Manito (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

Manito (2003)




Critic Consensus: An intimate and moving picture that captures the life of one of Manhattan's neighborhoods.

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Movie Info

Yet another American filmmaker inspired by the storytelling economy of Dogme 95 , writer/director Eric Eason shot his feature debut, Manito, on digital video with a tiny budget and cast the film predominantly with first-time actors. Native New Yorker Eason's tale takes place in the Puerto Rican community of Washington Heights. Manny (Leo Minaya) is graduating high school near the top of his class and is headed to Syracuse University on a full scholarship. His family proudly organizes a massive graduation party, paid for by his older brother, Junior (Franky G.). Junior is a habitual womanizer who's done time for dealing drugs, but now he's working as a contractor. He's still hustling -- he falsifies his insurance certificate for a new job and hires illegal Mexican workers off the street -- but he's trying to pull his life together and support his wife, Miriam (Julissa Lopez), and their little boy. But his big celebration for Manny (staged at the famous Jimmy's Bronx Café) does not go smoothly. Their father, Oscar (Manuel Cabral), a reformed crack dealer, tries to participate in the big event, but Junior, still haunted by their ugly past, chases Oscar off, threatening to kill him. Manny has a crush on a sexually mature classmate, Marisol (Jessica Morales), and when he escorts her home from the party, they're accosted on the subway by two hoods who molest Marisol and steal Manny's graduation money. Just when it seems the world might be opening up to them, Manny and Junior find their hopes for the future in jeopardy. Manito won a Special Jury Prize for its ensemble cast at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, and was shown in competition at the 2002 Tribeca Film Festival.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Eric Eason
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 1, 2005
Film Movement - Official Site


Franky G
as Junior Moreno
Leo Minaya
as Manny Moreno
Leo Manaya
as Manny Moreno
Manuel Cabral
as Oscar Moreno
Julissa Lopez
as Miriam Moreno
Panchito Gomez
as Rodchenko
Jeff Asencio
as Ignacio
Petra Quinones
as Aunt Aida
Tiffany Yates
as Mrs. Wendorf
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Manito

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (19)

The film shows a capsule of American urban life where few outside the community venture in. Eason hands out an invitation to do so. Accept it willingly.

Full Review… | July 1, 2005
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Ragged but intense, this compassionate little movie is stocked with enough skillful touches and sensitive moments to stir interest in Eason's future work.

Full Review… | June 20, 2003
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic

A low-budget wonder.

Full Review… | June 13, 2003
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

A remarkably assured feature debut, Eric Eason's raw, intimate movie deftly captures the kinetic energy of its Washington Heights setting.

Full Review… | June 13, 2003
New York Daily News
Top Critic

What Manito delivers that its cable TV cousins rarely seem interested in exploring are the tiniest details of the real urban 'hood where its stories take place.

Full Review… | June 13, 2003
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Eason has crafted a small, independent film that has an outsized impact.

June 13, 2003
New York Post
Top Critic

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