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La Ciénaga (2001)

tomatometer

86

Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.

audience

82

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 1,328

My Rating

Movie Info

Two families try to make the best of a bad situation as they suffer through a crippling heat wave in this neo-realistic drama, featuring a primarily non-professional cast. Tali (Mercedes Moran) is minding four small children with little help from her husband, who is preoccupied with the opening of hunting season, as a record hot spell grips Argentina. Things aren't much better for her cousin Mecha (Graciela Borges), who is looking after four teenagers and a husband (Martin Adjemian) who can

R,

Drama, Art House & International, Comedy

Lucrecia Martel

Feb 1, 2005

Cowboy Booking International

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All Critics (44) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (31) | Rotten (5) | DVD (5)

Experiencing this film ultimately becomes as stimulating as watching metal rust.

February 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's a real energy in the way that La Cienaga takes nothing for granted -- except your attention and your intelligence.

December 13, 2001 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A strikingly well-directed, relentlessly dreary debut feature from Argentine director Lucrecia Martel.

November 30, 2001 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
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Look closely and you'll find something not often present in your average art-house flick -- a hint, intense and unsettling, of art itself.

November 30, 2001 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
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Martel glues together a disjointed picture of a society where tension lies only skin deep.

November 29, 2001 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The triumph of La Cienaga lies in Martel's way of fashioning the kind of ensemble performance that draws us in by convincing us we're watching behavior, not acting.

November 2, 2001
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

the most remarkable debut in recent experience

July 2, 2005 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

"La Cienaga" literally means the swamp, and the film feels it: a hothouse atmosphere of heat waves and rainstorms and the mired feeling of life stuck in a social bog.

March 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

[Martel's] technique works, often brilliantly, in depicting the hyper-real, unsettling atmosphere of a sometimes normal, potentially violent, mostly sick family.

January 11, 2002 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

La Cienaga is well worth the trouble finding -- and sitting through -- wherever it plays.

December 9, 2001 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

A wonder to look at, never less than in-your-face visually.

November 30, 2001 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

I found it a fascinating fly-on-the-wall experience, seeing the kind of ugly moments a family would hide from us had we been officially invited in.

November 16, 2001
San Francisco Examiner

A disturbing narrative of anomie, bigotry, and dysfunctionality that holds up a revelatory mirror to human nature.

October 20, 2001
Reel.com

A dark drama cuts to the bone with its relentlessly bleak portrait of family life breaking down.

October 13, 2001 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Within the first moments of her debut feature, La Ciénaga, writer/director Lucrecia Martel demonstrates a piercing sensibility and a sharp eye.

October 12, 2001 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

Oblique but potent, it's a film that will likely resonate with dispirited people everywhere.

October 11, 2001
New Times

Audience Reviews for La Ciénaga

this film is one of those discomfort making works like mike leigh's naked or solondz' happiness. the study of a bourgeois family on vacation, mostly having a miserable time: there's no real plot here but the ending, when it comes, seems inevitable. rather stunning for a debut film. be warned: there are virtually no likeable characters. i'd love to see more of martel's work
May 24, 2011
rubystevens
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

A very promising debut from Lucrecia Martel. No real plot but that doesn't matter when it's such a great study a family life. Beautifully shot also.
December 12, 2008
littlecharmer1959
Emily B.

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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Foreign Titles

  • La ciénaga (DE)
  • The Swamp (La cienaga) (UK)
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