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Ratas, ratones, rateros (1999)

 -  Drama  -  1999 (Ecuador)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 544 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 3 critic

The world of Salvador, a young and naive petty thief is changed by the arrival of his cousin Angel, an ex-convict in search of easy money, and with a hideout. Salvador gets wrapped up in ... See full summary »


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Title: Ratas, ratones, rateros (1999)

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2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Marco Bustos ...
Cristina Dávila ...
Fabricio Lalama ...
Irina López ...
Carlos Valencia ...
Angel Caamaño


The world of Salvador, a young and naive petty thief is changed by the arrival of his cousin Angel, an ex-convict in search of easy money, and with a hideout. Salvador gets wrapped up in Angel's twisted dealings in an attempt to escape from his suffocating family, dragging along his family and friends, in his criminal path. Where will this all lead? Written by ElianaG

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Release Date:

1999 (Ecuador)  »

Also Known As:

Armadilha do Destino  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

If you want to know what life in a big Latin-American city today is all about, don't miss this movie!
12 March 2002 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, South America,city of sunshine, gorgeous beaches, green mountains, beautiful girls, the Corcovado, the Sugar Loaf, samba, bossa nova and soccer. I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, South America, city of widespread violence, corruption, poverty, slums (favelas), endemic deseases, abandoned children, drug dealing, gun traffic, underemployment, uneffective state policies on public health, security or education.

"Rodents" takes place in Quito, Ecuador. It could easily take place in Rio, São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Bogotá, Caracas, Lima. It could never take place in Tokyo, Los Angeles, Stockholm, London, Calcutta, Munich, Zurich, Melbourne, Shanghai. Viewers from any big city in the world will surely relate to the shocking topics masterfully shown on the screen concerning violence, abandoned kids, drugs, messed up family relations, the poverty-ridden underworld. But what only Latin-Americans will painfully recognize as very much their own malaises are the catholic guilt, the thriving macho way of life, the contempt for women, the black humor under tragic circumstances, the poor kids' absence of future, the banality of life and death, the old well-marked social and economical hierarchy that has been skillfully preserved all through the "transition" from autocratic to "democratic" régimes.

Well, that's the result of 500 years of political and cultural annihilation: at first, the extermination of nearly all the native original population; yesterday, the fascist and corrupt dictatorships preserving time after time the same rich families and the same poor millions; today, the gradual extinction of whatever forms of art and culture we tried to produce as we are permanently shoved up with media-induced "first world values".

"Rodents" belongs to a great line of Latin-American masterpieces about social and moral abandon experienced by youth in big cities. To name but a few: Buñuel's "Los Olvidados" (Mexico, 1950); Nelson Pereira dos Santos' "Rio 40 Graus" (Brazil, 1955); Hector Babenco's "Pixote-A Lei do Mais Fraco" (Brazil, 1981); and even in Barbet Schroeder's irregular but powerful "La Virgen de los Sicarios/Our Lady of Assassins" (Colombia, 2000). Even in movies that are near in spirit and form - like Mathieu Kassovitz "La Haine" (France, 1995) and Larry Clark's "Kids" (US, 1995), we Latin-Americans can detect a world of difference. Or rather, "two" worlds of difference: the difference between living in the "first" and in the "third" world.

"Rodents" is an amazing first feature film, with knockout performances by the two leads, well-written, and most important of all: it manages to deliver a powerful political and social statement while making us care a lot about those characters up there. It also allows viewers from anywhere in the world to have a clue of what it means to be a Latin-American living in a big Latin-American city today. Bravo!

27 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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