El cantante (2006)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  3 August 2007 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.4/10 from 3,988 users   Metascore: 46/100
Reviews: 44 user | 63 critic | 24 from Metacritic.com

The life story of Hector Lavoe who started the salsa movement in 1975 and brought it to the United States.



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as David Darmstaedter) , 3 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Bordertown (2006)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A journalist investigates a series of murders near American-owned factories on the border of Juarez and El Paso.

Director: Gregory Nava
Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Antonio Banderas, Maya Zapata
Angel Eyes (2001)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A mysterious man is drawn to a feisty female police officer and a unusual relationship ensues, as not everything is as it seems.

Director: Luis Mandoki
Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Jim Caviezel, Jeremy Sisto
Enough I (2002)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

After running away fails, a terrified woman (Jennifer Lopez) empowers herself in order to battle her abusive husband (Billy Campbell).

Director: Michael Apted
Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Billy Campbell, Tessa Allen
Selena: Greatest Hits (Video 2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

This release compiles thirteen of Selena's music videos including such favorites as "Carcacha," "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom," "No Me Queda Mas," "I Could Fall In Love,' and "Dreaming of You."

Director: Abraham Quintanilla Jr.
Stars: Pete Astudillo, Barrio Boyz, Alvaro De Torres
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

The love life of Charlotte is reduced to an endless string of disastrous blind dates, until she meets the perfect man, Kevin. Unfortunately, his merciless mother will do anything to destroy their relationship.

Director: Robert Luketic
Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Michael Vartan, Jane Fonda
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A down on her luck woman, desperate to provide care for her daughter, moves in with her father in-law from whom she is estranged. Through time, they learn to forgive each other and heal old wounds.

Director: Lasse Hallström
Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Robert Redford, Morgan Freeman
Selena (1997)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The true story of Selena Quintanilla-Perez, a Texas-born Tejano singer who rose from cult status to performing at the Astrodome, as well as having chart topping albums on the Latin music charts.

Director: Gregory Nava
Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Edward James Olmos, Jon Seda
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A romantic comedy where a bored, overworked Estate Lawyer, upon first sight of a beautiful instructor, signs up for ballroom dancing lessons.

Director: Peter Chelsom
Stars: Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez, Susan Sarandon
My Family (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

This epic film traces over three generations an immigrant family's trials, tribulations, tragedies and triumphs. Jose and Maria, the first generation, come to Los Angeles, meet, marry, face... See full summary »

Director: Gregory Nava
Stars: Jimmy Smits, Esai Morales, Edward James Olmos
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A romantic comedy centered on a woman who conceives twins through artificial insemination, only to meet the man of her dreams on the very same day.

Director: Alan Poul
Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Alex O'Loughlin, Michaela Watkins
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

A senatorial candidate falls for a hotel maid, thinking she is a socialite when he sees her trying on a wealthy woman's dress.

Director: Wayne Wang
Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Ralph Fiennes, Natasha Richardson
Gigli (2003)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.4/10 X  

The violent story about how a criminal lesbian, a tough-guy hit-man with a heart of gold, and a mentally challenged man came to be best friends through a hostage.

Director: Martin Brest
Stars: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bartha


Cast overview, first billed only:
Jared Everleth ...
Tito (4 yrs.)
Bernard Hernandez ...
Tito (7 yrs.)
Christopher Becerra ...
Tito (12-15 yrs.)
Ismael Miranda ...
Hector's Father
Tito Allen ...


The rise and fall of salsa singer, Héctor Lavoe (1946-1993), as told from the perspective of his wife Puchi, who looks back from 2002. In the early 1960s, Héctor arrives in New York from Ponce, Puerto Rico. Success comes quickly. "The more he grew as an artist," Puchi says, "the more he sank as a person." It's a tale of talent - creating salsa with Willie Colón, with the Fania All Stars, and as a soloist - and a story of disintegration - fueled by drugs, alcohol, partying, and depression. Puchi's voice - proud and querulous - dominates off-stage as Héctor's does on. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


America discovered him. One woman understood him. But no one could save him from himself.... See more »


Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug use, pervasive language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

3 August 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Who Killed Hector Lavoe?  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,202,035 (USA) (3 August 2007)


$7,556,004 (USA) (28 September 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The title translates in English as "The Singer". See more »


In the scene where Hector Perez signs his contract with Jerry Masucci, and is given the name Hector La Voe. Willie Colon is standing behind him. On the wall behind Willie is a framed album cover of "The Hustler", the second album they made together. At this point in the story they have not yet recorded together. See more »


Priscilla: [referring to Puerto Rico] Where were you raised on the island?
Puchi: Oh, um, no. THIS island.
Priscilla: Here?
Puchi: Right here. I don't even remember what a palm tree looks like.
Hector Lavoe: It doesn't matter where she was raised, cause she got me now. Palm trees, beaches, pork hash, in person. It's like Berlitz dining.
Puchi: Maybe, uh, one day I'll get back to Puerto Rico. I get there.
Hector Lavoe: What did I say? You're there. Next, you meet my father. He thinks he owns the island.
Priscilla: We're from Ponce. All of our family still lives there. Hector ...
See more »


Referenced in Psych: Six Feet Under the Sea (2009) See more »


El Die De Mi Suerte
Written by Willie Colón and Hector Lavoe
Performed by Marc Anthony
Published by Fania Music (BMI)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Fair Assessment of the Film
3 August 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

First of all, this film is not as bad as people are saying it is. Jennifer Lopez is good and Mark Anthony is great. The music alone is worth your money. That, however, is where the praise must end.

Unfortunately, the script seems sloppy. There's no structure to the story, and the film fails for it. Moments that should be important seem to occur too quickly to feel because the screenwriter(s) seems to lack a sense of pace.

This could have been helped by a good director. Unfortunately, again, the director was one of the screenwriters, which of course didn't bode well for his sense of pacing. The film is jarringly disconnected and the characters, even Lavoe himself, are far less developed than they should be.

Had a film like "Ray" never been released, "El Cantante" would have met every expectation of the public. Unfortunately for the filmmakers of "El Cantante", "Ray" provided a structured script that developed the lead as well as the supporters. "El Cantante" seems to half-develop Puchi and Lavoe, and give really no more than minimal screen time to any supporting cast.

Which leads to probably the biggest problem of all. This film is told through the eyes of Puchi, Hector's wife. While this should provide an insight to who Hector was as a person, it's a very slanted account and the average moviegoer can tell that important things have been left out. This isn't like "Ray", where Ray Charles himself was giving the story and therefore could tell things how they were. Puchi (and subsequently the film) only seems to mention the other women in Hector's life in passing, focuses very little on the tours that Hector undoubtedly went on without her, and really doesn't let us into the world of the entertainment business in the 60's and 70's. Some of this, I'm sure, is because Puchi just didn't know about these things. Some of it too, I suspect, is because she didn't want it in the movie.

This problem would have been rectified if the film was about Puchi with Hector as a supporting character, and if consequently Puchi had been developed to her fullest capabilities. That did not happen.

One has to wonder if some of the reason for the lack of character development and pacing is because they caught wind of the other Lavoe film "The Singer" and tried to rush to beat it to the theaters.

In the end, this film is worth the watch. Is it a classic? No. Is it a good time? Absolutely. There may be another, better Lavoe movie released in our lifetimes. Right now, this film is worth it.

The Script gets a "D". The Director gets a "B", if for no other reason than amazing musical scenes. The Actors get an "A".

Therefore, I give the film a solid B+.

22 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why don't people like J.Lo? latinasweetdulce
There are many other spanish actress why her boyhire21
The Movie soze-15
Puchi's Accident? mendez5000
Was Hector Lavoe Bi? sbowish
Discuss El cantante (2006) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: