The Secret in Their Eyes (2009) Poster

User Reviews

Add a Review
241 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
8/10
Speaking Eyes
billion_mucks19 August 2009
"El Secreto de sus Ojos" hit me with unspeakable strength. I didn't expect to like it so much, so I owe a review to those in analysis measures before seeing it or those interested in some opinion.

First off, Campanella works with flawless effort all of the technical aspects of the film. It even starts with a double exposure effect, mixed with some sad shots of a beautiful Buenos Aires that hints the spectacle ahead of us. One shot especially, from a chopper in a soccer field edited with a crane shot is breathtaking. Nothing to envy from Hollywood upper class.

But the main strength of the movie comes from the powerful narrative dominion Director Campanella has over characters, spaces and silences. Many moments are coldly tense, scary and very, very intense. This crossover from genres by Campanella couldn't have been better. Crime stories often fall in common places, this one relies on the fragile psychological state of the audience to draw all of it's intense dialog, acting and scenes.

I cannot stop recommending it, Argentina can open it's market with movies such as this. It has many, many memorable moments, it interwines comedy perfectly and it is doubtful you will instantly forget it, as it is so well constructed. See it if you can!
429 out of 467 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
A masterpiece
torrelodones4926 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This is quite frankly an astonishing film. One that fills your entire array of senses and sensitivities, and the praise from Argentine reviewers here is 100 percent justified. Ricardo Darín turns in another majestic performance as a Buenos Aires court employee who is fiercely affected by the rape and murder of a young girl in 1974, a tragedy that dominates his life. Overlapping this theme is the powerfully sensual but never physical relationship between Darín and his superior, the investigating judge played by the superb Soledad Villamil. The connection between the two is electric. It's a pity this film cannot easily transcend the language barrier, if it was an English-language film of the same quality it would already be hailed as a masterpiece. The blending of tragedy, love, violence and humour is brilliant, and the comedy dialogue fantastic. One scene where Ricardo Darín is balled out for having searched an old lady's house is priceless in terms of comic timing and delivery. A wonderful performance also from Guillermo Francella as the court clerk with a drinking problem, in fact the secondary acting is all first-class. The camera-work is impressive, especially the swoop down into the football stadium and the closeups, and the script is also superb. Argentina has nominated the film as its candidate for best foreign film at the Oscar's, it deserves to walk it.
203 out of 221 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
as good as anything out there
tjdinvt4 December 2009
Simply put, this is one of the finest films I've ever seen. I don't say that lightly, I don't exaggerate when it comes to talking about movies -- but everything about this one, from the acting to the writing, to the camera work, to the directorial decisions, is grade A. The story deals with deep matters, and it does so one step at a time, with a plot that moves steadily forward, gathering force, substance and intensity, not settling for easy answers or plot points, not cutting corners. The characters are complicated, interesting, believable, flawed, funny, tragic and deeply human.

I prefer not to get specific about what happens -- I mostly want to try to get across the quality of this bugger. So I'll say it again: it's one of the best films I've ever seen, as good as anything out there. If there's any justice, a lot of people will see it.
394 out of 447 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
Extraordinary Film
Gustavo6 September 2009
Last night I went to watch this flick, and I must say that all in all, I ended up quite surprised because of it's impressive quality. Taking into account that I was already expecting superior film, indeed, it came out to be even more outstanding than I thought, mainly because of the rare combination of noir genre with very precise and measured funny moments and especially an incredibly faithful description of the Argentine system of justice and the characters that compose it. This last element is just perfect. The movie keeps your attention all the time -no decays at all- and the set design is also great, to such extent that it left me wondering what the tricks of the trade employed to achieve such similarity are. Foreign watchers might not fully understand some great details that are mainly local, but anyway they will surely enjoy the thrilling aspects of the film. It would be enough for them to say that almost all this locale's are just true, no matter how incredible they might look.
166 out of 191 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
This is what movies should always be
sanarg26 October 2009
This is it. A film that you can't get your eyes off until lights are back on... and then it's still difficult to stand up. A thriller, with lovable main characters, that makes you smile and think. A movie about a crime and a love. It has one of best chase scenes I've ever seen, involving what seems to be real complex camera work, something that could've been part of a Lord of the Rings movie maybe (at least that is what it looked like from my seat). Simply amazing. The acting is perfect. The pace is perfect. The ending couldn't be better (and we have seen so many great films that spoil it all at the end!).

Just go see it and enjoy what cinema should always be. It's a 10 out of 10.
294 out of 347 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
The secret of Juan José
jpschapira15 August 2009
In my country, Juan José Campanella is synonym of 'cinema of the highest order'. The director works in USA and from time to time he brings a new film. We know, dramatically, what we're going to watch: Ricardo Darín in an important role, a lot of sentimentalism, references to the country's past, a love story. And technically, if it's the highest order, there won't be any complaints. When the film ended, the people in the movie theater started clapping.

"El secreto de sus ojos" tells the story of Benjamín Esposito (Darín) and his need to tell the story of a case that wasn't completely solved 25 years ago and had an important impact in his life. A woman raped and killed and a husband with the surname Morales (Pablo Rago) who went every day to every train station in Buenos Aires to see if he could find the killer. "You have to see his eyes; they are in a state of pure love", Benjamín professes in front of Irene Hastings (Soledad Villamil); his boss and the woman he loves.

There are things we never forget, Campanella knows well, and that might be the film's most important declaration. We expect from the director a powerful love that grows with the years, as we saw with Darín and Villamil in "El mismo amor, la misma lluvia"; we expect characters with inner ghosts, things to hide and things to hold on to; we expect total control over the language of the environment (in "El mismo amor..." it was a magazine staff, in "Luna de Avellaneda" the neighborhood club), a knowledge of the customs and the way of speaking of characters that makes for day-to-day comedy. In this aspect, the casting of Guillermo Francella as Pablo Sandoval is crucial. Taking the place of the best friend role always in charge of Fernando Blanco, the comedian plays a drunk with a lot of respect for friendship. His change of look, the measurement of his composition and how he enlightens it with comic touches make for one of the year's best performances.

That's about everything we can expect. The fact is "El secreto de sus ojos" is a very good movie because there are things we don't see coming. The film contains a treatment of a police investigation that hasn't been seen in our cinema for years. In his riskiest picture, Campanella flirts with thriller, mystery and real action (handy-cam included); he acquires true tension and a sequence in a soccer stadium is the best example of it. He understands when silence is required and when the loneliness of the characters –each of them with a rich, mysterious private and inner world- must be seen fully. It's quite embarrassing in fact, because Darín as a director tried to achieve something like that with "La señal". Even though it's obvious Campanella took no inspiration from that film, everything that went wrong there can be seen here, improved. And Soledad Villamil is no femme fatale. I take a risk, however, and defy you to tell me if, because of image and makeup resemblance, and disposition of images and voice in off, the movie towards the finish line doesn't take direct inspiration from Chris Nolan's "The Prestige". It's quoting it somehow, at least.

It's very moving to watch excellent performances from recognized actors. We've seen them on screen so much, we know what they do, we admire them and respect them and, as with Campanella, we tend to know what to expect. However, sometimes they enchant us with every face in every frame, with every word in every conversation. I'm trying to explain to you the feeling of what Villamil and Darín do in this film: it's enchanting and contagious, purely human (as it occurred in "El mismo amor..."), but at the same time moving, simply because they're not unprofessional actors that fit in the look of the film, or young actors with expressive faces, or newcomers that take our breath away: they are Ricardo Darín and Soledad Villamil. Campanella has a lot to do with this, because he knows how to make them work together and he made an effort so they would not repeat what they had given us in the other film I've mentioned.

The fact that Fernando Castets didn't write the film calls our attention; the script was written by the director and Eduardo Sacheri. It also calls our attention that Campanella himself edited the movie. Is this film-making of the highest order? I believe so, in our country, and speaking of something commercially successful too. It's the only movie seen by many people that can generate interest in revising the director's previous work and, who knows, maybe other national pieces.
222 out of 265 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
this is what we call.............................flawless
manish rathore14 January 2010
One of the most perfect movie i have ever seen.This type of movie come once in a while,and remains with you for a long time.

The best thing of the movie is cinematography that makes movie so beautiful.They use camera so well and scenes are shot so beautifully especially soccer match scene.They give a very realistic feel to movie. the scene of the crime is shown very realistic.

Great acting by all the actors.all characters are very well portrait by actors.

The story of the movie is so emotional and deeply involving and have very well written dialogues. this movie kept me so engaged with all the perfect twists and pace. this movie have everything crime,romance,drama,thriller and have some moments that makes you laugh.

Direction of the movie is flawless,this movie is almost perfect in all the departments.I hardly found any mistake in the movie.

This movie deserves at least three Oscar nomination this year for screenplay ,cinematography and best movie in foreign language.

This movie is a masterpiece and will be remembered among greatest movies ever made(at least by me).

I give this movie 10/10
199 out of 238 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Absolutely impeccable, great film!
casch01014 December 2009
I agree with SanFava. I am a follower of Campanella's and Darin. I have seen all previous three films. However, this one surpasses them all!. This is a great script, top-notch acting by everyone, partly thanks to the excellent casting. Superb cinematography. The film basically explores what "passion" is to the human being. A great passion (on various areas) is involved in almost all characters. You have suspense, a clever detective story, some surprising twists, etc. Darin has an "aura" (paraphrasing the the title of the film he worked in, "The Aura") that illuminates the whole screen. His presence is as powerful in the screen as that of Gene Hackman, Pacino, DeNiro or Hoffman (the top, great ones). I sincerely hope this movie gets his due awards (Oscar included), because it deserves so!).
118 out of 140 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
A Masterpiece...
somkaviraj14 March 2010
I am a big movie aficionado and watch a lot of movies. I guess you can say movies are my passion. After watching The Secret in their Eyes, though I confess I had my reservations as the movie was in a foreign language and I felt I won't be able to enjoy much as the real emotions and feelings mostly can't be conveyed in translations. Thus with such thoughts I proceeded to watch the movie.

Initially, the plot and the character build up seemed nothing out of the ordinary but then gradually as the movie progressed it held me in rapt attention.

Then it was simply impossible to let go, I was entirely swathed in this marvelous and sublime creation. The story line, the direction,the acting, editing, background music etc. simply sublime.

This is the kind of movie which mesmerizes you, captivates you and simply won't let go. The human emotions expressed and portrayed are bound to touch the viewer regardless of the region he belongs to.

This is the kind of movie which exemplifies that cinema has no boundaries and has an universal appeal. A must see for all movie aficionados and movie well deserving the Oscar.

This movie ought to go in Top 250 movies of all times and Hall of fame.
152 out of 185 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Smells like a masterpiece!
feelgoodguy26 December 2009
Wow what a great movie really! It began like a simple crime story but the wonderful use of subjects, symbols and strong references turned it in to a masterpiece. Details about Eva Peron's Argentina and questioning of the terms of law and justice. My interest is increasing for Latin American Cinema when I watch such beautiful works. By the way I watched this movie in It's original language. Subtitles were translated into English. I think by using "Google Translate" which sucks. But I had to use it cause there was not any subtitle in my native language yet. Despite all these problems, it was so impressive. You shall see it at once!
121 out of 156 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
One of the greatest movie I saw
Leandro López (inkel)7 November 2009
I am one of the people who always criticized Argentinian movies, because most of the times the scripts makes no sense or the story is slow or some scenes pointless, but El Secreto de sus Ojos is a master piece.

The ambiance, the photography, the script, the acting (I cannot stand Guillermo Francella but in this movie he completely shut my mouth, wonderful acting), everything makes this one of the greatest Argentinian movies I ever saw.

On a side note, as a reply to dardo766 I have to tell you that it may be childish for you the language in that scene, but actually is very common here all the swearing you are complaining. I think one of the greatest things of the movie is the dialogs, with or without swearing, it is very local and this might be the only flaw of the movie.
123 out of 164 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
In 21st century, eyes still speak
drgrozozo1 February 2010
OK, frankly, I didn't expect much of this.

I'm not familiar with Argentinian cinema, so this was my first acquaintance with director, writer and actors.

Boy, what a surprise this movie made. It's beautifully filmed, it has lovely slow parts where director and actors narrate emotions through silence, this feature is almost vanquished from modern cinema where any frame that doesn't contain action is considered boring.

I thoroughly enjoyed directing, but acting left me pining for Spanish classes. Impressive portrayal of characters if self-evident, with Soledad Villamil's performance shining out as an example of true actress. Unfortunately, we Spanish-impaired people can only sense the beauty lying within spoken lines and rhythm of the language that subtitles just cannot convey.

As for violence and nudity they are used in glimpses, not more than necessary and in meaningful places, I spent good part of the movie fearing that it must eventually get ruined with some trendy shocker effect. But it doesn't, it flows it's own way beautifully to the end.

If one can use small court office and a rape case to tell a love story in such subtle and profound manner it leaves me wandering what Argentinian cinema has for us for the future. I'll jump on digging through it's past right away, and I hope anyone wondering if this movie is worth their time can be swayed to yes side by my humble recommendation.
34 out of 42 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
"Sus Ojos" as Literature on the Screen (long)
smatson12310 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
To get the big picture before beginning this piece, I did a quick sweep of previous reviews and immediately had to ask myself: why does the same film generate such passionate applause on the one hand, and such punishing comments on the other? I suppose it goes back to the question of "sus ojos" (your eyes). Those looking for an American style murder mystery or a boy-meets-girl, loses-girl, finds-girl romance may in fact have their eyes closed to some important possibilities. But those willing to see film as a novel have an experience to look forward to an experience that satisfies and enlightens on every level.

"Sus Ojos" is a multilayered film that, like the work of Dostoevsky, makes us totally vested in the lives of its characters while exploring universal themes that can resonate with all of us. There are two major threads here that are worth close examination: the first is the unrequited passion that the intelligent and humane legal affairs clerk Benjamin Esposito feels for his well-bred supervisor, the beautiful, distant and self possessed Superior Court judge Irene Menendez. Having only completed high school, he has convinced himself he has nothing to offer her. In fact, his life is comparable to the clunky typewriter he has been given, with the defective "a" that always pops up as a capital letter: flawed; just not good enough. Esposito is held back by his self-doubt to the extent that, 25 years after the relationship begins, as he tries to start a novel based on an unresolved murder case, the prompt he uses to remove writer's block is "TEMO"--I fear. Yet he is not a true coward: he simply, like any blocked writer, doesn't know how to reach his goals--both the completion of the novel and true connection with Irene.

The second theme, one that is strategically intertwined with the first, is the murder case itself. Soon into the film it becomes apparent that Esposito's inability to resolve the rape and stabbing of a beautiful, 23-year-old school teacher--that is, to bring the murderer to full justice--represents his de facto impotence in bringing his relationship with Irene into reality. And on an immediate level,too, his obsession with the case makes perfect sense. Empathetic and perceptive to begin with--who else would continue to give support to an alcoholic friend, as Esposito does--he wants to bring justice to the dead girl and some element of resolution to her traumatized husband.

Soon we are intrigued by the growing relationships between not only Irene and Esposito, but between Benjamin and his friend, who disparages him to barfly friends; Esposito and the husband, who insists that life in prison is the only acceptable punishment for the murderer; Esposito and the murder suspect; the murder suspect and Irene, revealing a toughness and ingenuity we hadn't seen before; and ultimately, the husband and the killer. And it is when Esposito sees that the final resolution is left to the husband that he is free to move on with his life. A simple act brings the decision to life: he suddenly realizes that by putting his "defective" letter A into the word "TEMO", he will end up with "teAmo"--I love you: the declaration he must make--the action he must take--in order to go forward and leave the past behind.

Visual motifs keep the viewer connected and grounded throughout the film but placed to appear to be a natural artifact of the story telling. The most obvious one is the door image, used in promotional posters for the film. The judge's chamber door consistently is kept open or closed, depending on her relationship with those who enter. Esposito, attempting to put the final piece of a 25-year old puzzle into place, must wait for the husband to leave his house and enter a secret door. In the same way, secrets are hidden or revealed throughout the movie by means of doors large and small, obvious or subtle. A second motif is the train image, showing arrivals and departures, journeys and moving on from situations that cannot be resolved. Esposito, his life threatened by associates of the murderer, must take the train to a new town, leaving behind a regretful, running, Irene. The husband tells about murdering the suspect,the roar of a passing train disguising the sound of gunshots. A third, of course, is the eye, seen open and waiting in Esposito in the beginning shots--this is the eye of a person open to experience. The dead girls' eyes must be physically closed by an attending police officer. Esposito feels deep connection to her husband, citing the love for the lost wife seen in his eyes. A fourth is the interplay of columns at the department of justice--seen top down or bottom up--representing the aloof justice system, corruption and bureaucracy of the Argentian course system that prevents justice from taking place.

This film has it all under the accomplished hand of director Jose Campanella. Acting is up there:Ricardo Darin as Esposito, Soledad Villamil as Irene, and Pablo Rago as the friend are equally affecting. Then again there are the strong story lines; thematic development; pitch-perfect cinematography (the chase seen through an enormous soccer stadium is as believable as they come); and even touches of humor, developed through perfectly synchronized dialogue. Is there a happy ending? Well, as both Esposito and Irene tell each other at the end--and as we see in the best loved novels--"it's complicated."
18 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
An excellent piece of art!
dimuthu447 February 2010
Well..I don't write reviews. I often vote for the movies I watch, but usually not jump in to reviews, and I have to mention that I don't understand Spanish, I watched it using subtitles with original language spoken (which I don't like at all, but just watched it anyway because it had some good ratings here) I'm writing this because this one deserves it.

Just watched it. From the very beginning I forgot that I can't understand a single word they speaking. The movie glued me into it so that I can't get my eyes out of it. At first, I thought its a same old story a person looking for his wife's murderer 30 years later. Sooner the movie turned in to a masterpiece by attaching romance, humour and mystery/thriller into it.

The plot is well executed, casting was excellent, camera angles were directed 100% accurately to express the sadness, humor, fear and romance of different situations of characters. Every single frame constructed towards the final decision of the movie, as in missing a frame would result in a loss of information, and I think that final result beats the endings of Shawshank Redemption, The Usual Suspects which I liked most. Also I think this still underrated at 8.5.

If you still didn't watch it due to the language problem or any other concern, please watch it immediately. It's an excellent piece of art!
31 out of 39 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
A Masterwork
seesleepy20006 April 2010
Nothing, nothing in this movie did not surprise me.

I expected not much, I tend to be overly critical when it comes to movies (Avatar made me yawn, The Silence of the Lambs wonder) and I'm very critical of foreign movies (meaning non-Hollywood), because they tend to be too dramatic. (Not that I have anything against drama, but most of the times it's just laughable over the top) This movie has great characters, a great story, and great directing. One of the few movies that combined all three in a masterwork. It was one of the few movies who described love and passion without getting clichéd.

I don't want to spoiler anything, but I think I can give this movie a recommendation to anyone who cares about the art of cinema.
28 out of 35 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
One of the best Argentinian movies ever
CarlosFacundoCornejo12 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
As an Argentinian i can affirm it, this is one of the best Argentinian movies ever.

Ricardo Darin again makes a big film shot, taking his role on this great thriller movie, that mixes a little bit of fantasy and also true stories, all involved between a complex drama, with real life situations and complications.

The story would simply keep you on hold until the last minute, it takes unpredicted twists even in the last half hour.

Just a few thriller movies can keep your attention for so long as this movie does, even in Hollywood films is hard to find today a real great thriller that can get your eyes watching the movie all along.

Also a great, unexpected, performance of Guillermo Franchella, keeping aside his usual roles as a simply comedian, to take an important play on this thriller-drama story.

Truly recommended.

Doesn't matter if you knew the Argentinian history of the time (on which the movie is based) or not, you'll truly enjoy it from the beginning to the end.
32 out of 41 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Simply a wonderful film
Rich .21 March 2010
Everything about this film reeks of class. From the perfectly underplayed emotions of the main characters to the storyline to the cinematography,it's just beautiful.

Rarely are films this well done,and it's just so refreshing to see something made for the senses,that sparks them all so well into life.

You'll feel exactly as the director/D.O.P/and producer intended for you to feel.

Just watch it,revel in it,adore it and tell all your friends to watch it.

Happily the best two hours I've spent in the company of celluloid in as long as I can remember.
27 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
8/10
Deserves the Acclaim It Has Received
FilmRap5 March 2010
When Juan Jose Campanella is not directing episodes of Law and Order, CSI or the like, he periodically returns to Argentina make a movie. In this case he directed and co-wrote the screenplay of The Secret in Their Eyes. Thus far it is the most successful movie in Argentina in the past thirty-five years and now in just few days after we saw it, we will find out if this Academy Award nominated movie for the Best Foreign Film will win an Oscar. It reminds us of the French movie, Tell No One, one of our all time favorites, as it is also a sophisticated detective story with an easy flowing but yet a complicated plot that keeps you thinking and guessing throughout the story. It is in Spanish, of course, with good subtitles. This movie is not only a mystery, crime movie but it is also a subtle romantic film which is has very good comedic moments. There is the use of a narrative technique that allows you to see the story through the imagination and the memory of the main character Benjamin Esposito played by well-known Argentine actor Ricardo Darin. There are skillfully done movements, which go back and forth in time as well as shifting the point of view, which on a few occasions took a few moments for us to orient ourselves. The acting, directing and photography were superb with great realism and therefore it surprised us to learn that the budget was only two million dollars. As required for all good movies of this genre, there is a strong ending, which will hold your interest and encourage further reflection.
24 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
How to Live an Empty Life?
Claudio Carvalho18 September 2010
The retired justice officer Benjamín Espósito (Ricardo Darin) decides to write a novel based on the Morales Case of twenty-five years ago and has difficulties to find the right beginning. He visits his former chief Irene Menéndez-Hastings (Soledad Villamil) in the tribunal to show his draft. In the 70's, Benjamín has an unrequited love for his new-hired chief Irene that belongs to an upper-class. Benjamin is assigned to investigate the murder of Liliana Coloto (Carla Quevedo), a beautiful woman recently married with Ricardo Morales (Pablo Rago) that had been brutally raped and murdered. Benjamin and his alcoholic partner Pablo Sandoval (Guillermo Francella) feel touched with the grief of Ricardo and go further in their investigation. Benjamin observes that a man named Isidoro Gómez (Javier Godino) is staring Liliana in many pictures and he becomes the prime-suspect. Meanwhile the tension between Ricardo and Irene increases along the days but Ricardo does not understand the signs of her eyes. Twenty five years later, Ricardo is still haunted by his love for Irene and for the unsatisfactory resolution of the Morales Case.

"El Secreto de Sus Ojos" is a film awarded with the Oscar of Best Foreign Language Film of the Year with a dramatic story that perfectly entwines crime, thriller and a subtle romance in an adequate pace. The direction of Juan José Campanella is tight and the screenplay is wonderful, unfolding two lead stories – the brutal murder of a young woman and the repressed love of a subaltern for his chief – with many subplots. The acting is top-notch, with excellent dialogs and many funny lines but never vulgar. The cinematography and the camera work are magnificent and there is one specific scene very impressive with the camera approaching to the stadium in the middle of a soccer game between Huracán and Racing. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "O Segredo dos Seus Olhos" ("The Secret of Your Eyes")
16 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Deserves the Oscar, and More
jmr712311 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
El Secreto de sus Ojos is a great film. If you examine the filmography of the director, Jean Jose Campanella, you can see that all his years directing TV in Hollywood has taught him the craft of classic Hollywood style on a high level. But the movie is authentically Argentinian, both in style and in content. Ricardo Darin and Soledad Villamil are both deeply familiar actors in Argentina, and the romantic melodrama is quite typical, but the tautness of the suspense and the intelligent plot twists bring out the best in both actors, as well as an amazing supporting cast. And I loved the portrayal of politics. Without giving any more away, the scene in the elevator is one of the most effective portrayals of what fascism really feels like.

I'm sure Campanella's Hollywood contacts didn't hurt, and that the movie was done in a pretty standard style (note the tour-de-force long shot in the stadium!), but this is a great movie by any standard.
26 out of 33 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
A Story of Passion and Commitment
Hitchcoc27 February 2016
I can't add a lot to what has been written. The direction and cinematography aside (which is magnificent), this is an incredible psychological study, involving a group of the most complex of characters. Esposito finds himself in love with two people: the woman who was once his boss and because of inaction, left him heartbroken, and, secondly, a beautiful young rape/murder victim. Over a twenty-five year period, these forces never leave him. The rapist is his Moby Dick to his Captain Ahab. Since we don't see a lot of what happens in the intervening time, we must wonder how empty and fruitless his life has been until he has his epiphany. Mixed in all this are the politics of Argentina and the vengeance of a horrible man. Also, in the middle is the messed friend, an alcoholic, who can be a true talent, but is submerged in his problems, spending his time in bars. If we look to literature we might consider him the Sydney Carton of this film. When you see what happens to him, you will see why I choose this character as a reference. This is one of the finest films I've ever seen. It has it all.
6 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
A well deserving Oscar
gromit-1712 March 2010
This is a wonderful, wonderful movie! Easily the best movie I've seen this year.

The German's 'white ribbon' was unwatchable. (one of the worst foreign films Oscar nominees I've seen, over-hyped and so undeserving). French's 'A prophet' is good. But it's like a 'prison break' meets the 'God Father'. I can't say it's too original and some part of it was just not very interesting. But this one is outstanding. It's bitter-sweet and masterfully done. it's one of those movies leave you speechless in silence after the end credits. I highly recommended to everyone who loves movies with a great depth.
29 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
What the eyes can tell... without needing a word
Alejo Andres3 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I'm Argentinian, but I generally don't like Argentinian movies. And it's not because there isn't any good actor/actress in the country. The fact is that there are a lot of excellent actors... what happens is that normally the movie scripts just suck.

In this case the movie blew me away... the plot, the performances, well... everything. A special thing that I really loved was the beautiful close-ups, the little expressions in the faces of everybody, the wrinkles, the words not said with the mouths, but with the eyes, every desire, every single detail of the number of emotions that everyone has.

"El hijo de la novia", "Luna de Avellaneda", "El secreto de sus ojos"... it's not a coincidence that all these movies have Campanella and Darín working in tandem.

This is the way more Argentinian movies should be: actors+SCRIPT.
29 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Senor Campabella, take a well-deserved bow
dave-sturm29 May 2010
It's a thriller. It's a love story. It's a puzzle movie. It's It's an acting tour de force. It's spectacular cinematography.

It's a masterpiece.

Going in, all I knew is that it was a highly regarded film from Argentina that won an Oscar. I know zip about Argentine cinema, but it's hard to believe a better movie has ever been made there.

One thing Americans should know is that this "foreign film with subtitles" is in no way, shape or form an "art movie" loaded with ambiguity and other hoity toity stuff like that. This movie is the work of a master craftsman director working off a brilliant and intricate thriller script.

The narrative unfolds in interspersed scenes involving the same people, but 25 years apart. It's the same actors and characters, but youthful in some scenes and with wrinkles and gray hair in others.

The plot turns on the aftermath of a brutal rape and murder of a beautiful young wife. Front and center throughout the movie are Benjamin, the passionate young investigator for whom this particular case is one he cannot set aside, and Irene, his colleague (it was a little unclear to an American what their professional relationship was) who clearly is drawn to his passion and has feelings for him, even though she is engaged to someone else (offscreen).

Two shots must be discussed. First, there's THE shot. Anyone who has seen it will know exactly what I mean. It's a one-take (seemingly, but not really — it would be impossible without CGI) tracking shot involving a chase in a packed soccer stadium. The second much-discussed shot is only about a minute long and happens in an elevator, but you will not breathe during that incredibly tense minute.

Lots of credit goes to the secondary actors, who portray a law clerk with a drinking problem, the perpetrator of the crime, a hapless intern, a weaselly judge and the devastated husband of the victim.

The ending is an elegantly shown series of reveals. The next-to-last sequence totally screws with your mind. I kid you not, it's a shocker and it comes out of nowhere. Then comes the grand finale with Benjamin and Irene in the touching end scene.

You will leave the theater simultaneously with a chill down your spine and a lump in your throat.
15 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
Argentinian passion
Lee Eisenberg6 April 2010
The second Argentinian movie to win an Oscar, "El secreto de sus ojos" ("The Secret in Their Eyes" in English) looks at a Buenos Aires detective's passion in solving a case on the verge of the military junta that was responsible for the Disappeared. As I understand it, a difference between this movie and Juan Jose Campanella's previous ones is that this is more mainstream, so to speak. I actually found it pretty comparable to "My Wife's Boyfriend", which Campanella also directed. I certainly recommend both films. To be certain, this one has some of the best lines that I've ever heard. Argentina has clearly shown itself to be a fine country in terms of cinema during this past decade.
18 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
loading
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews