Tony Manero (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

Tony Manero (2009)

Tony Manero



Critic Consensus: Deliberately provocative, Tony Manero is as challenging and compelling as it is difficult to describe.

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Movie Info

As Augusto Pinochet holds Chile in the grip of dictatorship, a 50-year-old man obsessed with John Travolta's character from Saturday Night Fever imitates his idol each weekend in a small bar on the outskirts of Santiago. Each weekend, Raúl Peralta and his friends -- a devoted group of dancers -- gather in a small bar and act out their favorite scenes from Saturday Night Fever. Raúl longs to become a showbiz superstar, and when the national television announces a Tony Manero impersonating contest it seems like he may finally have a shot at living his dreams. But as Raúl is driven to commit a series of crimes and thefts in order to reproduce his matinee idol's persona, his dancing partners (also underground resistance fighters who rail against the regime) are persecuted by the secret police. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Mateo Irribaren, Pablo Larrain, Mateo Iribarren, Alfredo Castro
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 1, 2010
Sophie Dulac Distribution

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Alfredo Castro
as Raúl Peralta
Nicolás Mosso
as Tomás as a Child
Rodrigo Perez
as CNI Agent 1
Francisco Gonzalez
as CNI Agent 2
Diego Medina
as TV Producer
Luis Uribe
as Tony 5 (winner)
Juan Pino
as Tony 3
Antonia Zegers
as TV Producer
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Tony Manero

Critic Reviews for Tony Manero

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (10)

Larrain's (literally) dark, edgy movie is a precise artistic commentary on Augusto Pinochet's miserable regime, which was 
under way while Travolta gyrated.

Full Review… | July 22, 2009
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Larrain evokes the bleakness and oppressiveness of life in a police state with much subtlety even as he poses a much larger question about cultural imperialism.

Full Review… | July 20, 2009
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Shot with a hand-held camera and presented in a fragmented scenario, Tony Manero is the director's compelling attempt to find parallels between the Pinochet reign of terror and Raúl's scruple-less antics.

Full Review… | July 3, 2009
New York Post
Top Critic

A memorably claustrophobic evocation of its time and place, as well as a reminder that the so-called escape offered by pop culture can sometimes be an escape into soul-sucking madness.

Full Review… | July 3, 2009
Top Critic

More than an indelible portrait of a sociopath with the soul of a zombie, Tony Manero is an extremely dark meditation on borrowed cultural identity.

Full Review… | July 3, 2009
New York Times
Top Critic

[Director] Larrain deftly employs a Dardennes-style in-the-moment handheld lensing, managing a high-wire act in which audience disgust is outpaced by breathless anticipation.

Full Review… | July 1, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Tony Manero


A compelling crime drama centered on a miserable sociopath obsessed with a movie character to the point of murder - which makes him also a surprisingly tragic figure -, relying on a gripping performance by Alfredo Castro and also making a subtle political commentary.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Riveting near mute central performance drives along this dark tale of obsession. Reading the central character's face and hoping things won't go as badly as you fear offer intrigue, and watching the final showdown is unbearably tense. An unheralded treat for those who like their cinema dark and disturbing.

Gordon Anderson

Super Reviewer

Tony Manero is Chilean Psycho. It's a terrifying drama, social commentary and a sports movie rolled together. Alfredo Castro gives a perfomance to remember as a murderous superfan of Saturday Night Fever. He watches the film religiously and practices the dance moves relentlessly. All this in hopes of being crowned the Chilean Tony Manero. Along the way he jumps his many hurdles by performing acts of murder. These are shot in a very matter of fact way. No nondigetic music to build the tension, just pure and brutal. It's a grim film and one that plays with the conventions of sporting dramas. Despite his deplorable nature, I couldn't help but cheer him on. The film also has a wonderful sense of humour. In a single shot, as Castro enters the cinema to see that Grease has taken the place of his favourite film, we are treated to a sudden sense of sadness for Castro, which is also hilarious and chilling. Hilarious because of his reaction to the film playing and chilling as we contemplate what he will do next. A beautiful disfigured film.

Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

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