Metro Manila (2013)
Average Rating: 7.7/10
Reviews Counted: 22
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 0
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 0
Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 784
A desperate family from the northern Philippines finds that city living has its share of dangers after moving to Manila. With life in the rice fields looking particularly grim, Oscar Ramirez decides to raise his children in Manila. When Oscar lands a job with an armored truck company, it appears he has made the right move. But a high mortality rate among his coworkers and some shady business dealings at work soon lead Oscar to wonder if his family would have been better off in the country. ~
Jul 17, 2013 Wide
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It's pacy, engrossing, and Jake Macapagal's turn as the plucky schmuck protagonist is stellar
Boasts the stock characters and situations, sentimentality, foreshadowing and melodrama of soap opera. Yet by cleverly blending these ingredients with those of an action caper, the pic presents a fresher appeal.
It's drama, it's crime, it's a story of a family's survival against the struggle of life and even though it lacks the blood, gore, zombies and the monsters of the Fantasia Film Festival, Metro Manila is a horror story in its own unflinching way.
The story is perhaps a bit too tidy, broadly signposting both themes and plot twists, but a natural cast and the urgent camerawork make it a riveting ride.
There's a tenderness in the depiction of the central family which was notably lacking from Ellis's earlier work, and the nuts and bolts of the heist narrative are handled with slow-burn dexterity.
One of the most enrapturing experiences I've had at the movies in 2013: fiercely, grandly humanist, and almost unbearably tragic.
Metro Manila may be rife with well-worn genre devices, but this sporadically creative thriller is bolstered by Sean Ellis's keen eye for both visceral action and relationship drama.
The influence of Ken Loach makes way for the dynamics of a Quentin Tarantino-style heist. The result is an expertly crafted heartbreaker that cuts to the core of desperate lives.
Ellis proves that the slow-burning thriller can still work as both an entertainment and as a penetrating social critique.
Tales of country innocents corrupted by the big city have been a staple of cinema since the silent era, but the theme is bracingly updated here, in the colourful squalor of modern-day Manila.
Characterisation basic. But plot well-turned and pace moodily rubato, as in the best kind of B-movie.
It begins as a swirling drama of survival in the Filipino capital - but then suddenly it slips off down an alleyway, only to emerge a scrupulously engineered, Christopher Nolan-ish crime thriller.
There's a visceral sense of urgency in this cleverly made thriller that holds our attention even when the plot begins to feel over-constructed.
Metro Manila is an intense and emotionally gripping crime drama with a powerful narrative, arresting cinematography and some truly impressive performances from its cast, and Jake Macapagal in particular.
Brit filmmaker Sean Ellis does terrific work balancing the disparate elements of his crime-laced drama. Recommended.
A moving morality tale set in a world rarely seen in western cinema, Metro Manila is an underdog drama that feels as authentic as it is original.
Metro Manila is a film to be reckoned with, offering a gripping narrative, poetic imagery and some social commentary to boot.
Metro Manila comes up trumps in every respect, but particularly within its narrative.
This immaculately composed heist flick-cum-morality play just might bring Hollywood knocking on Sean Ellis' door.
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