More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 20.59%
Worth A Look64.71%
Average: 14.71%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%

3 reviews, 16 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Lion King, The (2019) by Peter Sobczynski

Stare by Jay Seaver

DreadOut by Jay Seaver

S He by Jay Seaver

We Are Little Zombies by Jay Seaver

Lion King, The (2019) by alejandroariera

Darlin' by Jay Seaver

Astronaut (2019) by Jay Seaver

White Storm 2: Drug Lords, The by Jay Seaver

Vivarium by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed

[] Buy posters from this movie
by EricDSnider

"A devilishly fun Spanish film."
4 stars

A big part of the fun in "Intact" -- and it is a very fun movie -- is figuring out the rules.

I won't spoil them for you, then, but I will give this outline. The movie is based on the premise that luck is a transferrable commodity, and certain people have the gift of taking it from others. This is done sometimes by touching their hand, sometimes by photographing the person. And it stands to reason that if your luck is taken from you, you will now be very unlucky, while the thief will be very lucky indeed.

It all takes place in a luxurious European underworld (nicely photographed by Xavi Gimenez) where people play games of chance using other people's stolen luck as currency -- think Monte Carlo, but with Polaroids instead of poker chips. One man, Federico (Eusebio Poncela), once had the gift until it was taken from him by Samuel (Max von Sydow), his one-time employer and the innovator of the luck-transferring process. Now out for revenge, Federico is looking for a champion to destroy Samuel, and he thinks he's found him in Tomas (Leonardo Sbaraglia), a thief who was recently the only survivor of a plane crash.

Tomas isn't sure what to make of the crazy idea that he's preternaturally lucky, but he knows that under Federico's guidance, he keeps winning and winning, always staying one step ahead of the cops and others who are looking for him.

It is a credit to writer/director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo that the luck-betting games don't just involve dice and cards. In fact, the methods of determining which participant is luckiest grow more and more elaborate. (My favorite is where each player is blindfolded with his hands tied behind his back and then instructed to run at full speed through a forest. Whoever is luckiest, naturally, will NOT run face-first into a tree; everyone else will.) It's all leading up to a trip to Ucanca, to go head-to-head with Samuel -- the World Series of luck, you might say.

It's a creative idea, and well-executed by Fresnadillo and his compatriots. Max von Sydow gives an exceptional performance as luckmeister Samuel, and his harrowing account of how he first learned to steal luck is unsettling.

If the film has a flaw, it's in occasionally being too obtuse for its own good. One accepts that it will be hard to follow at times, given the strangeness of the premise. But that needn't be compounded by unexplained, unnecessary bizarre behavior. Overlooking those few instances, "Intact" is weirdly logical and a mind-bending lark to watch.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 12/14/02 08:56:33
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Brisbane Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Brisbane Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2002 Vancouver Film Festival. For more in the 2002 Vancouver Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

10/22/08 Shaun Wallner Interesting Movie! 4 stars
7/11/07 Steven Murray good movie,but it's sad that dozens of people died copying the dash across traffic scene 3 stars
6/01/05 tatum Often interesting 4 stars
3/15/05 maya low great film 4 stars
9/27/04 ALBERT creepy 4 stars
5/07/04 Daniel Amara I love everything about this movie... 5 stars
2/24/04 Jonni Absolutely riveting.. keeps u guessing. The best 5 stars
2/23/04 Sam Berg Awesome. See it. 5 stars
12/04/03 Helen Bradley wierd story line incosistent 3 stars
11/30/03 John Bale Best essay in the uneasy since "A Pure Formality" Von Sydow performs well 5 stars
10/12/03 Mitsaso Genuine and solid...a must-see. 5 stars
9/11/03 inferno dvd bloody brilliant 5 stars
8/28/03 LusT4DetH Nice concept, needed more Cloak&Dagger type luck stealing, less luck gambling 3 stars
8/15/03 King Ricky The games that they would play were pretty awesome to watch 3 stars
12/15/02 Nadia McGowan It's hard to do decent films in spain, it's just great that they produce something differen 5 stars
12/14/02 Ross Max von turns in a good performance. Decent fair 3 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  13-Dec-2002 (R)
  DVD: 24-Jun-2003



Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast