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El Aura (The Aura) (2005)

tomatometer

89

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 46
Fresh: 41 | Rotten: 5

The Aura is a highly original and cerebral thriller that maintains its suspense from start to finish.

88

Average Rating: 7.8/10
Critic Reviews: 17
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 2

The Aura is a highly original and cerebral thriller that maintains its suspense from start to finish.

audience

77

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 5,022

My Rating

Movie Info

A lonely taxidermist with a photographic memory dreams of committing the "perfect crime" in Nine Queens director Fabián Bielinsky's deliberately paced existential thriller. Espinosa (Ricardo Darín) is an epileptic fortysomething who makes his living by stuffing creatures for the natural history museum in Buenos Aires. It is there that Espinosa meets friend and fellow taxidermist Sontag (Alejandro Awada). After picking up their paycheck at a nearby bank, Sontag kindly invites the lonely Espinosa

Apr 10, 2007

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All Critics (49) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (5) | DVD (9)

A fuzzy attempt at significance that seems as aimlessly lost in the woods as its heist-plotting characters.

March 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Comment (1)
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Aura is richer and less showy than Nine Queens, and it lifts off from the gangster genre to contemplate deeper mysteries. Reminiscent of Antonioni's The Passenger in its obsession with fate and choice.

January 13, 2007 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Bielinsky also is a most expressive director, achieving considerable nuances and depths of emotion with characters' looks, gestures, body language and silences.

January 13, 2007
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In the end, the film's bigger challenge isn't its length, or its deliberate pace: It's that it's overly freighted with symbolism and meaning.

January 5, 2007 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Argentinian writer/ director Fabian Bielinksy (Nine Queens) creates a character with an intriguing set of traits that inspire an equally intriguing plot.

December 15, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The moody ambience suggests noir writers David Goodis and Jim Thompson...

December 15, 2006 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If less neatly realized than Nine Queens, The Aura is the more ambitious film. It is all the more haunting for suggesting narrative possibilities that Bielinsky was just beginning to explore.

November 19, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

Tense and twisty, this is what thrillers should be about.

June 13, 2008 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

I have to admit I was more than intrigued by a film featuring an epileptic taxidermist with a photographic memory who fancies that he can commit the perfect crime.

October 20, 2007
KPBS.org

It's intriguing and absorbing, this thriller about a lonely taxidermist caught up in a shooting accident, a case of mistaken identity and a heist.

March 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

This character-heavy crime thriller from Argentina occasionally gets off track, straying into territory that has little to do with the main story line. But they are interesting digressions, and it's sort of nice to have a movie that's so unpredictable.

March 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

A startling psychological drama with plenty of unexpected twists, a worthy follow-up [to] Fabian Bielinsky['s] riveting debut Nine Queens.

March 16, 2007
Salt Lake Tribune

A delight to look at, and full of both beautiful music and beautiful silences.

March 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

With "The Aura," his final picture, the director adopts a moody atmosphere to convey an original heist thriller set in the mysterious Patagonian forests.

March 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Sympatico.ca

It's less a deconstruction of the heist film than an ambitious contemplation of our fascination with the genre...

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

The movie is cause for both rejoicing and despair. The good news it's an absorbing, intelligent film. The bad is that there will be no more from the gifted [late director] Bielinsky.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

It's tough to get behind a character who doesn't even seem to care about himself.

February 28, 2007 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star | Comment (1)
Arizona Daily Star

Visually, the film is almost perfect, with a weird, expressionistic sensibility considerably more sophisticated than the low-fi street shooting of Nine Queens, while the imaginative piano score trickles between pastoral harmony and primal discord.

February 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

A haunting character-study-cum-crime thriller that marks the maturation of a significant filmmaking talent.

February 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

The flavor is a decidedly mournful one, unusual to find in a crime thriller, but adding layers of rich atmosphere and psychological depth to a familiar but nerve-wracking genre tale.

January 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

A somber mood of bleak lives is enhanced by muted colors. The many unusual aspects keep The Aura continually intriguing.

January 13, 2007 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Bielinsky does a remarkable job of both revealing and withholding information, so that, even after 134 minutes, the film never drags.

January 5, 2007 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Audience Reviews for El Aura (The Aura)

El Aura is a wonderfully deep and thoughtful crime film. The bleached look make it a dark and dreary world, but one that doesn't exclude viewers. It's not Wham-Bam action, but when it does kick off the violence is more affective than the majority of crime dramas. Darin is a wonderful actor that doesn't feel the need to "sing for his supper". He lets you interpret his thoughts. The extremely silent moments, where he bonds with the dog simply with subtle glances, are great moments. As he plays a taxidermist, the relationship is laced with ironic warmth. The film has many Malick esque moments of quiet reflection, using the landscape and simple gestures to convey much more. Drags a bit in the 3rd quarter as it attempts to build a few too many relationships.
April 25, 2009
kiriyamakazou

Super Reviewer

Second and sadly last film by Fabián Bielinsky. a compelling thriller with a great performance by Ricardo Darín, as an epileptic and diffident taxidermist with a strange urge for elaborated heists.
August 8, 2007
pier007

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • El Aura (DE)
  • Aura (El Aura) The (UK)
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