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El Sicario, Room 164 Reviews

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Donald J. Levit
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

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.

Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews

February 6, 2012
Jesse Cataldo
Slant Magazine

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 Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 20, 2011
Alison Willmore
AV Club

El Sicario: Room 164 is an almost laughably simple, aggressively drab-looking film, but it packs a wallop.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B+

December 29, 2011
Nicolas Rapold
Film Comment Magazine

Gianfranco Rosi's extraordinary one-man documentary stares long and hard at the practiced but no less terrifying monologues of a Mexican hit man.

Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine

June 28, 2013
Sarah Boslaugh

...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 Source: Playback:stl | Original Score: 7/10

April 12, 2012
Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

December 27, 2011
Chris Cabin

gives off the sense that you're watching a 60 Minutes interview with Death himself

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 4/5

December 29, 2011
Keith Uhlich
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Despite his repentance, you sense that this lost soul will be confessing his sins for all eternity.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 4/5

December 20, 2011
Ron Wilkinson
Monsters and Critics

What appears to be a monologue documentary illuminates the elephant in the room. We are the killers.

Full Review Source: Monsters and Critics | Original Score: 8/10

December 30, 2011
Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Finally less compelling for its random details of multiple brutalities than for its chilling portrait of a country irretrievably rotting from within.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 3.5/5

December 27, 2011
Eric Monder
Film Journal International

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.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

December 28, 2011
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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 Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3/4

December 28, 2011
Mark Jenkins
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The stories are horrific, if laced with Tarantino-style humor.

Full Review Source: NPR

January 4, 2012
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