IMDb > Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1989) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Reviews & Ratings for
Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! More at IMDbPro »Átame! (original title)

Filter: Hide Spoilers:
Page 4 of 7: [Prev][1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [Next]
Index 62 reviews in total 

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Wonderfully zany

Author: Tito-8 from North Bay, Ontario
4 August 1999

This is some more inspired insanity from Pedro Almodóvar, and so far, it is certainly my favourite Almodóvar film. There are many scenes in this film that are pure gold, and these more than make up for the occasional slow stretch, although these slow spots do keep the movie from being truly great. Abril and Banderas both give great performances as the leads, but really, the whole cast is effective. I just found this movie to have a wonderful mix of good storytelling with more than a little madness, and so I was left thoroughly satisfied.

Was the above review useful to you?

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A fairytale romance

Author: campblood13 from Austin, TX
14 August 2003

I can't say too much about this film without giving it away. Antonio Banderas and Victoria Abril give good performances as their characters have such depth to them. Pedro Almodovar directs this film beautifully as he can't seem to make a bad film nowadays. For some strange reason I could identify with Ricky and his obsession with taking care of a woman who has many addictions. One thing I remember from the film is the music, I loved it. The final scene involves music and it was my favorite. This should not have been rated NC-17. A good film for mature adults. 6/10 Good

Was the above review useful to you?

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Almodovar's masterpiece to date

Author: ncoxny from New York City
1 August 2001

And the best romantic comedy of the decade.

Almodovar may err on the side of exploitation, but he always has

genuine compassion for his characters. His situations are always

interesting, but his films can at times be uneven. He's perfectly

focused in this film.

Antonio Banderes plays a released mental patient who tracks

down a one time porno actress/ one time junkie who currently

stars in a series of slasher films. He follows her home and ties

her up. He does not rape, rob, or hurt her. He instead insists that

they had an affair before, and that they said that they'd get married

should Banderes be released. At first, she naturally thinks he's

nuts. But the more he keeps her captive, the more she begins to

succumb to his charms.

A wonderful film, full of color, humor, romance, and one of the best

sex scenes I've ver seen.

Was the above review useful to you?

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Author: Mara-13 from Italy
5 August 1999

This is my favourite Almodovar movie and probably one of his masterpieces.

I have to confess that I have a weakness for this Spanish director because he really knows what passion is and you can see it from his movies. This movie has everything you may want: fun, drama, romance and even a couple of 'hot' scenes. Antonio Banderas is at his best and Victoria Abril is great. My vote for ¡Átame! is 10.

Was the above review useful to you?

Light and Likable but slightly disappointing.

Author: athena24 from Israel
28 September 2015

I have seen 'Tie me up, Tie me down' yesterday night with my wife. We both came up with a feeling that it was quite average, and we both were quite disappointed relatively to the good rating it has, and the majority of positive reviews. In fact when I lay in bed, yesterday night, I was thinking of why didn't I enjoy more? Great cast, fantastic camera work, interesting moments and on occasion it contains hilarious jokes. Yet the movie seemed to drag and bore instead of entertain or touch feelings. This morning I think I have the answer.

I didn't really buy what the director tried to sell. Marina didn't look like a heroin junkie or a porn actress. Her place was quite neat and she didn't have any sign of addiction or weakness towards drugs. She didn't look like the one who needed to be saved from herself. So I was told one thing but saw another and subconsciously it didn't fit. All the story was a bit silly and childish. Also, because it felt a bit childish and silly the explicit nudity and sex scenes seemed unnecessary.

To sum it up, 'Tie me up, tie me down' is light, has funny moments and without perversions prevailing in Almadovar's films on one hand. But on the other hand, it doesn't involve any strong feelings and it's not funny enough to hold for the whole movie and to be considered a good comedy.

Was the above review useful to you?

Works as a critique of heteronormativity!

Author: Emily from United Kingdom
24 September 2015

Knowing the director Pedro Almodóvar is gay is an important piece of context for understanding this film. Once you know this, it's impossible not to read it as a critique of heteronormativity. The ending will only frustrate you without knowing this!

The plot is powered by Ricky's (Antonio Banderas) desire to marry, have kids, and thus kidnap his dream woman, a porn star Marina Osorio (played by Victoria Abril) to make this happen. Both performances are strong and the characters (and actors) definitely have the chemistry needed for a satire like this to work.

Some other things that stood out for me; the distinctive colours throughout were just right. The reds, greens, blues, yellows and the striking costumes reflected the forcefully overbearing emotional exchanges between the straight 'partnership' (if you can even call it that!) especially from Ricky.

As a straight person, I did find 'Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!' difficult to watch at some points, because I know that frustratingly, aspects of Baderas' performance indeed do reflect elements of straight males misogyny and in turn, some women are akin to Abril's reaction to this.

Overall, although not a 'laugh out loud' comedy, the satitical elements are strong enough to lend themselves to an interesting and powerful parody of straight relationships.

Was the above review useful to you?


Author: andizapatagj from Ecuador
4 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

one great movie. The best of almodovar till the date. The performances of banderas and abril are incredible as the script and direction of this crazy, sweet and incredible film of this extravagant Spanish genius. The most amazing thing of this movie is that it makes you wish the villain could win by the end of the movie and you're always rooting for the character of banderas even when you know what hes doing is wrong and that there are better ways to seduce a woman. You can understand him and later on even abril character ends up falling in love with him in own of the sweetest, smoothest and most romantic and passionate sex scenes in the movie history.

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Provocative power-play; Almodóvar's most unconventional romance to date

Author: Graham Greene from United Kingdom
3 September 2008

A love story with strings attached; Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990) is without question Almodóvar's most unconventional romance to date, expressing a number of themes that seem to continually contradict one another, while still managing to offer the usual ideas of meta-fiction and narrative self-reflexivity that Almodóvar's work is noted for. The film is also worth seeing for the subtle way in which the director develops and extends upon recognisable elements from his previous films, Matador (1987) and The Law of Desire (1987) - both of which focus on the ideas of obsession and domination within the context of an unconventional relationship - but extends upon these issues with a kind of manic, melodramatic kitsch that can be seen in the directly preceding Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) and the subsequent Kika (1993). Like Kika, the film would become one of Almodóvar's most derisive and controversial projects - particularly in the US - and although the presentation is often tamer than one might expect, the film nonetheless attempts to provoke the audience through a continual contrast of violence and tender sensuality, and the various other issues that the characters convey.

When your story revolves around a recently released mental patient kidnapping a recovering junkie porn actress in an attempt to make her fall in love with him through a combination of physical force and psychological manipulation, we know that certain elements are going to push the audience further than we might normally expect. However, in light of this, it is surprising how natural Almodóvar manages to make this bizarre relationship, creating a tone, both visually and thematically, that works in establishing this skewed, off-kilter world and the multifaceted complexities of his characters. If you keep in mind that the film is intended as farce - with the bold stylisations, larger-than-life characters and Almodóvar's great sense of musicality when it comes to the pitch, tone and energy of his performances - then you should be able to appreciate the film for what it is and what it is trying to achieve. On the one hand it is an incredibly entertaining film, with the great sparring between the two central protagonists and a veritable ensemble of larger than life supporting characters, including the legendary Francisco Rabal as a lascivious, wheelchair-bound film director focusing his creative energies into a final masterpiece, a sleazy epic about dangerous desires, lust and obsession (sound familiar?), but it is also an extremely thought-provoking and compelling piece of work that is open to deeper interpretations.

The dynamics within the relationship are nicely structured, with the character of Ricky initially standing out as a two-dimensional crazy person who is compelled to form a relationship with Marina after the couple shared a passionate one night stand almost a year before. The fact that Marina is able to cope with the situation, eventually taking the position of power, ultimately says a great deal about both of these characters, their lives and their back stories, and how the ending of the film could hold some kind of dramatic weight, even in light of its central abstractions. It helps that the performances from Banderas and Abril are as spirited and committed as they are; with both characters capturing that sense of confidence and strength punctuated by loneliness and a subtle fragility. Seeing work like Women on the Verge..., Kika and the film in question, you wonder why Almodóvar never made a full blown musical (what with those great big, theatrical sets, overwhelming Technicolor and sweeping crane shots). You can see these influences in much of his work, but instead of allowing the elements to explode into a wild collage of opulent self-indulgence (like the first half of Kika), the director manages to instead anchor the film to the personalities of his characters, their dynamics and relationship, and the complex interplay that will eventually develop between them.

Long time viewers of Almodóvar's work will immediately recognise the self-referential nature of the story, with the "film-within-a-film" aspect apparent right from the very start, with that continual Almodóvar-like framing devise, wherein the story within the film becomes a comment on the story itself. Alongside this central design we also have the character as a performer, an actress in this case, and a secondary character who is both an artist and delusional. As a result, we never quite know who to trust as the film progresses from one wild extreme to the next; with Almodóvar's always interesting directorial quirks and eccentricities creating an odd tone that can be seen as part crime thriller, part kinky sex comedy. Again, this style is well suited to the director's work and can be seen in everything from Matador, The Law of Desire and the acclaimed Live Flesh (1997). Though it has clearly proved to be problematic for many viewers (judging from the plethora of negative reviews listed online), I'd have to argue in its defence. For me, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! is a great deal of fun; provocative certainly, with the continual contrast between violence and sensuality, humour and terror, but also filled with the usual wit, flair, depth and imagination that we've come to expect from the director and his work.

Was the above review useful to you?

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

finally seen it it 2002

Author: (VANCE_LEE@ATTBI.COM) from seattle
9 August 2002

i gave this film a nine, it's not every day you see a film about a stalker that you start to root for. but hats off to almodovar for pulling this off.

as far as the acting, to see banderas, the raw banderas, the unhollywood one to go from love to anger in one scene was to see how hollywood is at times missing the boat.

as far as abril, at time she steals the scene by just blinking them in terror or by pulled in two directions.

i loved this film.

Was the above review useful to you?

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

If you're starting with Almodóvar, start somewhere else.

Author: Spleen from Canberra, Australia
8 February 2001

It's best not to know what happens. If you haven't seen the film you shouldn't read my remarks. Be wary of reading other peoples', too.

I could have lived with a woman falling in love with her kidnapper. No doubt it happens. Even if it doesn't happen, there's no reason why it shouldn't serves as the basis of a good story. It sounds like the basis of an excellent story.

One thing to make clear - although it's an obvious enough point - the film has no message, let alone the message: "If you really love a woman, and want her to love you, kidnap her." That's in the form of an imperative, and Almodóvar's film, whatever else it is, is not in imperatival; form. (This is not trivial; some films ARE imperatival.)

Even if there were a message of some kind, it would not be easy to work out what it is, since it's next to impossible to work out what relevant truths hold in the world of the fiction. Is the love that develops between Marina and Ricky ultimately a healthy love, or not? Do Ricky's extreme tactics work in general, or do they only work on people whose lives are like Marina's? Or do they only work in this particular case? Are Ricky's actions meant to be justified - in the world of the fiction - or are they unjustified even there? All of these are hard to tell. I'm not sure if this is a bad thing.

What I am sure is a bad thing is that the heroine, Marina, is too passive. (I mean "too passive" in its literal sense; I'm not using it as code for "not feminist enough".) She should have made a genuine effort to escape - just once. Or she should have been more cunning - at least on occasion. Or she should have spoken out more. Or, just once, she should have snapped. She comes close to doing all of these things, but she always draws back. It's frustrating.

I've realised - just as I was typing the previous paragraph - that she DOES make one concerted effort to escape; it's when Ricky is out getting beaten up by thugs. And to be fair, it IS dramatically apt that this attempt occur just before she finds she's fallen in love with him - otherwise the story would be the even more unsatisfying one of how Ricky gradually wore her down. Still, it would have been better if she had been a more active character, in SOME respect, earlier on.

-Okay, so maybe I'm wrong about the "too passive" thing, but my other two complaints still stand. Firstly, and less importantly, Ricky never pays any price either for his actions or for the prize he eventually wins. He never has to experience guilt; he never loses any battle, on any front, with Marina. (He gets beaten up, of course, but that doesn't count: it's for the unrelated crime of pinching drugs.) Secondly, the kidnapping story is all the more unsatisfying because it's basically all we get. The other two Almodóvar films I've seen both have a rich undergrowth of supporting character and sub-plot, which this one lacks. While not all films need such an undergrowth, this one does. -It's not that there are no other characters. Take the lecherous old director, for instance. He steps on stage to spark off part of the story, but thereafter Almodóvar does NOTHING with him. Yet we continue to see him every so often. Why? I suspect because Almodóvar wanted to cut away every so often, and needed something to cut away to.

"Tie me up, etc." has many typical Almodóvar strengths - glorious colours, fascinating characters, strong narrative grip - but it's all a bit flat. The director has done better at least twice. I suspect he usually does better.

Was the above review useful to you?

Page 4 of 7: [Prev][1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [Next]

Add another review

Related Links

Plot summary Ratings Awards
Newsgroup reviews External reviews Parents Guide
Official site Plot keywords Main details
Your user reviews Your vote history