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El crimen del padre Amaro (2002)
"El crimen del Padre Amaro" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  13 December 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 10,696 users   Metascore: 60/100
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Politics and sexual passions threaten to corrupt a young, newly-ordained priest in a small Mexican town.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Angélica Aragón ...
Luisa Huertas ...
Ernesto Gómez Cruz ...
Gastón Melo ...
Rubén de la Rosa
Gerardo Moscoso ...
Alfredo Gonzáles ...
Viejo / Old Man
Presidente Municipal Gordo (as Pedro Armendáriz)
Lorenzo de Rodas ...
Don Paco de la Rosa
Roger Nevares ...
Padre Galván


Recently ordained a priest, 24-year-old Father Amaro is sent to a small parish church in Los Reyes, Mexico to assist the aging Father Benito in his daily work. Benito--for years a fixture in the church as well as the community--welcomes Father Amaro into a new life of unseen challenges. Upon arriving in Los Reyes, the ambitious Father Amaro meets Amelia, a beautiful 16-year-old girl whose religious devotion soon becomes helplessly entangles in a growing attraction to the new priest. Amelia is quickly following into the footsteps of her mother, Sanjuanera, who has been engaged in a long-time affair with Father Benito. Amaro soon discovers that corruption and the Church are old acquaintances in Los Reyes. Father Benito has been receiving financial help from the region's drug lord for the construction of a new health clinic. As well, another priest in the diocese, Father Natalio, is suspected of assisting guerilla troops in the highlands. Maenwhile, Amelia and Father Amaro have fallen in... Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

priest | church | mexico | politics | love | See All (178) »


One of the most controversial films ever made See more »


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, language and some disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| | |


Release Date:

13 December 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Crime of Padre Amaro  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$496,290 (USA) (15 November 2002)


$5,709,616 (USA) (4 April 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This movie is based on the 1875 novel of the same name by 'Eça De Queiroz'. See more »


Amaro gets beaten up by Ruben and receives some bruises in his face. A little later, when he meets Amelia in the church, the bruises are gone. See more »


The Mayor: I rule for my people, not for my party.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"In memoriam Paco Rabal" See more »


Referenced in Promoción (Prohibida su venta) (2003) See more »


Alma de Dios
Written by José Serrano
Performed by Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla
Pedro Lavirgen (tenor)
See more »

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User Reviews

A film we can't afford to ignore...
8 December 2002 | by (California) – See all my reviews

`El Crimen' was not a bad film, although it was hardly worthy of accolades. While the acting was passable, the story did not move along in a provocative enough manner to thoroughly captivate its audience-- in simple terms, the movie was somewhat slow.

What is interesting to notice is the reaction that the public-- especially the Catholic public-- has had to this film. As a Catholic, it saddens me to see the amazing amount of rage focused around the lust of the film's central character, Padre Amaro. The film, on a superficial level, was rebellion against stale relics of Catholic tradition-- such as requisite chastity for clergy and the deification of inanimate objects-- that may well spell the end of the faith if they are not shed. It is on these superficial levels that Padre Amaro is decried as a criminal of the faith by the viewing public, but lust is not this priest's true crime.

Central to the film's controversy is the corruption that propels the church. The truest crime of the film is the web of cover-ups and lies that the church creates in order to propagate its cause. The church is held deep in the pockets of the drug cartel and in order to maintain their stability, the majority of the church leadership, from the bishop down to the sacristans,

are quite comfortable with, at worst, lying and falsifying evidence or, at best, looking the other way. The crime of Padre Amaro is not so much that he acted upon his human impulses as that he accepts the corruption of the church by participating in its lies and creating lies of his own.

Unfortunately, this film's only exposé is not the corruption of the church, which has become more and more evident in recent times, but the faithful church body's willingness to pretend that none of this goes on. One of the most terrifyingly ironic cries of foul against this film, as evidenced in many of these reviews, is, `Priests would never act that way!' How can one, in today's climate, make such assertions? While this film should, in an ideal world, be objectionable, the current outcry by supposedly devout Catholics represents a denial of epidemic proportions.

If one would set aside one's group think for two hours while watching this film, one might gain a perspective of the church that our priests do not offer in their Sunday morning Masses. This film may not represent what we would like our church to be, but it does represent what our church is. If we continue to pretend that the current state of affairs of our faith is acceptable, then el crimen de Padre Amaro will also be our crime: complacence.

13 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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This film is a hate crime against Catholics acescalona
NOT A SIN?! nia_Swim
Priestly "Celibacy" hgreig-1
How old? movie-hunney100
Getsemani sabrina_fair
Did Padre Natalio Expose Padre Benito? bionicbanana
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