El Sicario, Room 164 Reviews

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Donald J. Levit
ReelTalk Movie Reviews
February 6, 2012
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.
Jesse Cataldo
Slant Magazine
December 20, 2011
A lot of evil is laid on the table in El Sicario, and the film makes a big, if exquisitely subtle show, of theorizing that there's no way to explain how it got there.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Alison Willmore
AV Club
December 29, 2011
El Sicario: Room 164 is an almost laughably simple, aggressively drab-looking film, but it packs a wallop.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Nicolas Rapold
Film Comment Magazine
June 28, 2013
Gianfranco Rosi's extraordinary one-man documentary stares long and hard at the practiced but no less terrifying monologues of a Mexican hit man.
Sarah Boslaugh
April 12, 2012
...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."
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Top Critic
Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice
December 27, 2011
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.
Chris Cabin
December 29, 2011
gives off the sense that you're watching a 60 Minutes interview with Death himself
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Keith Uhlich
Time Out
December 20, 2011
Despite his repentance, you sense that this lost soul will be confessing his sins for all eternity.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Ron Wilkinson
Monsters and Critics
December 30, 2011
What appears to be a monologue documentary illuminates the elephant in the room. We are the killers.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Top Critic
Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
December 27, 2011
Finally less compelling for its random details of multiple brutalities than for its chilling portrait of a country irretrievably rotting from within.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Eric Monder
Film Journal International
December 28, 2011
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.
Top Critic
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
December 28, 2011
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
January 4, 2012
The stories are horrific, if laced with Tarantino-style humor.
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