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Machuca

Machuca (2004)

tomatometer

89

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 37
Fresh: 33 | Rotten: 4

Machuca is a touchingly bittersweet story of childhood friendship and a demonstration of how the political affects the personal.

92

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 13
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 1

Machuca is a touchingly bittersweet story of childhood friendship and a demonstration of how the political affects the personal.

audience

91

liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 6,499

My Rating

Movie Info

Santiago, Chile, 1973: Pedro Machuca is a poor boy of tribal descent, brought into an upper class private school during Chile's brief socialist era. Gonzalo, the well-to-do boy seated a row ahead, befriends Pedro against the bullying will of his classmates. In so doing, he discovers a raw, thrilling but wildly complicated world outside his own previously sheltered homelife. Pedro's fierce, attractive young neighbor Silvana by turns mocks Gonzalo's pampered background, only to fondly lead both

Unrated,

Art House & International, Drama

Andres Wood

Mar 6, 2007

Menemsha Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (40) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (33) | Rotten (4) | DVD (1)

Though the film would benefit from further cuts, Machuca still manages to convey the frailty of convictions and the difficulties of growing up -- be it a child or a nation.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Thanks to a pristine eye for period detail and strong acting skills by the entire cast, there's no need for the script to press any points.

January 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A fine, exciting film that makes a bloody historical event live all over again by showing it through the eyes of children on the edges of the conflict.

December 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

That rare film that merges the personal and political without sacrificing restraint or intellectual honesty.

November 18, 2005 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[The film has] an unerring eye for time and place that's counterbalanced by an overly passive, if sympathetic, central character.

October 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a sensitively wrought work that reveals a time in Chile when class differences were both ignored and emphasized, depending on your perspective.

July 15, 2005 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Chilean director Andres Wood sharply observes and re-creates the era.

January 12, 2006 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

[The film] examines how this unstable social climate strains the incipient friendship between two boys.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Wood is content to pace his film with a methodic leisure that both suits his tone and stretches his story a bit thin.

November 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

A visually stirring film that asks many questions about Chile's 1973 coup, without providing any easy answers.

October 27, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Has moments of vivid clarity and power, mixed randomly with clunky samples of other coming-of-age films.

July 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Dense and well-crafted.

July 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Palo Alto Weekly
Palo Alto Weekly

The film succeeds...in fleshing out the central characters, lending credence to their personal experience of historically sweeping events

July 10, 2005 Full Review Source: culturevulture.net
culturevulture.net

As perceptive about youth as were the French New Wave films, and in its wide sympathy and honest outrage extends some of the rich implications of The Motorcycle Diaries.

July 8, 2005 Full Review Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
San Diego Union-Tribune

Machuca doesn't just recite a history lesson for us - it lives it as only two children on the cusp of adulthood can.

June 17, 2005
Fresno Bee

An eloquent and moving take on the tragedy of a society that attacks its own and successfully humanises difficult ideas of political and class loyalty.

May 10, 2005 Full Review Source: BBC.com
BBC.com

A remarkable and compelling film you won't soon forget.

April 29, 2005
Reel.com

Machuca is so powerful because of its clear-eyed, relentlessly tragic dovetailing of personal passions and political betrayals.

April 16, 2005
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

Audience Reviews for Machuca

A movie that takes an average coming of age template and mixes it with the true story of social changes in 1970s Chile. Good acting by the main characters, especially for child actors. If the title character, Machuca, was given more of a reason for his name to be the title than the film could have been better, or have reached a different direction, but it is still a well made film, and I learned about some Chilean history that I was not aware of before hand.
October 5, 2006
DrZeek

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]In "Machuca," it is 1973 in Santiago as democracy in Chile is undergoing its death throes. Gonzalo(Matias Quer) struggles to make sense of the chaotic situation as the only stores open are the black market. His mother(Aline Kuppenheim) has an affair with an older man to get the goods her family needs including the Lone Ranger books her son loves. At the private school Gonzalo attends, five indigent local students are admitted, one of whom, Pedro(Ariel Mateluna), he befriends, going so far as to help him and his older sister, Silvana(Manuela Martelli), sell flags at demonstrations.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"Machuca" is an ordinary and superficial coming-of-age movie with strong echoes of "Au Revoir Les Enfants" whose sole distinction is its setting which it does not take full advantage of. "Blame It on Fidel" did a much better job of showing a conflicted world through a child's eyes.[/font]
October 17, 2007
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

The film may be a little slow, but it's also heart-warming, beatifully shot and rewarding. The director doesn't go for cheap tears, which the story could've brought, but rather goes for effective storytelling and painful realism in it's characters.
January 30, 2008
divinetrash
Quinto Wallight

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Machuca, mein Freund (DE)
  • Mon ami Machuca (FR)
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