– arthouse in the jungle. It might be unique, but this twisted and faintly surreal observation of some child soldiers guarding a US hostage in Colombia is too slow, opaque and gratuitous. The political commentary, while clearly present, is hidden in so many layers of visual and non-visual metaphor that trying to make sense of it is like trying to decipher a bad dream. Maybe up someone’s street, not mine.
– Spanish horror rips ideas from so many other films I genuinely thought I was watching a remake and I just couldn’t place the original. Jump scares, blinking lights and radio interference: this is a grab bag of bad horror tropes. If you’ve a high tolerance for the uninspired or are new to horrors, you might like it.
– Spanish language soap-thriller is fast paced, easy (if frustrating) viewing and good practice for learners; as a show, I can’t recommend it. The plot is insane, the script and acting typically hyperbolic, and the direction completely rote.
– twisting thriller with a stellar cast starts strong then rapidly goes off the rails, stretching implausibility until it snaps and becomes straight up stupidity. A shame, as it seemed so promising, but shows like these – especially Spanish – never let realism get in the way of melodrama, and the standard suffers.
– enjoyably awful Spanish language prison thriller with a crazy and implausible plot, a terrible script, and editing that feels like whole chunks of the show were left on the cutting room floor. That said, the cast put in admirably hammy performances – with Flavio Medina as Peniche and David Chocarro as Santito both particularly riveting. They deserve much better roles. All in all, not worth it unless you’re a fan of this kind of shambolic telenovela melodrama. Shamefully, perhaps, I am.
– Contrasted with the full gamut of spanish-language cinema, this Havana based drama is certainly not knocking any crowns off, but it’s still a raw and characterful tale. The first two thirds are quite excellent and engaging, but the final third unfortunately falls a little short, if only because of its soaring ambition. Worth watching, though.
– uplifting spanish language sports film with a twist. Extremely funny, if a little too saccharine.
– this spanish-language bank robbery comedy is enjoyably lighthearted, but in some ways, the calibre of the crime deserves a more serious retelling.
– gentle and understated comedy epitomises everything I love about Latin American movies. Charismatic characters, sensitive and thoughtful direction, and of course, the beautiful language.
– gruesome spanish-language horror begs for dissection and analysis as it portrays a hierarchical class system in a barren, despairing prison called The Hole. Excessively violent and graphic, and cursed with a frustrating ending, but still thought provoking.
– Mournful Spanish-language drama is a beautiful if overly ponderous reflection on life and love and the sickness of nostalgia.
– delightfully warm reflection on the transition from Pope Benedict to Pope Francis, featuring immense performances from both Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins, and a witty script.
– bizarre, surrealist drama sees a family forced to share a villa at a holiday resort. Something sinister is afoot, but it’s never exactly clear what. Confounding in all the wrong ways.
– Afraid to say I gave up on this after a few episodes. Beautiful scenery, but the pace is paralysingly slow, the script and premise both vague and unconvincing, and the lead actress is nearly devoid of emotion. Life is too short.
– This film had so much potential. The premise is delightfully deranged, albeit not fleshed out enough, and the cast are strong, but it fails in its plodding execution, and unwillingness to assert any definitive plot details. Its implications and suggestions, whilst initially intriguing, grow irksome, and the open ending feels lazy rather than suspenseful. It’s a shame, because it hints at a much more successful thriller.
– Engaging spanish language drama with a cast that is strong enough to warrant the viewing alone. Gabriel Garcia Bernal is always an extraordinary screen presence, and he’s wonderful here.
– effective but unsatisfying Spanish drama that teases mystery then vexingly abandons it half way through. Worth watching for the excellent performances.
– This Spanish time travel thriller is engaging enough and fun to watch unfold, but its production feels low-fi and the story and acting are hammy.
– albeit low budget, this is a very good, original spanish sci-fi with tight editing and direction and convincing performances. Recommended.
– glossy teenage trash with the usual spanish melodrama
– quietly affecting, understated spanish drama. Engrossing, but not remarkable.
– a spanish language narcotics soap opera, a telenovela in every respect but production values. The story is predictable, character behaviours stupid, and every episode follows the exact same formula: risk of arrest being averted by a litany of increasingly absurd coincidences, contrivances, and deus ex machinas. If it wasn’t for the love of the language, it’s unlikely I’d have watched past episode two, and all the warning signs are there in episode one. If you want an amazing thriller about drug trafficking, there are so many to choose from, don’t choose this one.
– fresh and exciting spanish language thriller exploring the chaotic events of one night in a Paraguayan market when a boy is asked to transport 7 crates of unknown merchandise across the town. Brilliant, fast paced and often funny, with a great soundtrack and creative camera work.
– fairly average spanish horror movie. Not scary in the least, so it fails on that point, but it’s no less entertaining, and some of the script is very humorous, particularly from Verónica’s younger siblings who do an admirable job treading the line between amusing and annoying.
– mercifully short and mostly engaging spanish thriller. Everything about it is either bog standard or subpar, and there’s little to really recommend it, but the story is intriguing enough to keep you guessing. The premise is never explained or justified and one can’t help but think a better film could have been made.
– Grisly Spanish crime drama, protracted but compelling if only to see how the whole nasty, twisted tale unravels. Very effective understated soundtrack.
– Absolute balls. Eye-rolling and cringe inducing melodrama. Nauseatingly saccharine, self-indulgent, badly edited and painfully ponderous (with a runtime that’s an exercise in audience tolerance). Among its other crimes, it somehow depicts the Spanish as the victims of their own colonial era in Guinea. Quite the feat.
– affecting and unpleasant spanish language drama, too doleful to be enjoyable
– Spanish language police drama about a corrupt police unit who terrorise the locals to make arrests and increasingly antagonise the community with violent results. Polished, but simply not engaging enough to recommend highly. Elite Squad and its sequel delivered the same concept much more convincingly and enjoyably.
– Spanish psychological drama following a man who becomes so obsessive about writing his novel he manipulates his neighbours to engineer increasingly outlandish storylines. Mostly compelling but becomes increasingly absurd and farcical as it wears on. The ending is disappointingly prosaic.
– average Spanish-language crime thriller
– what starts as a trashy Spanish heist thriller turns borderline unbearable as the plot twists itself into a ludicrous, inconsistent and often nonsensical mess. Then after 13 absurd episodes, the season ends abruptly and unsatisfyingly. Unless season two is a work of utter genius, I cannot recommend this.
– often agonisingly difficult to watch, this spanish black comedy thriller is mostly unfunny, gratuitous, and poorly produced. One to avoid.
– spanish attempt at scandinoir falls flat with glossy casting, a tactless script and infuriatingly stupid plot oversights (generously not called ‘holes’)
– Perhaps the worst Spanish language film I’ve seen. Chaotic, badly scripted, acted, directed; a total waste of time. Baffled that Jose Coronado put his name to it.
– hugely disappointing, chaotic and superficial heist thriller. Engaging, but utterly devoid of substance.
– unexpectedly engaging single room, minimal cast drama. Sparks fly and intrigue grips even past the end.
– unpleasant spanish horror, more menacing than gratuitous. Good film, if you like the unlikeable.
– slightly gratuitous spanish language cartel thriller. Oddly sparsely scripted, with the titular character cowering from bullets in lingerie for most of the film. Not recommended.
– suspenseful and interesting drama in part Germana and part Spanish. Slightly underwhelming but a good watch nonetheless.
– Disappointing drugs running thriller, especially following the brilliant Cell 211. Not Luis Tosar’s finest hour.
– Fast paced (perhaps too fast paced), drug cartel crime thriller charting Pablo Escobar rise and fall from power in Colombia. Sharp acting and excellent direction, it’s a minor pity that the script frequently borders on US propaganda. Terrific TV though.
– Fantastic spanish language crime thriller exploring theories surrounding the assassination of Colosio, the Mexican presidential candidate in 1994.
– old school slapstick silliness in spanish.
– gossipy, trashy, farcical – there is little to redeem this spanish period drama bar its language. If I wasn’t making an effort to learn spanish, I wouldn’t touch this with a barge pole.
– superb spanish thriller, dark and layered. Similar to True Detective in style and tone.
– entirely in Spanish on this viewing, consequently it was a lot less impactful: my spanish leaves a lot to be desired!
– the first half of this spanish B-movie is one of the most hilarious black comedies I have seen, whilst the second reverts to genre stereotypes and predictable twists. It’s a lot of fun though, and to some degree an original haunted house thriller.
– Well crafted Spanish drama from Almodovar. Excellent acting and solid plot. Filled with the usual Almodovar tropes and on the nose political statements though.
– one of the most boring Spanish films I have watched. Dreary and uneventful drama, not worth the time.
– outstanding and offensively underrated spanish crime thriller. Powerhouse acting and superb direction. Deserves further viewing.
– Excellent, brilliantly directed and shot macabre thriller with a twist that will genuinely surprise, albeit largely due to its implausibility. Unmissable spanish language.
– Intense and serious, perhaps too dry. Lacks the poetry and artistry of similar films, though remains a harrowing fly-on-the-wall spanish language drama.
– Disappointing Spanish thriller that is engrossing but ultimately unrewarding.
– Engrossing and enjoyable spanish thriller that takes one too many twists and finds itself stranded, but remains a fun ride.
– Dry, slow burning neo-Western drama that is surprisingly affecting, particularly as it isn’t especially gripping. Sam Shepherd is good, and predominantly speaks Spanish throughout.
– One of the nastiest, most insidious, and repulsive Spanish films I have ever had the displeasure of watching. A solid pic, well directed, well acted and utterly horrible.
– Hitchcockian spanish language thriller, full of intrigue, novelty and witty black humour. Utterly bizarre and all the better for it.
– told episodically, this biographical drama isn’t easy viewing. It is slow and long and feels longer still. That said, it is well made and well acted. If you like poetic cinema, Javier Bardem and the melody of spanish, then this might hold something for you.
– Although frustratingly contrived, this is a controversial (and therefore exciting) tale set during the end of the Spanish inquisition, recounting the lives of an artist and two of his subjects as one epoch ends and another begins. Direction and performances are tight, but one can’t help but feel the script deliberately errs on the side of provocative and suffers for it.
– A harrowing recollection of the lives of an impoverished family in Spain in the 1960s as they toil as underlings on a bourgeois country estate. Tragically historically accurate.
– Intriguing spanish thriller. Compelling albeit peculiarly paced and with a few loose ends left trailing. Thoughtful cinema, but perhaps trying to tackle one too many strands for its own good. Recommended, but not highly.
– moments of artistry go some way to redeem what is otherwise a meandering, occasionally gratuitous mess of a film. This desnuda approach to filmmaking has perhaps scarred Spanish cinema somewhat.
– A classic Mamet heist flick – totally underwhelming, devoid of any thrills or skillful twists. Watchable, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
– An excellent, mild and uncontroversial historical drama about the ad campaign that overthrew Pinochet in Chile. Great acting and a subtle, dry script make for compelling viewing.
– Haunting and unsettling, but just doesn’t quite cut the grade for usual Spanish horrors