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The Skin I Live In (2011)



Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 162
Fresh: 132 | Rotten: 30

The Skin I Live In lacks Almodovar's famously charged romance, replaced with a wonderfully bizarre and unpredictable detour into arthouse ick.


Average Rating: 7.3/10
Critic Reviews: 45
Fresh: 35 | Rotten: 10

The Skin I Live In lacks Almodovar's famously charged romance, replaced with a wonderfully bizarre and unpredictable detour into arthouse ick.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 25,590

My Rating

Movie Info

Ever since his wife was burned in a car crash, Dr. Robert Ledgard, an eminent plastic surgeon, has been interested in creating a new skin with which he could have saved her. After twelve years, he manages to cultivate a skin that is a real shield against every assault. In addition to years of study and experimentation, Robert needed a further three things: no scruples, an accomplice and a human guinea pig. Scruples were never a problem. Marilia, the woman who looked after him from the day he was

Mar 6, 2012


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October 14, 2011:
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All Critics (162) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (132) | Rotten (30) | DVD (7)

Few filmmakers are more assured or alluring, even when we fear we're following a monster.

November 23, 2011 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There are few filmmakers -- David Lynch comes to mind, Woody Allen -- who have a completely unique way of imprinting a film. Nobody but Pedro Almodóvar could have made The Skin I Live In. And that's high compliment.

November 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

These are questions one is left with -- and that's not an entirely satisfying feeling. Yet it's hard not to be drawn into the story, and even more, into the gorgeous storytelling.

November 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Despite its scalpel-like precision, pic falls short of its titular promise, never quite getting under the skin as it should.

November 3, 2011 Full Review Source: Variety | Comments (5)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Only someone as talented as Almodóvar could have mixed such elements without blowing up an entire movie.

November 3, 2011 Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Pedro Almodóvar wows with the meticulous visual design of his films, but sometimes his narrative architecture is every bit as dazzling.

November 3, 2011 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Almodóvar has a body of work as rigorously personal as any out there, and, even with its flaws, he wears this latest Skin rather well.

November 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

Despite the typically invigorating sense of line and framing, The Skin I Live In withholds the director's customary satisfactions and affirmations. The result is a saga of obsession that, in its saturnine undertone, maintains a hard-to-enjoy integrity.

July 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

This is a lush, deeply pleasurable film to experience on a sensory level; Almodovar couldn't produce a boring frame if he left the lens cap on.

June 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin

Pedro Almodovar's The Skin I Live In, a terrific, twisty thriller that is one of the filmmaker's best and one of the year's best films.

March 2, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

It's as disquieting as it is unsatisfying, a slog through gender issues, surgery and violence - sexual and otherwise.

December 28, 2012 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

A movie puzzle that confounds and then unnerves with an impact as shocking as any of the most infamous of cinema last-reel shockers

September 25, 2012 Full Review Source:

I was agonising over every twist and turn. I was shuffling in my seat. I was feeling physical reactions to the scenes and quite simply I was impressed with Banderas' strikingly nuanced performance under the incredible direction of Almodóvar.

May 15, 2012 Full Review Source: 2UE That Movie Show
2UE That Movie Show

Leave it to Pedro Almodovar to figure a uniquely twisted way to unsettle.

April 6, 2012 Full Review Source:

With a deliberately preposterous storyline involving burning bodies, evil brothers, rape, suicide, revenge, sexual identity and medical procedure, this is darkly comic arthouse soap - with a tinge of horror - and definitely an acquired taste.

April 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Screenwize

High-art pulp: brazenly kitschy, elegantly creepy, patently ludicrous.

March 15, 2012 Full Review Source:

There are two iron wills in this movie. What's shocking is the lengths that each character goes to. A seriously campy tone almost undercuts the seriousness of the story, and it has its fair share of uncomfortable and shocking laughs.

March 9, 2012 Full Review Source:

With The Skin I Live In, Almodovar adopts a playfully wicked attitude, similar to the one James Whale used on Bride of Frankenstein.

March 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Although snubbed by the Oscar machine, "The Skin I Live In" is a solid drama-thriller that offers the best contemporary take on the Frankenstein tale that I've seen in a long while.

February 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Almodóvar returns to his horror roots

February 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

Not since David Cronenberg have surgery, sex and violence frolicked in the same stained bed so skillfully.

January 13, 2012 Full Review Source:

Almodovar has delivered another transformative work that finds his queer sensibility in high, thrilling gear.

January 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Knight at the Movies
Knight at the Movies

This is a horror story only Almodovar could conjure. It's filled with his style of melodrama and love for the disenfranchised, not to mention a seedy undercurrent that is sure to turn off some. A film for strong minds and sturdy hearts.

January 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews
Matt's Movie Reviews

Combines enough that's genre-friendly and accessible with the trademark style of a truly unique and "artsy" filmmaker.

January 3, 2012 Full Review Source: FEARnet

The Skin I Live In certainly puts the ! in ALMODOVAR! The Spanish auteur's latest film is particularly melodramatic, bizarre, and visually sumptuous, even by his already heightened standards.

December 22, 2011 Full Review Source: Quickflix

A mix of creepy horror and seductive melodrama, The Skin I Live In reveals its secrets gradually.

December 22, 2011 Full Review Source: Movie Talk
Movie Talk

Audience Reviews for The Skin I Live In

A surgeon works on skin replacement for a woman that he mysteriously keeps locked in his house.
Pedro Almodovar has always made weird films that challenge traditional conceptions of sexuality and gender with multiple, intersecting characters, but what has been his weakness in my view was the degree to which the stories interconnect to form a fluid narrative or consistent theme. The Skin I Live In is his best film because it has a fantastic, fluid narrative that unfolds deftly. It's full of surprises and the twists come logically and unexpectedly. Disturbing to the core, Almodovar once again seeks to problematize traditional points of view. What's more, I loved his use of "show" details -- actions that characters perform that tell us about their inner life -- and when Robert's daughter climbs in the closet, I couldn't think of a better way to show her devastation.
Antonio Banderas is at his best, evil -- staring over his eyebrows -- when he needs to be and even charming at times, and one of my favorite Spanish actresses, Elena Anaya, gives an astounding performance.
Overall, if you only see one Almodovar film, make it this one -- just don't bring your sensibilities or the children.
December 10, 2012
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

The women of Almodovar! Mesmerising.. All the ingredients of a typical Almodovar are present. Those who've seen some of his movies will know what I mean.
October 28, 2012

Super Reviewer

Pedro Almodóvar has always been a twisted individual.

This is a filmmaker that had destitute nuns, sex addicts, mothers trading their sons to pay dental bills, someone who changes sex to have a sexual relationship with her father, among many others. So "La Piel que Habito (The Skin I Live In)" should be no surprise to anyone who's witnessed Almodóvar's amazing career.

What's different about "The Skin I Live In" is that while his prior films always had at least an ounce of humor (some more slapstick "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown", some more subtle and satiric "Volver" and "All About My Mother"), "Skin is pure physiological horror. It's Almodóvar by way of Hitchcock or Argento. And it's a testament to his maturity as a filmmaker that he makes it work.

"Skin" is about a grieving plastic surgeon who after 12 years has managed to cultivate a skin that is a shield against any element. The film centers around his relationship with his human guinea pig and how this relationship is affected by the personal losses he's experienced in his life (his wife and daughter). How this psychologically plays out goes into icky territory but it wonderfully twisted and bizarre. You will be rapt by this mental exploration, not only of the God complex doctor but of his guinea pig patient and his motherly accomplice.

"Skin" reunites Almodóvar with one of his original, and probably only, male muse Antonio Banderas - and it does wonders for Banderas. He hasn't been this good in a live action film since the 1990s. Almodóvar understands Banderas gifts and allows his to use his penetrating eyes with menace. To pull off such a bizarre story Almodóvar knows he needs a strong cast to make it convincing so he relies on his frequent collaborator Marisa Paredes and the alluring Elena Anaya ("Talk to Her") to help round out this insane trio.

But the film belongs to Almodóvar. Despite the darkness of the story he still brings his unique storytelling style to the forefront. His wonderful ear for fluid dialogue and impeccable eye for perfectly framing a scene manages to add to tense, claustrophobic feel of "The Skin I Live In".

Despite the film taking some time to find its rhythm, the moment it settles in and grabs you, it doesn't let go. "The Skin I Live In" may not be one of his classics, but it's a great addition to the imaginative world Pedro Almodóvar has created over the last 30 years.
October 6, 2012
The Gandiman
Tony Gandía

Super Reviewer

Good movie. Quite disturbing, and have to admit I didn't see the identity of the girl coming at all! Really quite an enthralling story, kept me interested.
September 27, 2012

Super Reviewer

    1. Robert Ledgard: What's going on?
    2. Vera: I'm going to kill you.
    3. Robert Ledgard: This is a joke, right?
    4. Vera: Call it what you want.
    5. Robert Ledgard: But you promised!
    6. Vera: I lied.
    – Submitted by Jillian L (14 months ago)
    1. Vicente: Why did you shave me?
    2. Robert Ledgard: That's a good question. [suffocates Vicente with aftershave]
    – Submitted by Scott B (2 years ago)
    1. Robert Ledgard: But you promised..
    – Submitted by Faza A (2 years ago)
    1. Norma: Oh boy, what a wonderful day...
    2. Vicente: Give me all your money, quick!
    – Submitted by Patrick P (2 years ago)
    1. Marilia: The things a madman's love can do...
    – Submitted by Fernán O (2 years ago)
    1. Vicente: I'm high too.
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
View all quotes (7)

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Foreign Titles

  • Die Haut in der ich wohne (DE)
  • The Skin I Live In (La piel que habito) (UK)
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