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Reviews & Ratings for
Timecrimes More at IMDbPro »Los cronocrímenes (original title)

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22 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

Proof that Time-Travel doesn't have to be ridicule and complex

Author: Coventry from the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls
3 April 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's really not that obvious for a young and still aspiring writer/director to revolve his long-feature film debut on the hugely complex topic of time traveling, as a failure could immediately affect your credibility as a director and maybe even ruin your further career before it properly started. True, Nacho Vigalondo already received an Oscar nomination in 2005 for one of his short films, so you know he must somehow be talented, but still, to take on subjects like paradoxes and time loops in your first film displays a lot of courage and ambition. But Vigalondo was right to feel confident, as his script is intelligent, engaging and not nearly as implausible as you'd expect from a Sci-Fi film. When thinking of films about time traveling, you promptly imagine there to be giant laboratories full of machinery with thousands of little buttons and colorful lights (or maybe a DeLorean), macho men in futuristic costumes and endless overlong speeches about scientific theories. The last things you expect to see are normal, identifiable characters in their everyday environments and how they're suddenly and involuntarily involved in Science-Fictionesque situations. "Timecrimes" introduces Héctor, a middle aged house father with a slight voyeuristic habit. When Héctor spots a naked girl in the woods through his binoculars, he decides to look for her (who wouldn't?) but suddenly he finds himself chased by a madman with an uncanny bandage wrapped around his head and waving around a pair of scissors. Héctor finds shelter in a nearby lab and the technician advises him to hide in a peculiar device filled with liquid. The real problems only just begin when Héctor emerges again. Realizing he traveled back a few hours in time, Héctor witnesses himself running through the woods and painfully also comes to realize who exactly he was running away from… The plot grows increasingly convoluted with each minute, but strangely enough the film always remains easy to follow and fast-paced. When the whole script is one giant paradox, you also prepare to encounter a lot of plot holes and improbabilities, but the film actually makes sense all the time. There's a more than fair amount of suspense, beautiful photography and atmospheric musical guidance. Karra Elejalde is simply superb in his difficult and unconventional role as Héctor the anti-hero and Barbara Goenaga is – apart from a really great actress – a stunningly ravishing woman. Terrific film.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Why the hell did he do that?

Author: petergrabs
28 July 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

i am a fan of sci-fi in general, but not of horror. sadly enough, they often come combined and i need to live with that. i like puzzling time travel movies. although this one has all the ingredients, it is not one of them.

in short, this guy is lured into a time machine and gets sent back in time. this scientist explains to him, that he basically has to make sure his younger self also has to go into the time machine to set things right. so far so good.

but the way he goes at that has no logic at all. his original trip to the time machine is triggered by him seeing a naked woman in the woods. so i expect to find out through the eyes of his older self, why the woman was there in the fist place. but guess what! he just grabs her and forces her to get naked! wtf?!

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:


Author: tedg ( from Virginia Beach
29 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm trying to understand "Memento" like narrative folds, where the characters are shuffled in time — the story itself broken up in addition to the telling of the story.

Here, the "telling" of the story is pretty straightforward, following a fellow as things happen to him. The film time is his experience time. He travels back in time by happenstance caused by himself. Unlike "Primer" it is extremely easy to know at each moment what is happening. There is one twist, but it is a conventional movie twist not connected to the time travel. It is based on a deception that we had seen just before.

You wonder why to introduce this disruptive plot device, if you aren't going to do something that takes advantage of it, why go to the trouble?

I have to admit that this is well enough done in the basic values. But it feels a lot like a "Twilight Zone" episode.

This is a serious complaint. "Twilight Zone" was one of four or five contemporary experiments in short story. They are designed around one narrative turn, one simple knot: he buys her a brush just as she buys a watch chain. These things can amuse. They can divert. I am convinced that they can do no more than that. For real soulmoving you need the long form, you need to find a vein.

Its too bad. This is well enough written, including the expectation of seeing a young woman's breasts because we saw the same scene before unexpectedly and know it is coming again. But it simply doesn't matter.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

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19 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

Fun (but a little cheesy) Time Travel Movie

Author: wmjaho from Park City
19 January 2008

While introducing the movie, director Nacho Vigalondo said that he thought this was the first ever Spanish time-travel movie. More accurately, this was the first Spanish bigger-budget variation of Sundance 2005's Primer.

Hector appears to be living a happy and contented life in their new house with his pretty and affectionate wife Clara, when one day he spies through his binoculars a woman in the woods in the act of undressing. When Clara leaves, Hector goes off to investigate. And there the fun begins, as Hector's quest thrusts him into an adventure that includes the discovery of a time machine, and a dogged quest to unravel its effects.

If you like mind game movies like Memento, Proof or the even harder to follow Primer, then Time Crimes will have some appeal. And while the movie does have some time-twisting inconsistencies, it generally ties the loose ends into a knotty, if not absurd conclusion. The story moves along briskly, requiring intellectual energy to keep up and a forgiving attitude to a few ridiculous devices. Fortunately, there is an occasional and welcome infusion of humor that makes some of the cheesier elements a little easier to swallow. But somehow, the whole thing felt more like a Twilight Zone episode stretched into a feature-length film. Fortunately, like most Twilight Zone episodes, this one had a great ending. I just loved the final shot, which is quaintly ironic, although it will leave some viewers unsatisfied, I am sure.

Sundance Moment: In the post-movie Q&A, Vigalondo said that after shooting his film, he realized what it really was—a love triangle story. My reaction was "Huh? Did I watch the right movie?"

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Great start!...But becomes quite predictable

Author: lloydo234 from United Kingdom
25 February 2011

Starting half hour really caught my attention, but as the story progresses it does become rather stale. Don't get me wrong I liked the film! The idea alone (although been done before) did keep me entertained but around half way through you can literally reel off everything that is going to happen for the rest of the film (apart from the slight twist at the end)

But there were too many unanswered questions for my liking, leaving slight holes in the story so your imagination can fill in the blanks is a great way to keep you thinking about the film afterwards! But some things were just blatantly forgotten about. What relevance was the pendent? Why did the guy turn it on in the first place? just shear curiosity? Why did he decide to stay the weekend?

These are a few bland complaints on a relatively solid film & well worth a watch! But not something you'll be keeping on your 'go to DVD' shelf!

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A solid thriller that leaves you begging for answers.

Author: Michael O'Keefe from Muskogee OK
1 September 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Possibly the overlooked thriller you need to see. A thrill ride that starts out very bumpy and only gets worse...assuming you like it rough. This chiller really pushes your imagination off of auto-pilot. Hector(Karra Elejalde)comes home needing a meal and a nap. He ends up with neither, but does manage to get himself involved in a manic puzzle. He spies on a naked girl in the woods. When he checks on her he is attacked by a man wearing bloody bandages around his head. Being chased in fear he discovers a hilltop mansion with an inviting stranger in the doorway. The mansion is a lab where Hector mysteriously travels back in time. Is he a voyeur of violence? Is he himself a murderer? Or is Hector a hapless victim? Guaranteed to leave you asking what...and wanting more.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Not every detail is explained, but so what?

Author: fritsky from United States
2 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Fantastic movie. I was captivated by just how nicely each scene filled in the details of all scenes that preceded it.

This movie is a perfect description of a time loop, with all of the recursive iterations required to complete the loop. Yes, there is no explanation for how it all got started (i.e. This movie begins when Hector Two lures Hector One with the naked woman, but how did the loop begin when Hector 2 wasn't there yet?) I assert that this omission is unimportant. Since you have to suspend your belief in paradoxes to enjoy the story, it's not much more of a stretch to believe that this loop could be repeating indefinitely with infinite possible outcomes. So, how can we be certain that this film is about the very first incarnation of the series? Sure, having the insertion point explained would be great, but Los cronocrímenes's timing, rhythm, and length is perfect as is. I don't think it could have been explained without making this a much longer, slower, and exhausting film.

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12 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Bad movie

Author: manu-62 from United States
3 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's hard to describe any of the story or plot without creating a spoiler in this review. But I'll see if I can do it.

A loser sees a naked woman in the forest, goes to investigate, and ends up traveling through time, via a secret neighborhood laboratory. The way it works: a big pot of liquid and some scientific squiggles with lights on the wall.

I love sci-fi time travel, so I was hoping for so much more.

The story was a stereo-typical time paradox plot; the acting was mediocre; characters' behavior was unbelievable; the directing and cinematography amateurish; the dialog unrealistic; and the nudity completely gratuitous.

I regret having wasted an hour and a half just to see the conclusion.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic sci-fi and one of the best I've seen

Author: Bruno Youn from São Paulo, Brazil
14 September 2013

Wow, now this is how you make a time travel film with a low budget! Timecrimes is a really creative sci-fi, with lots of great thrills, comedic moments and little twists. This is a true mind bender and while the logic of the story is pretty straightforward, the film handles time travel in a very gripping way. There is only one real complaint I have with it, which didn't really take me out of the film though. It's about the big temporal paradox that exists, but doesn't get explained so you just have to go with it. I find it hard to talk more about the film without spoiling it, so I'll just leave it that. Timecrimes is a very interesting mix of genres, being constantly entertaining and thoughtful, but ultimately tragic. It's one of a kind!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Glorious stuff

Author: christopher-underwood from Greenwich - London
19 June 2013

This is a mighty achievement! Written, directed and featuring Nacho Vigalondo, this audacious, witty and exciting film will have you scratching your head as you try to keep up with it. Looks great but was probably made on minuscule budget, this should be given to young aspiring directors to illustrate just what can be done with a good story. Admittedly, at first, this is a bit irritating and then after a most exhilarating spell, appears to be getting silly. But no, so assured is the director and all involved, this just goes on confounding our expectations and remaining at least one step ahead, even at the end. Glorious stuff, nothing too clever, no great expenditure, just a great idea, imaginatively worked, all with a sense of humour.

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