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The Crime of Padre Amaro

The Crime of Padre Amaro (2002)



Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 82
Fresh: 51 | Rotten: 31

Though melodramatic, El Crimen del Padre Amaro's critique of the Catholic church is a timely one.


Average Rating: 6.2/10
Critic Reviews: 32
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 11

Though melodramatic, El Crimen del Padre Amaro's critique of the Catholic church is a timely one.



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Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 12,627

My Rating

Movie Info

A priest discovers the path of virtue can be steep, and temptation can demand a heavy price, in this controversial drama from Mexico. Father Amaro (Gael Garcia Bernal) is a young Catholic priest whose mentor, the Bishop (Ernesto Gomez Cruz), expects great things from him. However, like all priests, Amaro must first be assigned where he is needed most, which leads him to the small rural community of Los Reyes, where Amaro is to assist Father Benito (Sancho Gracia). To his shock, Amaro discovers

Apr 1, 2003


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All Critics (92) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (51) | Rotten (31) | DVD (13)

For all of the criticisms of the Church in El Crimen del Padre Amaro, Carrera is quick to defend the basic humanity of his characters.

February 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's not hard to see why Mexican audiences are lapping this up.

February 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
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A lurid but timeless reminder that the bureaucracies and regulations of organized religion have nothing to do -- indeed are often at odds -- with living a God-ward life.

December 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
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Nothing more than a stifling morality tale dressed up in peekaboo clothing.

December 5, 2002 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The director Carlos Carrera, who is acceptably talented, keeps the story on track -- on its various tracks.

December 2, 2002
The New Republic
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Lurid drama that goes to ridiculously great lengths to draw its sad and tawdry picture.

November 30, 2002
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Like Father like Son, for soon Amaro is giving the beautiful waitress, Amelia (Ana Claudia Talancón) ... her Catechism lessons in bed ....

August 1, 2004 Full Review Source: JWR

While the issues the film raises are acutely topical, Carrera seems bent on carrying on a crusade rather than creating a realistic drama.

February 16, 2004 Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

Apesar das inúmeras liberdades tomadas com o texto de Eça de Queiroz, o filme funciona maravilhosamente bem com seus personagens tridimensionais e questionamentos sobre a Igreja.

July 25, 2003
Cinema em Cena

The drama was so uninspiring that even a story immersed in love, lust, and sin couldn't keep my attention.

June 27, 2003 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

For all its oddities and deliberate controversy, Padre Amaro is at bottom a very melodramatic soap opera. It's not a bad one, but it's pretty much 99 and 44/100ths pure.

April 16, 2003 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A muckraking tale of priestly corruption, hypocrisy and illicit love that smothers its reformist protest beneath a sweaty cassock of sexual soap opera and overheated religious symbolism...

March 6, 2003
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

One of the most relentlessly eye-opening dramas of the year.

March 4, 2003 Full Review Source: Premiere Magazine
Premiere Magazine

Like a south-of-the-border Melrose Place.

February 27, 2003
Planet Sick-Boy

Nothing more than a mediocre trifle.

February 15, 2003 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

Cut through the layers of soap-opera emotion and you find a scathing portrayal of a powerful entity strangling the life out of the people who want to believe in it the most.

February 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

Drama of temptation, salvation and good intentions is a thoughtful examination of faith, love ... and power.

February 11, 2003 Full Review Source: Netflix

El Crimen Del Padre Amaro would likely be most effective if used as a tool to rally anti-Catholic protestors.

February 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Exclaim!

This rather unfocused, all-over-the-map movie would be a lot better if it pared down its plots and characters to a few rather than dozens... or if it were subtler... or if it had a sense of humor.

February 7, 2003 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Bernal ... gives an ambiguous performance; he's a lightweight actor, but that's a positive quality when portraying a man on whom nothing leaves a permanent mark.

February 7, 2003 Full Review Source: Charlotte Observer
Charlotte Observer

The film is based on an 1875 novel but couldn't be more timely .

January 31, 2003 Full Review Source: Des Moines Register
Des Moines Register

Truth be told, The Crime of Father Amaro isn't very compelling.

January 31, 2003 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star's junk, but it's tasty junk - you're fooling yourself if you think its politics run any deeper than the true yet obvious observation that power corrupts some people.

January 7, 2003 Full Review
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Don't hate El Crimen del Padre Amaro because it's anti-Catholic. Hate it because it's lousy.

December 13, 2002 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Audience Reviews for The Crime of Padre Amaro

Really good movie. Gael Garcia Bernal is a top of the line actor. This is a well made, well written, and well done film.
October 12, 2010

Super Reviewer

One of the most controversial films ever made
December 28, 2009
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

One of the most provocative, captivating and controversial films of the year. An 1875 novel by Portuguese writer Eca de Queiros is updated to modern Mexico, becoming a slick, well-acted melodrama. The film sparked controversy in Mexico for its portrayal of the Catholic church. Impressive.
February 21, 2009
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

Lurid, one-sided assault detailing corruption within the Catholic church. What a fresh idea! Wildly schizophrenic film abruptly changes focus from one story to the next as it recounts various stories of immoral priests in Latin America, who struggle between their religious vows and earthly desires. Ultimately, nothing is resolved and the audience is left with a lot of unanswered questioned in this thoroughly unsatisfying film.
August 26, 2008

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • The Crime of Padre Amaro (El crimen del padre Amaro) (DE)
  • The Crime of Father Amaro (El crimen del padre Amaro) (UK)
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