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Tony Manero

Tony Manero (2009)

tomatometer

85

Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 33
Fresh: 28 | Rotten: 5

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

100

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 0

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

audience

59

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 6,108

My Rating

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

Jun 1, 2010

Sophie Dulac Distribution

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June 30, 2009:
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All Critics (34) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (28) | Rotten (5) | DVD (3)

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

July 22, 2009 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop 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.

July 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop 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.

July 3, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop 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.

July 3, 2009 Full Review Source: Salon.com
Salon.com
Top Critic IconTop 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.

July 3, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop 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.

July 1, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

(Alfredo) Castro plays the part with a dead-eyed blankness, a hollow, terrifying character who is as repellent as he is fascinating.

June 11, 2010 Full Review Source: Seanax.com
Seanax.com

Alfredo Castro is magnetically repellant in the lead, a soulful creep with desperation and a very specific form of madness seeping out of his pores.

October 9, 2009 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

Larrain's consciously raw execution in telling the story of a compelling but ultimately unsavory character is an id-bending exercise in provocation that's both competent and challenging.

July 10, 2009 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Could this be ... art?

July 6, 2009 Full Review Source: MTV | Comment (1)

Perhaps best appreciated as a deadpan dark comedy about how ignorance, delusion, and selfishness can conspire to keep a people under the bootheels of a dictatorship.

July 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus
Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus

Films are, in a way, just collective fantasies... and, in some cases, nightmares

July 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

A distortion of the historical record that is irresponsible and reprehensible. And a display of deplorable disregard by the director as irreverent whim for irreverence's sake, for the many who suffered and perished from Pinochet's crimes against humanity.

July 2, 2009 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze
NewsBlaze

Cinephilia -- the smart-about-movies concept about the love of film -- has been so distorted in contemporary movie culture that it has led to the repugnant Chilean film Tony Manero.

July 1, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Press | Comments (3)
New York Press

Remarkable Chilean actor Alfredo Castro portrays a sleaze-bag standing in for people desperate psychologically to escape from dictator General Pinochet's brutality.

June 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Compuserve
Compuserve

Larrain's film is primarily a character study of Raul, an unpleasant but unforgettable man who is part "King of Comedy" Robert DeNiro, part "Cape Fear" DeNiro.

May 15, 2009 Full Review Source: Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Deeply unedifying, but it has some moves.

April 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Independent
Independent

Director Pablo Larrain, aided by a quietly compelling performance from co-screenwriter Alfredo Castro as Raul, is clearly commenting not only on a kind of celebrity fetishism.

April 17, 2009 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

This allegory of national failure is down and dirty in every sense.

April 10, 2009
Little White Lies

Audience Reviews for Tony Manero

Chile's official submission to the 2009 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film is an interesting, compelling study of a miserable sociopath, relying on a gripping performance by Alfredo Castro and making some subtle political comments.
April 17, 2010
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

A cross between Man Bites Dog, The King of Comedy and Scarface but no where near as good as either. Alfredo Castro is brilliant as Raúl Peralta, a man obsessed with becoming Tony Manero in 1978's Chile during Pinochets dictatorship, the gritty violence and pure terror is there but only in blink and you'll miss it slices, the rest of the time I'm afraid is just not piratically entertaining and I was left feeling pretty disappointed as I'd been looking forward to this one since it's release. It's still well worth a watch though!
March 29, 2010
SirPant

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.
March 28, 2010
gor41
Gordon A

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.
July 18, 2009
kiriyamakazou

Super Reviewer

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