Los cronocrímenes (2007) Poster

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The sleeper hit at Fantastic Fest 2007!!!!
BottleRocket30 September 2007
"Timecrimes" was a movie I almost didn't see. It seemed interesting, but since "Primer" I wasn't sure if I wanted to wrap my mind around another time travel movie. The director, Nacho Vigalondo told us this was his world premiere and he was very nervous giving his introduction. After about 90 minutes, I realized my second movie at Fantastic Fest 2007 may be the best one I see all week. "Timecrimes" was an engaging movie that is easy to follow, despite it's complex plot. I would hate to give away even the smallest of details, the title says everything you need to know. Even though I felt like I was in the driver's seat the whole movie, there were still surprises throughout that kept things interesting until the closing credits. The journey taken by Hector (Karra Elejalde) develops his character beautifully, and he is complimented by a small and effective cast. It would be a crime if this movie doesn't get the distribution it deserves. The Q&A afterward revealed some interesting behind the scenes stories and some info that made me want to see the movie again. Fortunately the buzz from our half full screening was enough to sell out the second screening at the festival. The film won Best Picture at Fantastic Fest 2007, was the Silver Medal winner for Audience Favorite, and was the highest rated film at the festival. If you get a chance to see this movie, DO IT!!

***UPDATE*** "Timecrimes" has been picked up by Magnolia Pictures.
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A Must See film.
drdark6 April 2008
This movie proves what Hollywood does not practice. A great movie (like this one) does not need: famous name actors, good-looking/sexy protagonists, stupendous sets, expensive special effects, gratuitous violence, & violent shocks to be a successful, entertaining, and provocative movie, which this is in every respect. All it needs is good writing, capable direction, plausibility in terms of premises and plot turns, and decent acting. This has it all. And it's a great movie. The actors are all average looking. The sets look like a normal environment. The special effects are nothing special at all. And yet, there is not a dull moment in this extraordinarily good film. Saw it at the Cleveland International Film Festival this year. It stood out from the crowd as an exceptional film
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Terrific movie that does not need to be remade!
Agnelin10 May 2009
It's very hard to review "Los cronocrímenes" without spoiling the fun of watching the movie and seeing how the different stories within the main plot outline keep unraveling ever so intelligently. Let's just say that it all starts out with a man watching through his binoculars and spotting something that catches his eye. He follows his curiosity, and that will be the start of some extremely unusual, mysterious, and intriguing events involving this man, a mysterious stalker with his head wrapped in a pink bandage, a naked girl in the woods, and a young scientist.

"Los cronocrímenes" is a terrific movie, one that was made with a low budget, a reduced cast, and very few settings. It combines sci-fi/fantasy, mystery, action, and also sprinkles of comedy -I found myself laughing out loud more than once while watching this. It's a twisted, tragic, cynical sense of humor that I find very fitted to the Spanish way of being and general look on life.

You may enjoy "Los cronocrímenes" for what it is, taking it at face value, and enjoying the twists and turns (and even if you think you've got it figured out, it keeps the ability to surprise you all along). You may also take a deeper look into it. Each viewer sees a different story and message in a movie; for me, personally, besides an extremely entertaining and thoughtful mystery and action movie, "Los cronocrímenes" offers good insight into the human soul, our deepest and darkest motivations for things, and how the line between good and evil is ever so blurry.
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One? Two? Three?
aharmas29 November 2008
The first minutes of this film are a bit on the dreadful side, but don't walk out or you'll miss one of the most entertaining time travel stories ever!!! This one will leave you scratching your head as how the writer pulled it off with a very intelligent, resourceful, and quite clever script. He is aided by a marvelous job of editing which along with a tight direction moves the story forward, backward, sideways, and in any way that might be needed.

Our hero manages to find himself trapped in a time continuum that keeps deteriorating as he tries to find a solution to the original mess that started it all. The challenge is not how he struggles to tie the loose ends and come out of the mess he has apparently created. Messing with the time continuum always has dire consequences, and this film is a perfect example, but one thing that has always proved frustrating is being in the audience and just watching things unravel. The challenge in this film is becoming an active participant, as you try to figure out how the game is played.

Making things more complicated is the scientist who decides to take a jump and test equipment that has not been properly tested. His actions, along with the main character's, put an unexpected twist in the equation, and fixing things might just be a bit more difficult that anyone ever imagined.

What makes the film so spectacular is that everything is the movie is not the result of high tech, computer generated imagery, or dazzling special effects, or an overblown budget. The fact that the film doesn't even have the best actors give it a sense of reality that helps us become more sympathetic or repelled by the various "crimes" committed by the protagonist in order to fix his other "crimes".

I particularly enjoyed the fact that the film has only three settings, a dark woodsy hill, an empty complex, and a home that is being remodeled. This keeps us grounded and aware that anything is possible and has a chance of happening. Never, through the entire film I even doubted the clunky machine could even work. Great science fiction!!!
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I also wanted to like this movie, but what a let down!
afkeegan11 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
The set up for this film is great. Mysterious and frightening events lead an ordinary guy to a laboratory with a time machine. Once there, he is sent backward in time by a scientist in order to escape some deranged, scissor wielding pursuer who's all bandaged up and looks like Dark Man. Up to that point the movie had me. Then it lost me. I must agree with what another reviewer wrote here: the main character's actions push the limits of plausibility after he goes back in time! HERE IS THE SPOILER: He finds out that he is the deranged pursuer, come from the future, chasing himself in the past. It is a premise with potential but the way the film lays it out, every coincidence seems overly convenient, implausibly strange, and repeatedly the ethics and true nature of the main character are called into question. He terrorizes, humiliates and ends up killing a young woman in the film, all to set things right in time as he sees them. Is there really an ordinary man who would do this? It leaves one feeling confused as to what the psychology of this guy is. Did time travel scramble his brain cells? THAT WOULD BE MORE UNDERSTANDABLE AS AN EXPLANATION! He seems to be working on the logic that he must do these insane things to send himself back, but why doesn't he consider doing nothing? What about noninterference? That's what they do in Star Trek, and it seems a lot easier! The film is otherwise well made, there is good pacing and atmosphere and all the actors do fine jobs. Unfortunately, when a story seems so off center, the good work that was put into it seems utterly lost. If there is a remake I suggest the script go through serious revision!
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Timecrimes is lazy with characters that act outside of any common sense
Treefingers8014 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Timecrimes is the type of film that relies purely on its concept, much in the same way as The Human Centipede. The problem with that is the concept becomes a crutch. This review will contain spoilers but unless you have seen the film, the spoilers will probably make little sense anyway.

The concept that I'm talking about is the idea of an illogical time travel paradox. To be more exact, a predestination paradox. A predestination paradox is when a time traveler is caught in a loop of events that "predestines" or "predates" them to travel back in time.

Hector 1 is caused to go back in time because of the actions of Hector 2. The only reason Hector 2 exists is because Hector 1 went back in time.

Similarly, Hector 3 exists only because of events Hector 3 puts in motion before Hector 2 even knows there is a Hector 3. It could be more accurate to say that Hector 2 decides to use the time machine to become Hector 3 once Hector 2 becomes aware that there is a Hector 3.

It's actually not as complicated as it sounds, and that is the entire plot of the movie summed up. Once the concept becomes apparent within the first 15 or 20 minutes of the film or so, the rest of the film plods along in a very predictable fashion. We know the destination of the character, because for him it has been predestined.

The problem is that watching Hector go through events, and then put events in motion again once he travels in time, becomes a bore. The film takes place across a day, the character only traveling back in time 90 minutes or so. Hector is an unlikeable character and his actions as the various versions of himself make no sense.

To be more clear, an example is when Hector 2 has wrapped bandages around his entire head making himself look like a maniac, who then stabs and chases Hector 1, and forces a woman to undress. The motivations are completely unclear. The only reason Hector 2 does these things is because it predestines Hector 1 to go to the time travel machine in the first place. Hector 3's actions are similar in their lack of clarity, and the only seeming motivation being to keep the predestination paradox intact. Maybe the writer/director is trying to make a point about lack of free will. Personally, I just think its lazy writing. You can't have a plot that revolves entirely around a predestination paradox, and have characters that behave outside of any idea of logic or common sense. Otherwise, what is the interest of the film? What is the draw? When the entire draw of a film is its concept, rather than story and characters, something was fundamentally wrong right from the script up to the filming.
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It leaves asking for more..
Tanhausser_Gates26 October 2007
One of the common issues with time-travel movies is that they are filled with holes in the story, things that you never get to know how happened or why they did happened in the first place.

This movie is perfect in that sense, the plot is squared and every small detail has a meaningful reason to exist so in a way is mathematically perfect.. Which leaves you with a rewarding feeling but on the other hand if you understand the plot you can solve the mystery 3/4 down the movie and the last minutes are just obvious.

But this is a great movie.. Thats why it leaves you wondering what would it had been if the plot were more ambitious and more factors had been involved in the equation. Perhaps more characters and more interaction between them.. Who knows! You just want more!
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Boy, I WANTED to like this movie.
innocuous1 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I'm a fan of time travel movies and enjoy puzzling out the paradoxes, but this film was basically spoiled by the total unbelievability of the protagonist's actions. For example, if you went back in time (and apparently accepted the fact quite readily) and saw your earlier self with your earlier wife, would you totally freak out? It would be a lot more disturbing to me if I DIDN'T see my earlier self with my wife. Overall, the protagonist, who appears to be fairly intelligent (though with a slight kink..hint, hint), just does a lot of stupid and unexplained things, most of which are pretty violent and counterproductive. The net result is that we don't have any "A-ha!" moments where we suddenly understand why things in the time loop are the way they are. Instead, we're busy asking out loud, "Why the hell did he do that? That made no sense unless he was intentionally trying to conform to the the time loop." In short, most of the characters act like idiots.
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Why did Hector do what he did?
fatesadvent10 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
So I was a bit excited to watch this movie because of the numerous praises and ever-fun concept of time travel. Starts of okay if not a bit slow, but quickly dissolves once you find out who the bandage person is. ***SPOILERS BELOW*** The first issue was how they introduced the time traveling. Hector time travels, then immediately comes to the conclusion he did (without being told) based on merely seeing that its day instead of night after getting out of a container.

The biggest problem with the movie however is it doesn't explain why the main character does what he does after that. The guy who clearly knows what going on tells him not to interfere with his past self (hector 1), but he does so anyways. For some odd reason he decides he needs to set up the situation exactly as before so he can get Hector 1 to time travel as well (suddenly resorting to video means and sexually harassing a girl to achieve that end).

Even a few small details seem to be missed, like why during the phone call, it was important for it to still be recording hector and his wife making out? Or how hector 2 mistook another girl for his wife (sure its dark but they don't look alike.

Overall the rest of the movie was average (e.g. acting, sounds, pacing) but those questions struck me right away, and was never answer or addressed and left the movie extremely unsatisfying.
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A time travel with a bit of horror thrown in.
HumanoidOfFlesh23 October 2008
The plot of recent Spanish hit "Time Crimes" is fairly simple:Hector accidentally gets into a time machine and travels back in time nearly an hour.Finding himself will be the first of a series of disasters of unforeseeable consequences.The feature length debut of Nacho Vigalondo is a pretty good science-fiction thriller with a sprinkle of horror thrown in.The time machine looks similarly to the contraptions used in 60's time travel sci-fi flicks.The central performance of Karra Elejalde is excellent and his character is sympathetic and believable.Although many of the twists and turns of the story can be guessed quite early on,they are in some ways all the more enjoyable for that and Vigalondo impressively combines thriller,horror,dark comedy and even slapstick elements without making things feel forced.A little bit of nudity provided by beautiful Barbara Goenaga certainly helps!
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Supremely intelligent
crappydoo21 July 2008
Wow, this one took me by surprise. As a matter of fact I had no idea how this film would develop even when I was half-way done watching it, but then the real story kicks off and its exciting and hilarious thereafter. The premise is fairly simple about a guy who keeps landing in exponentially ridiculous situations. You'll know what I mean when you watch it. And each situation has a sense of deja vu to it and is great fun to watch. Can't say much about the acting and direction, which were very, very good nevertheless. However the script is supremely intelligent and ensures that every loose thread is perfectly, and I mean, perfectly tied up.

Time travel can be real head bender. Frequency and The Butterfly Effect are good examples of comparable movies of this genre (and the Back To The Future sequels are terrible ones) and Timecrimes sits comfortably in that group.

I'll be glad to recommend it to all my friends who have the patience to read subtitles.
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Doesn't really work
shes_dead4 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Los Cronocrimenes on paper sounded interesting and quirky and I thought I would love it. The mysterious promo photo of a guy with what looked like a pink towel wrapped around his head just intrigued me more and I was very much looking forward to watching it.

For the first 15 minutes or so it seemed like this was going to develop in to a really good movie. But then you quickly figure out what is going on, and then elements of it become quite predictable! This was unfortunate in that the next half hour or so was really boring to watch because it was obvious how things would happen. It's after this initial predictable bit that things start to get more complex, and the story also begins to fall apart.

It really wouldn't make for an interesting read if I was to simply type out all the loose ends and random actions that the characters take in the film that seem to have no explanation at all. I will just say that it had even more inconsistencies than Primer – a film which Los Cronocrimenes is almost identical to. Primer was also a poor film; out of the two I couldn't decide which was worse so I guess that means they were equally as bad.

Now, I'm quite sure I've upset a lot of people with my negative comments about this film so far. People always seem to get tetchy over negative reviews of films that for some reason they see as untouchable. Believe me, I wanted dearly to like this film, but I left very disappointed, bored, feeling I had just watched 'Primer 2', wandering why Hollywood have already bought the rights to make this film and more importantly wondering why so many good reviews when it is quite blatantly contrived, predictable and full of loose ends!

Hector, the main character, does so many unexplained things it leaves you feeling frustrated and, as another reviewer has stated, there are many moments of unbelievably in this movie that requires the audience to leave reason at the door on the way in. Although the other reviewer did state these moments were made acceptable via humour, I did not find much humour in this movie myself.

If a film maker is going to take on a time travel movie then they should at least have the integrity to make sure it all 'works'. However, as usual all this seems to have been looked over by people who insist on giving this film a great review. There only seems to be a minority of people who are willing to point out that there are too many loose ends to make this film work. And if you have a time travel movie that doesn't work then what good is it?
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Bad movie
manu-623 July 2009
Warning: 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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You want to be intrigued but after a while..
rlange-31 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
you come to realize that there is no 'there' there.

Time travel stories usually include a moment when the plot gets pulled together in some coherent way, enabling you to recognize the source of the paradox and hopefully providing an eerie feeling as a reward. Unfortunately Los Cronocrímenes does none of this. The entire plot feels concocted, and cheap to boot, with unconvincing actors doing unconvincing things in a sequence which eventually devolves into a big "what-ever".

Moreover, there is not much endearing about Hector, who seems rude or indifferent to everyone around him including his wife. It's understandable that he is a voyeur, but what's the point in stabbing someone with scissors? Or forcing a woman to take her clothes off? Or being dumb enough to crawl into a vat of unknown liquid? After all, it's not like he is facing Hercules here -- just a duplicate of himself. Why not stand up to yourself and either work something out or if necessary fight? I'd trust my own instincts, even a duplicate of me, before I trusted some rather odd stranger who wanted me to hide in a vat of unknown liquid.

I guess if you sat down and mapped all this out with a pencil and paper the event sequence might make some kind of sense in terms of causality. But who wants to do that in what should be either entertaining or provocative? The movie provides little of either. While this one is watchable, there is far better fare out there.
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Time Travel Make Hector Dumb
Jeffery Miller26 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
As far as i can tell this is a movie about the unwarranted humiliation and murder, of beautiful Good Samaritan, by a nervous, horny, simpleton, because time travel makes you dumber. It is obvious from the very first scene, where Hector accidentally dumps all of his home and garden purchases from his car as he drives up the driveway, that he is not very bright. But on each consecutive trip into the time machine, and through his day, he becomes increasingly moronic, sadistic, and cruel. He repeats mistakes he's seen himself make and does nothing to fix any of the problems he has, or knows are coming. The first Hector (Hector 1) is forgivable for his blunders. He is simply lured into the woods by a beautiful naked woman, and then attacked and chased my a masked maniac man, who eventually frightens him enough to break into a building and then trap himself, by climbing into a large vat filled with milk. He's not showing us that too many brain cells are working, but at least his actions are plausibly understandable. It is his second journey through the evening, as Hector 2, where his mental capacities apparently begin to break down. Here he ignores the advice of the time machine operator/scientist by first calling his house and then stealing a car and leaving the compound to go… somewhere, (possibly to his house to make things worse) when he sees the nice girl he saw naked riding her bike. After a quick car accident, Hector 2 wraps his head in a bloody bandage, turning himself into the masked maniac man, and proceeds to degrade, and humiliate the pretty young girl he saw naked after she stops to help him and gives him some water. Hector 2 then stabs Hector 1 with some scissors he stole from the pretty girl he saw naked, and frightens him into running for his life setting the scene for his previous time travel. He then inexplicably breaks into his own house and accidentally murders a woman he thinks is his wife, which results in his having to go back in time again to correct his mistake. But it is Hector 3 who is the real idiot. Not only does he allow all the horrible things that he did the last time, and experienced the first time, to happen again, this time he knowingly lets the beautiful young girl he saw naked and was only trying to help, be humiliated and then killed in place of his wife. He also steals another car, breaks his fourth fence, and destroys the nice coffee table he'd bought for his wife earlier in the day, (while he's locked her in the shed). And this is the Hector that is allowed to live. With all that being said, I thought this was a very entertaining movie, particularly for those who enjoy screaming at the screen when the characters do things we know are stupid. And as far at time travel movies go, this film unquestionably picks fate over free will as it's driving point.
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Sci-fi picture with twisted intrigue and low budget realized by Cantabrian director Nacho Vigalondo
ma-cortes29 November 2011
Original and ingeniously basic Sci-Fi premise full of suspense and intrigue .This freaky and clever film chronicles fear, suspicion,desperation, paranoia of a person named Hector ( Karra Elejalde) , he is a middle-aged ordinary man who has just moved to a lonely house with his wife Clara (Candela Fernández). Hector watches that he believes to be a naked girl in the forest . He decides to go there just to find that same girl (Bárbara Goenaga) laying on a rock. Later on , he finds a stranger (Nacho Vigalondo) in a Kafkaesque room presided by a mysterious machine . Hector accidentally gets into a time machine and travels back in time nearly an hour. Finding himself will be the first of a series of disasters of unforeseeable consequences . He attempts to survive the deadly trap which guard the room and takes place several twisted situations .

The picture succeeds because the thriller ,tension , plot twists , suspense, as well as a superbly written script delving into the starring paranoia in such extreme situation and his instinctive urge for survival . Despite low budget the movie manages to be intelligent, intriguing and thrilling . The good thing about this film is that the director made it on a shoestring budget only having to do a few sets , yet the movie works on many levels but is constantly reconfigured . Casting is frankly well giving fine performances , though little known with exception of the veteran Karra Elejalde . Good cinematography by Flabio Martinez Labiano , excellent cameraman of ¨Unknown , Day of Beast , Perlita Durango , 800 bullets¨ , among others ; he's Alex De La Iglesia's usual photographer. It was filmed in Solares , Cabezon De La Sal , Cantabria, Nacho Vigalondo's birthplace . This motion picture relatively cheap is tautly written and directed by Nacho Gabilondo in his first movie because he is usually writer for television and shorts filmmaker , has has only directed another film titled ¨Extraterrestre¨. This is without a doubt a thought-provoking and mysterious film to be liked for Science-Fictiona and suspense fans, turning out to be one of the most original Spanish movies of the last years .
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great flick
beneaththemassacre18 July 2008
I saw Time Crimes at Montreals fantasia film festival. I was expecting something interesting but nothing to this extend. This film was original, complex yet simple. Beautifully shot, well thought out and entertaining the entire way through. I've was extremely inspired by the film which shows that all you need is a good script, and not necessarily a whole lot of cash to create something really great. IF you get a chance to check it out definitely do so. This is the kind of film that makes film festivals.

I know you all wondering about the violence. In terms of violence it doesn't get graphic at all, minor acts of violence but nothing to worry about not brining the women too.

check out time crimes you wont regret it
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Thrilling and Thoughtul
jdesando7 April 2009
"Time is a storm in which we are all lost." William Carlos Williams

"Time flies around here," says Hector's (Karra Elejalde) girl friend before time gets warped maliciously when he goes back in a time machine for about an hour. The ironic statement could as well apply to this intelligent sci fi, Time Crimes, that actually tries to show what confusion will reign if we ever do time travel.

While this Spanish thriller is reminiscent of Memento's playing with time and memory and various other time travel fictions, it lacks psycho-philosophical depth (notwithstanding the Hitchcock relevance of the hero using binoculars to see a fetching lass). Even more, character exploration is secondary to the puzzle of time traveling. The film, concerned with the tricky interplay of cause and effect in the travel, could have given more to the ethical-humanistic implications of voyeurism and bending nature to our will.

Its atmosphere is creepy enough, a black and white effect from muted color, a semi-real world where appearance and reality collide, not unlike this time-bound life itself without the machine. Its heroine, a beautiful nude played by Barbara Goenaga, suggests those Freudian chambers of our hearts where desire and violence seem only a door opening or time change away.

In an age of "system restore," where we can set our computers back in time, altering the continuum to expunge viruses and such makes the premise of Timecrimes seem almost possible. The ramifications from our computer restore are usually saving time and money; from a time machine may come a chance to upset the balance of nature, to throw ourselves into a primitive state of lawlessness. At least that's how writer director Nacho Vigalondo sees it, and his film theorizes.

Nice to have a thoughtful movie these days.
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Shockingly bad.
james_critchley9 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I read the largely positive comments for this movie, noted the fairly high rating and decided to watch it.

This movie is terrible. The English dubbing didn't help because the voices sounded cheesy and did not really contribute to the atmosphere, but that's minor and easy to overcome. I'm not judging the movie based on that.

Less forgivable is the main character and his actions. In order to make events conform to what he had already seen, he lured a young girl into the woods and told her to get her clothes off. Then, obviously, she tried to run away, and he started chasing her through the woods. And all the time I'm thinking WHY? And then at the end, he gets her to dress up as his wife so that his earlier self will kill her instead of said wifey. Again - WHY? Hector, old pal - no one had to die! This story could have been done a lot better.

**Shakes head in disbelief and wanders off mumbling to himself**
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Unfortunately not as good as it thinks it is
daggersineyes24 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I wanted to like this but within half an hour I knew I wouldn't for two reasons. 1. the main character is a horrible, disgusting, cringe-worthy man. He has no redeeming characteristics at all so I didn't really care what happened to him, I just hoped he'd be gone soon. Unfortunately the whole plot is about him so that didn't happen. 2. Nothing the main character does makes any sense at all. First of all he is utterly stupid and does the exact opposite of what any other person would do all through the movie. The entire plot depends on him making ludicrous decisions/responses to situations that are so unrealistic you can't take the movie seriously at all. Worse, there is no internal logic to the plot itself. Everything that happens in the past is because his future self is trying to recreate the past by doing things that had no logical explanation in the first place. Unless he is insane which is not the premise.

SOrry the movie is ridiculous and introduces stupid concepts just for the sake of it. I found the whole thing supremely annoying, boring at times and basically a non-event.

I suspect the original "past" scenes were simply put there as an excuse to have naked shots of the girl and the director hoped no-one would notice the glaring plot hole they had to introduce to justify it. I mean hey, if you want to make a sexploitation flick and have pointless nudity I get it, that's fine. But then don't go pretending to be something more sophisticated than that.

Honestly, unless you're really just interested in seeing Barbara Goenaga naked for a couple of minutes don't waste your time. Watch 12 monkeys, The Butterfly Effect, Donnie Darko or even Triangle for a far better experience.
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Fun (but a little cheesy) Time Travel Movie
wmjaho19 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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Proof that Time-Travel doesn't have to be ridicule and complex
Coventry3 April 2008
Warning: 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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Doesn't really work
codefool17 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The movie is well made. Good acting, cinematography, music - the works. The director does a good job using events like phone calls and radio music to keep the audience synced with what "now" is during the several iterations that the anti-hero Hector goes through. We actually follow one instance of Hector through one entire loop-de-loop through time, as he encounters himself again and again and tries to come out the other side relatively unscathed.

The problem lies in that there is no insert point into the time loop. Every thing that happens that gets Hector in to the time loop is actually initiated by a prior-instance of Hector.

Major major spoilers.

Hector is sitting in his backyard watching the country side with binoculars from a lawn chair. He sees a pretty girl remove her shirt and eventually decides to go over to see what's going on. Later we see Hector forcing the girl at scissor-point to create this event. So, if an earlier Hector had not made the girl get naked, then the later Hector would have not gone to investigate, and so on.

So, how did Hector get into the time machine to begin with? This is not answered, and without it the whole adventure makes no sense.

I also found the ending rather pointless - as, according to Hector, it was necessary for a girl to die in order for him to exit the time loop. Only there were many other opportunities for him to do so. Why the death? I guess the writer wanted it to be a dark comedy. And so it is.

Rent it with another movie so you have something else to watch.
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I Should Have Listened To Me
bsgfreak5614 July 2013
I went back in time to tell me not to waste my time watching this. I should have listened.

This movie is a prime example of a good story line that was very poorly executed. Characters did things for no good reason other than to force an artificial flow into the next scene. The over-dubbed English voices sounded contrived, like people reading scripts for a radio drama instead of reading for a movie/TV scene.

The budget for the movie was about $2.6. I don't know where the money was spent, but it wasn't spent on the movie.

The bicycle chick was the best part of the entire movie. Without her, I would have given a rating of 1. However, I would not watch the movie for that reason.
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Why the hell did he do that?
petergrabs28 July 2013
Warning: 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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