5/06/01 Heather Similar to Tarantino, Run Lola, well worth looking out for 5 stars
4/28/01 gerardo the best movie in many years 5 stars
4/24/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Excruciating at times (particularly the deaths of the dogs), but intricate and intelligent. 4 stars
4/22/01 Yvette Fantastic 5 stars
4/19/01 Jessica Romero Spectacular! Best movie I 5 stars
4/17/01 Mr. X Pretty good stories. But it is one of the most horrific films I've seen recently. 4 stars
4/15/01 rafael any comparison w/pulp fiction is stupid!!! 5 stars
4/07/01 Jose A. Contreras It is a very good film. But I totally agree: The second story is not as interesting as 2. 4 stars
4/06/01 gabriela amazing film! 5 stars
4/04/01 Michelle Munro I recently got a chance to see this film at the FIU Miami Film Festival. I enjoyed it. 5 stars
4/04/01 Monday Morning Anything involving cruelty to animals, especially dogs, gets a hearty "fuck you" from me. 1 stars
4/02/01 Aya Must see - as painful and beautiful as life is sometimes 5 stars
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  12-Apr-2001 (M)

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