9 user 23 critic

El bonaerense (2002)

A young locksmith is forced to leave his home and family to join the Buenos Aires police force.


Pablo Trapero
8 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jorge Román Jorge Román ... Zapa
Mimí Ardú Mimí Ardú ... Mabel
Darío Levy Darío Levy ... Gallo
Hugo Anganuzzi Hugo Anganuzzi ... Polaco
Víctor Hugo Carrizo ... Molinari
Graciana Chironi Graciana Chironi ... Madre Zapa
Roberto Posse Roberto Posse ... Ismael
Luis Viscat Luis Viscat ... Pellegrino
Aníbal Barengo Aníbal Barengo ... Caneva
Gerardo Maffoni Gerardo Maffoni ... Osorio
Liliana De Maria Liliana De Maria ... Marina
Gastón Polo Gastón Polo ... Lanza
Facundo Gomez Facundo Gomez ... Salazar
Carlos Federico Simon Carlos Federico Simon ... Hijo de Mabel
Marcela Uzuka Marcela Uzuka ... Instructor Policial


Single, hopeless, and still living with his mother in a dusty village somewhere in Argentina, the thirty-two-year-old locksmith, Zapa, receives a call from his boss to open a safe--and next thing he knows--he is handcuffed, and charged of theft. Framed and down on his luck, Zapa's miserable life will take a turn for the better, when a letter of recommendation from his uncle and former policeman, Ismael, opens a position in the Police Academy to become a corporal. During the days of his rigorous training, Zapa will also experience an irregular love affair; however, will he finally manage to take charge of his life as he works his way up in the West Buenos Aires Police Force? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Provocative and Gripping. See more »


Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

19 September 2002 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

Do Outro Lado da Lei See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,550, 30 November 2003

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


(~11:29) In prison, in the wall behind Zapa it is written: "Estela Maris Es Mi Amor". See more »


Marina: You're an intelligent man, tell me: is the monkey a quadruped or... how was it, a biparous?
Osorio: A biped. Biped, Marina, biped. Monkeys have evolved... In the animal evolving scale, there's no doubt monkeys have evolved. And there are certain human beings, that, although they're just non-feathered bipeds, they are much more than just primates.
See more »


Referenced in Levels (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting, though somewhat disappointing
18 March 2004 | by Exiled_ArchangelSee all my reviews

A cop's life in Argentina.. AND, that of a cop who's not even a cop! Sounds interesting, doesn't it? Well, it kind of is.. The story and the acting are not too bad. But unfortunately the movie suffers from the typical lacking of most Argentine movies: It doesn't have a twist. I think the rather weak screenplay is to blame. With this story and these actors, a much better movie could have been made. Plot, screenplay, story, etc.. Those concepts must be well-knit (or at least each handled properly) in order to make a flawless movie. That's where El Bonaerense fails. Something is sooo missing! I'm not sure what exactly, but something for sure. So I can't say it's quite rewarding. Tries hard, but doesn't really deliver. Nevertheless, it's watchable, and quite an interesting insight on Argentina and its police force in general. I would recommend watching it if it's not going to cost you too much. But if you're planning to add one more item to your DVD archive, buy something else with your money to add to your collection, and just RENT this very one to watch once.

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