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Overall Rating
4.52

Awesome65.57%
Worth A Look: 25.41%
Average: 6.56%
Pretty Bad: 0.82%
Total Crap: 1.64%

8 reviews, 74 user ratings



Amores Perros
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by Slyder

"The most important Mexican film in a decade (Traduccion en español)"
5 stars

You know, it has actually been a while since Mexico has actually made a film good enough to garner international buzz and rave. Last time I believe that happened was with Como Agua Para Chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate) which was directed by renowned Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Arau. More than 10 years have passed and finally a Mexican film directed by first-timer Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu and written by novelist/screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga managed to draw an immense stir in the international movie scene which hadn’t been seen in a very long time. Amores Perros (Love’s a Bitch), a gritty, dark, depressive, but ultimately uplifting and rewarding film, containing a multi-layered story, solid direction and performances, went on to win a number of international prizes and was even nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. The sudden success of this flick managed to generate somewhat of a renaissance in the Mexican film industry as it paved the way for films like Y Tu Mama También (And Your Mother Too) and El Crimen Del Padre Amaro (The Crime of Father Amaro).

Three different stories that are separately interwoven are suddenly brought together by a terrible car crash in the streets of Mexico City:

Octavio & Susana: Octavio (Gael Garcia Bernal) is in a middle of a crisis. He’s trying to survive and trying to make his family (mother and older brother) survive in the poverty-stricken part of Mexico City. At the same time, he’s trying to conquer his “love of his life” Susana (Vanessa Bauche), whom happens to be married to his older brother, and frequent scumbag and thief Ramiro (Marco Perez). So, after his dog named Cofi kills another dog owned by El Jarocho (Gustavo Sanchez Parra), a local hustler of illegal underground dog fights, he decides to also get into the business. What he doesn’t realize, is that it also comes with a hefty price to pay. Then one day, while trying to get away from Jarocho’s gang after a failed fight, he runs a red light and smashes his Lincoln into another car.

Daniel & Valeria: Daniel (Alvaro Guerrero) is a bored magazine editor whom decides to ditch his wife and two daughters for the ever-so-beautiful, fast-rising, but all-together greedy model Valeria (Goya Toledo). As the pair is finally starting to think about marriage, Valeria gets smashed in her car by a Lincoln and is severely injured, suffering a badly broken leg in the process. The injury confines her into a wheelchair temporarily. With her beauty now shattered, Daniel and Valeria, along with Valeria’s little dog, Ritchie have been thrown the ultimate test, of whether or not their love is true and can remain true through this difficult moment. At the same time, they must find a way out of their fragile situation and become better people than what they are (which is metaphorically represented in Ritchie’s sudden fall into a hole in the floor of the couple’s apartment and subsequent rescue by Daniel).

El Chivo (The Goat) & Maru: This is the most persistently present of all the stories. El Chivo (Emilio Echevarria) is a former communist guerrilla fighter turned hired killer to sustain himself. After finding out about his former wife’s death, he decides to take steps to redeem himself towards his daughter Maru (Lourdes Echevarria), whom grew up thinking he had been killed. To do this, he decides to take advantage from a last hit job that has been brought by a businessman in which he has to kill his own brother. At the same time, he’s one of the witnesses and the first to arrive at the scene of the accident between Octavio and Valeria, and also manages to take advantage there.

If there was one word to describe this film, err make it two words, they would be: Powerful stuff. The movie was highly controversial due to its use of violence, especially when it comes down to the savage dog fights, which in no way are they pretty to look at and if you are by any chance an animal rights activist, you may want to exercise some discretion here in these parts of the film. It is also brutally honest about the things that the characters go through the story, as you manage to get inside their heads, feel what they feel, and watch them fight and suffer in the hell that is the real world. But all that is just the icing on the cake. The entire concept of the film is a multi-layered character study that centers itself in the popular Mexican saying that “every owner looks like his dog,” which means that the dog’s personality is very similar to the owner and vice versa. As the film goes on, this concept is clearly evident on all the three main characters that own dogs, and the dogs themselves show us the present state of the characters and preview the forthcoming trials that they have to fight against. While some viewers may see some Tarantino influence roaming abound, the film distances itself by concentrating on the characters themselves rather than on the violence and adding the concept of love to the mix. Love of course is obviously present on this film and it weaves its way around the concept and also amongst the trials and tribulations of these relationships, and how well do they react during trying times. Some fail, others resist, and others try to redeem themselves after the failure. Guillermo Arriaga Jordan scores big time with this thoughtful, intelligent, and moody script which though is at times painful to watch it never lacks interest and is never boring. Alejandro Gonzales Iñarritu is as impressive with a solid, downbeat, yet tense direction which he paints a realistic portrait of the real Mexico City, complete with slums and grittiness, and due to the fact that this is Gonzales’s directorial debut, it makes it all the more impressive

The cast is magnificent: Emilio Echevarria is as solid as ever in the role of El Chivo, and delivers a very complex and heartfelt performance. Gael Garcia Bernal also shines as the troubled Octavio and is destined to be a star on the rise. Goya Toledo manages to pull through in the difficult role of Valeria, which was the most painful of the three stories, and she deserves a worthy mention. The rest of the cast was also excellent.

In the end, this film is practically perfect. It’s the best film I’ve seen that has come out from my beloved compatriotas so far; a film that actually has a story to tell and a message to deliver, and stands out from the rest. I’m really glad that Mexico has finally made a movie like this, and that it’s finally developing a voice of it’s own in the international movie scene. Thank you Alejandro and Guillermo for doing such a thing, and for doing such an awesome movie. 100% recommended. 5-5

Traducción en Español

La película mexicana más importante en una década
– Saben, en verdad ha pasado un buen rato desde que México ha hecho una película lo suficientemente buena para generar notoriedad en el ámbito internacional. La ultima vez si yo recuerdo bien que esto ocurrió fue con Como Agua Para Chocolate, del celebrado director Alfonso Arau. Ahora, mas de 10 años han pasado y finalmente una película Mexicana dirigida por el novato Alejandro Gonzáles Iñarritu y escrita por el novelista / escritor Guillermo Arriaga Jordán logro atraer una inmensa ola de aclamo en el ámbito del cine internacional el cual no se había visto en mucho tiempo. Amores Perros, una película siniestra, oscura y deprimente pero a la vez inspirante y recompensante, conteniendo una historia compleja, actuaciones y dirección sólida, logro ganar un numero de premios internacionales y hasta fue nominada al Oscar para Mejor Película Extranjera. El éxito repentino de esta película logro generar una especie de renacimiento en la industriad el Cine Mexicano ya que abrió el camino para películas como Y Tu Mama También y El Crimen Del Padre Amaro.

Tres diferentes historias que están separadamente interrelacionadas son repentinamente traídas juntas tras un terrible accidente automovilístico en las calles del a Ciudad de México:

Octavio & Susana: Octavio (Gaél García Bernal) está en medio de una crisis. El trata de sobrevivir y a la vez, tratando que su familia (madre y hermano mayor) sobreviva en la parte indigente de la Ciudad de México. Y a la vez, el esta tratando de conquistar al amor de su vida, Susana (Vanessa Bauche), quien esta casado con su hermano mayor y frecuente cabrón y ladrón Ramiro (Marco Pérez.). Así que después de que su perro Cofi mata otro perro que le pertenecía a El Jarocho (Gustavo Sánchez Parra), un trafagón local metido en las peleas subterráneas ilegales de perros, Octavio decide entrarle también al negocio. Lo que no se da cuenta es de que también hay un precio muy caro de pagar en ello. De pronto un día al tratar de huir de la banda del Jarocho después que una pelea que salió mal, él se pasa una luz roja y estrella su Lincoln contra otro coche.

Daniel & Valeria: Daniel (Álvaro Guerrero) es un aburrido editor de revistas quien decide dejar a su esposa y dos hijas por la siempre hermosa, pero lujuriosa modelo Valeria (Goya Toledo), quien esta ascendiendo rápidamente hacia éxito. Cuando la pareja finalmente empieza a pensar con respecto al matrimonio, Valeria es chocada en su coche por un Lincoln y sale severamente herida, sufriendo una pierna malamente fracturada en el proceso. La herida la deja en una silla de ruedas temporalmente. Con su belleza ahora quebrantada, Daniel y Valeria, junto con su pequeño perro Ritchie, se han echado la última prueba, para ver si su amor es o no es verdadero y si puede permanecer verdadero durante este difícil momento y en el proceso, encontrar una manera fuera de esta situación y llegar a ser mejores personas que lo que son (lo cual es representado metafóricamente en la repentina caída de Ritchie en un hoyo en el piso del apartamento de la pareja.).

El Chivo & Maru: Esta es la mas presente y más persistente de todas las historias. El Chivo (Emilio Echevarria) es une ex-guerrillero comunista vuelto matón a sueldo para poder sostenerse. Después de enterarse de la muerte de su ex-esposa, él decide tomar pasos para redimirse el mismo hacia su hija Maru (Lourdes Echevarria), quien creció con la creencia de que él había muerto. Para hacer esto, él decide tomar ventaja de un último trabajo que le ha ofrecido un empresario para que el vaya y mate a su propio hermano. Al mismo tiempo, él es uno de los testigos y uno de los primeros en llegar en la escena del accidente entre Octavio y Valeria, y logra también tomar una ventaja allí.

Si hubiera una palabra para poder describir esta película... mejor dos palabras, estas serían: Material Potente. Esta película fue sumamente polémica debido a su uso de violencia, especialmente cuando se trata de las salvajes peleas de perros, las cuales ninguna es muy agradable al mirarlas, y si usted es por casualidad una activista de derechos de animales, tal vez quiera usted ejercer algo de discreción en estas partes de la película. La película es también brutalmente honesta acerca de las cosas que los personajes atraviesan en la historia mientras usted logra meterse dentro de sus cabezas, sentir lo que ellos se sienten, y mirarlos luchar y sufrir en el infierno que es el mundo real. Pero todo eso es apenas el glaseado en el pastel. El concepto principal de la película es un estudio de carácter multi-ensamblado que se centra en el dicho popular Mexicano de que “cada dueño se parece a su perro,” lo cual significa que la personalidad del perro es muy semejante al la del dueño y viceversa. Y mientras la película rueda, este concepto es claramente evidente en todos los tres personajes principales que poseen perros, y los perros mismos nos muestran el estado presente de los personajes y preludien las pruebas venideras que ellos tienen que luchar. Mientras algunos espectadores pueden ver que algunas influencias de Tarantino rondando por ahí, la película logra distanciarse de esto concentrándose en los personajes mismos en vez de concentrarse en la pura violencia y agregando el concepto del amor a la mezcla. El amor por supuesto, esta obviamente presente en esta película y teje su camino alrededor del concepto y también entre las aflicciones de estas relaciones y sus reacciones de estas durante estos tiempos difíciles. Algunos fallan, otros resisten, y otros tratan de redimirse a sí mismos después del fracaso. Guillermo Arriaga Jordán anota altos puntos con este libreto pensativo, inteligente y de humor cambiadizo que aunque a veces es doloroso mirarlo, nunca carece de interés y nunca aburre. Alejandro Gonzáles Iñarritu es igual de impresionante con una sólida, turbia pero tensa dirección con la cual él pinta un retrato realista de la verdadera Ciudad de México, completa con barrios bajos y sucios, y debido al hecho que esta es la primera película que Gonzáles ha realizado, lo hace aún más impresionante

El reparto es magnífico: Emilio Echevarria es tan sólido como nunca en el papel de El Chivo, y logra un desempeño muy complejo y sincero. Gaél García Bernal brilla también como el confundido Octavio y se destina a ser una estrella en el alce. Goya Toledo logra una buena actuación en el difícil papel de Valeria, la protagonista de la más dolorosa de las tres historias, y se merece ella una mención digna. El resto del reparto es también excelente.

Al fin de cuentas, esta película es prácticamente perfecta. Es la mejor película que he visto que ha salido de mi amados compatriotas hasta ahora; una película que en verdad tiene una historia que contar y un mensaje que mencionar, y se destaca de los demás. En verdad estoy realmente contento de que México finalmente ha hecho una película así, y de que finalmente esta desarrollando una voz de sí misma en el ámbito internacional del cine. Gracias Alejandro y Guillermo por hacer tal cosa, y por hacer una película tan impresionante. 100% recomendado. 5-5

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=4941&reviewer=235
originally posted: 12/10/03 15:09:37
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User Comments

3/21/14 PAUL SHORTT BRUTAL, HARROWING AND PUNISHINGLY OVERLONG 2 stars
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
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  13-Apr-2001

UK
  N/A

Australia
  12-Apr-2001 (M)




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