Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 45
Fresh: 28 | Rotten: 17
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Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critic Reviews: 17
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 5
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 427
Amigo, from writer-director John Sayles, stars legendary Filipino actor Joel Torre as Rafael, a village mayor caught in the murderous crossfire of the Philippine-American War. When U.S. troops occupy his village, Rafael comes under pressure from a tough-as-nails officer (Chris Cooper) to help the Americans in their hunt for Filipino guerilla fighters. But Rafael's brother (Ronnie Lazaro) is the head of the local guerillas, and considers anyone who cooperates with the Americans to be a traitor.
Aug 19, 2011 Limited
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A reflection on power and betrayal, on the thin line between acting as your conscience demands and protecting obligations close to your heart.
Sayles is always an interesting storyteller, and if "Amigo" isn't typical of his subtler methods, it's still a compelling look at history and its continuing influence.
You could argue that the chief villain of the ambiguously titled "Amigo" is language, which is used quite deliberately to mock and mislead and betray.
By choosing Rafael as its hero, "Amigo" looks not only at a little-known part of American history, but at a rarely examined type of movie character.
An engrossing, perceptive, supremely humane drama about imperialism and loyalty.
Naysayers might argue that the film's anti-war message is so obvious it doesn't bear repeating; but if that's the case, why do we tolerate so many unnecessary wars?
Movies this intelligent and aware of so many different points of view should be celebrated, so kudos to Sayles for pulling it off, time and again, in his multi-decade career.
When John Sayles wants to tell a story, he makes fine movies such as "Lone Star" and "The Secret of Roan Inish." When Sayles wants to prove a point, he makes dreck like "Amigo."
Amigo is quiet and slow, a war drama in which the war has mostly passed the main characters by.
Sayles narrowly avoids the preachy direction in which Amigo pulls, largely because he isn't interested in making anyone into a punching bag.
Neither character-narrative engaging nor educationally enlightening, the film adds up to a fail.
There's no real sense of the atmosphere of a sticky, buggy, fetid jungle, and no intensity to a story that cries out for a sense of moral outrage.
The film keeps several balls in the air simultaneously while never actually taking sides.
"Amigo" is probably too didactic and period-bound to find a wide audience, and the Americans who would benefit most from it are likely to be confused by it.
In its quiet way, Amigo builds to a devastating portrait of war's terrible cost.
Amigo ought to be a great film: the subject is fascinating and still resonates today, even though it takes place over a hundred years ago. The Philippine-American war has been pretty much ignored...
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