El Sicario, Room 164 (2011)
Average Rating: 7.8/10
Reviews Counted: 13
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 1
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 0
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 638
In an anonymous motel room on the U.S./Mexico border, a Ciudad Juárez hitman speaks. He has killed hundreds of people and is an expert in torture and kidnapping. He was simultaneously on the payroll of the Mexican drug cartels and a commander of the Chihuahua State Police. There is currently a $250,000 contract on his life and he lives as a fugitive, though he has never been charged with a crime in any country. With his face obscured by a black mesh hood, he tells his story to the camera inside
Dec 28, 2011 Limited
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Rosi avoids all embellishments, such as re-creating some of the crimes. A wise choice, since the hit man's narration is compelling and frightening on its own.
Finally less compelling for its random details of multiple brutalities than for its chilling portrait of a country irretrievably rotting from within.
The film's sparse, almost banal presentation is a virtue, for to boldface the horrors under discussion would only trivialize or sensationalize them, as the Mexican murder magazines do.
Despite his repentance, you sense that this lost soul will be confessing his sins for all eternity.
Gianfranco Rosi's extraordinary one-man documentary stares long and hard at the practiced but no less terrifying monologues of a Mexican hit man.
...never dull thanks to the intrinsic interest of the subject matter and dramatic sense and disarming frankness of the narrator, whose attitude and lack of regrets could be summed up as "business is business."
This one-man dramatization is not a film, but surely an indictment. Rosi's 'grey zone where good and evil meet' is wide of the mark; this is pure evil.
What appears to be a monologue documentary illuminates the elephant in the room. We are the killers.
gives off the sense that you're watching a 60 Minutes interview with Death himself
El Sicario: Room 164 is an almost laughably simple, aggressively drab-looking film, but it packs a wallop.
A cross between a feature-length home movie and instant avant-garde classic, El Sicario, Room 164 records a man in a room (though not just any man) talking for 80 charged minutes.
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