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Che: Part One (The Argentine) (2009)

tomatometer

66

Average Rating: 6.3/10
Reviews Counted: 134
Fresh: 89 | Rotten: 45

Though lengthy and at times plodding, Soderbergh's vision and Benicio Del Toro's understated performance ensure that Che always fascinates.

60

Average Rating: 6/10
Critic Reviews: 30
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 12

Though lengthy and at times plodding, Soderbergh's vision and Benicio Del Toro's understated performance ensure that Che always fascinates.

audience

75

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 18,965

My Rating

Movie Info

Part 1 of Steven Soderbergh's Che Guevara saga stars Benicio Del Toro as the legendary Argentine revolutionary. The film opens with Che as one of the important figures in the growing Cuban rebellion led by Fidel Castro (Demián Bichir). The movie charts how the two successfully built an underground army large enough to successfully overthrow the government of Fulgencio Batista. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi

Jul 14, 2009

$1.5M

IFC Films

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Latest News on Che: Part One (The Argentine)

January 4, 2009:
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Benicio Del Toro faced his greatest acting challenge when he took on the role of Ernesto "Che"...
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All Critics (135) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (89) | Rotten (45) | DVD (7)

Soderbergh has made two almost perfect war films, more like the Rings Trilogy than The Green Berets.

October 1, 2009 Full Review Source: MovieTime, ABC Radio National
MovieTime, ABC Radio National
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There is precious little in these movies to fill out our understanding of what it was that made Che a rebel, a leader of men, and the repository of the romantic dreams of several generations of armchair revolutionaries

March 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Film.com | Comment (1)
Film.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A potentially great title-role performance by Benicio Del Toro, which won him the best actor award at Cannes, is buried beneath Soderbergh's stylistic tics and a defiant lack of dramatic tension.

February 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In releasing this reverent, meticulous, fascinating but flaccid history in two lengthy parts, Soderbergh committed perhaps the greatest sin of all. He made Che boring.

February 18, 2009 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As absorbing as it is frustrating.

January 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Che, the story of a failed revolutionary, also fails as a film.

January 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Detroit News | Comments (5)
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The myth somehow deserves better.

August 16, 2011 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

The quality of the film is more than a testament to Mr Del Toro's acting skills, it is a reminder that Hollywood can make great films without 'selling out'.

March 24, 2011 Full Review Source: What Culture
What Culture

The director sees Guevara as a pure humanitarian. ... The films are excellent, but understanding this complex historical figure requires more than one source.

January 26, 2011 Full Review Source: Las Vegas CityLife

Soderbergh has no interest in sentimentality, or back story, or even really in Guevara's philosophy, except as a rigorously footnoted onscreen reflection. Practically rejecting outright the concept of poetic license, Che is radical as a biopic.

June 13, 2010 Full Review Source: DCist

simultaneously a Hollywood throwback with its lengthy, four-and-a-half-hour roadshow grandiosity and a challenging experiment in genre reformulation

February 4, 2010 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Che is a ground-level study in perseverance.

January 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Those who have read something about this will get more out of the movies, but it's not compulsory. I saw both parts in one day and the experience was absorbing.

October 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

The Guevara portrayed here has humour but no irony: his commitment to the revolutionary ethos leaves little room for doubt, neurosis, or private loyalties of any kind.

October 1, 2009 Full Review Source: The Age (Australia)
The Age (Australia)

A major disappointment. Soderbergh has stripped the story of most of its drama and though Del Toro, who won Best Actor at Cannes last year, is very convincing as Che, this Spanish-language film almost seems like an anti-movie.

September 30, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia)
At the Movies (Australia)

Overall, a worthwhile venture if you have always wanted to know more about Guevara's controversial legacy, but were unsure where to start.

September 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Herald Sun (Australia)
Herald Sun (Australia)

It's not a Hollywood-style movie - it demands patience and proper attention - but it's a great movie, and rewards magnificently.

September 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out Sydney
Time Out Sydney

An extraordinary performance from Benicio Del Toro anchors this long but gripping film based on a powerful true story.

September 29, 2009 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

Ultimately, not only does this epic enlighten but one hopes it may help to rekindle some of the revolutionary spirit that seems to be sadly lacking in contemporary society.

September 28, 2009 Full Review Source: Sunday Times (Australia)
Sunday Times (Australia)

Great showcase for Benicio del Toro, of course, a wonderful actor who gives it his all. But Che, the T shirt hero of three generations, is a myth that so many today THINK Che stood for.

September 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile | Comments (5)
Urban Cinefile

It is interesting. It is ambitious. It is well-assembled, and it is beautifully shot. And it is long -- so long, in fact, that Soderbergh broke his project into two parts.

September 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune
Times-Picayune

All the excitement of a wet weekend in Bognor.

June 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

Sem cometer o erro de usar a guerrilha nas montanhas como desculpa para conferir um caráter de "longa de ação" ao projeto, O Argentino é basicamente um filme de idéias políticas.

March 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

Del Toro and Soderbergh portray the man as something more than just an animated version of the image that festoons the T-shirts of thousands of armchair revolutionaries.

March 18, 2009 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Del Toro's performance is fine and there are many strong moments (including some wonderful black and white footage of Che in New York) but the parts are better than the whole.

March 17, 2009 Full Review Source: KPBS.org
KPBS.org

Audience Reviews for Che: Part One (The Argentine)

I see this film has split many down the middle, is it love/hate or is it just down to either being American or not? I thought that it was a fantastic film that totally exceeded my ambivalent expectations. I loved the Motorcycle diaries and wondered if this film would act as a good successor and I believe it does. Soderbergh is a love/hate director for me but lately it's been mainly love, this being my favourite of his films so far. I'm fed up of peoples BS about this film and many like it as being 'Unbalanced' and 'rose-tinted'. Biopics and historical events can only be reenacted to a point but anyone who has actually done any research into Che will know that not much has been left out that didn't warrant it. I studied Che, Cuban history and the fear of Communism at college and would often challenge people sporting Che t-shirts as to whether they actually know anything about him. I think Soderbergh's direction suits the story perfectly and I thought Benicio Del Toro was brilliant in the title role. Pretty much faultless in my opinion, the criticisms here on flixster really surprise me (by the way flixster, you got the cast wrong Javier Bardem did not play Fidel Castro)
April 30, 2012
SirPant

Super Reviewer

A sprawling, epic look at the life of Che Guevara through the lense of Steven Soderbergh. Del Toro is brilliant in the lead.
October 27, 2011
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

I should have hated this film. I feel like the legend of Che has become so distorted & romanticized, that whatever your cause, you can invoke the name of Che to further it. On top of this, every college student with access to a Hot Topic has donned a shirt with the figure's face on it, without the benefit of knowing the context of the original movement. The last thing I needed was further ambiguity.
However, Soderbergh's film seems to revel in this ambiguity. Che was a zealous ideologue, ardent supporter of justice (no matter how perverse his idea of justice became), and a romantic. I feel as though Soderbergh captures this very well and made really the only film you could make about such an enigmatic figure. One devoid of understanding.
Were Soderbergh to take a stance and really dive into what drove Che, he would be making a judgement. Whether he would decide that Che's pursuits were righteous, or a parade a violence driven by delusion, Soderbergh would have to judge his character. And how do you do that when he means so many things to so many different types of people?
I think by abandoning the conventional narrative, and showing vignettes of his life rather than presenting it chronologically, Soderbergh continues to let the audience decide.
Sure, I understand the criticism that by not showing Che commit the violent acts himself in a way absolves him of the crimes & creates in essence, a fairly tale. Yet, I think Che's pursuits were of a very macabre fairy tale.
Will I be watching this film every weekend? No way. Do I think Soderbergh could have tightened up the film overall and cut some of the fat? Absolutely. None the less, I think Soderbergh made the only film that could be made about this infamous revolutionary. It's terrifically filmed, impeccably acted, & I think Soderbergh deserves a lot of credit for bringing this controversial life to the big screen.
September 22, 2011
axadntpron
Reid Volk

Super Reviewer

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