97% Ghostbusters Aug 29
30% As Above/So Below Aug 29
36% The November Man Aug 27
98% Starred Up Aug 27
76% The Congress Aug 29

Top Box Office

92% Guardians of the Galaxy $17.2M
20% Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $16.7M
37% If I Stay $15.7M
21% Let's Be Cops $10.8M
18% When The Game Stands Tall $8.4M
34% The Expendables 3 $6.5M
32% The Giver $6.4M
45% Sin City: A Dame to Kill For $6.3M
66% The Hundred-Foot Journey $5.3M
19% Into The Storm $3.8M

Coming Soon

—— Innocence Sep 05
—— The Longest Week Sep 05
—— The Identical Sep 05
67% Thunder and the House of Magic Sep 05
74% God Help the Girl Sep 05

New Episodes Tonight

91% Doctor Who: Season 8
—— Hell on Wheels: Season 4
39% Intruders: Season 1
89% Outlander: Season 1
46% Reckless: Season 1
—— Unforgettable: Season 3

Discuss Last Night's Shows

—— Jonah From Tonga: Season 1

Certified Fresh TV

86% The Bridge (FX): Season 2
91% Doctor Who: Season 8
83% Extant: Season 1
89% The Honorable Woman: Season 1
87% The Knick: Season 1
89% Manhattan: Season 1
97% Masters of Sex: Season 2
73% Murder in the First: Season 1
89% Outlander: Season 1
82% Satisfaction: Season 1
87% The Strain: Season 1
82% Welcome to Sweden: Season 1
77% You're the Worst: Season 1

Undertow (2010)



Average Rating: 7.8/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 1,738

My Rating

Movie Info

A man struggles to come to terms with the unexpected consequences of a secret love in this drama from director Javier Fuentes-Len. Miguel (Cristian Mercado) supports himself and his family as a fisherman in a small town on the coast of Peru. Miguel is happily married to Mariela (Tatiana Astengo), who is pregnant with their first child, and the couple are well respected in their community and active in the local church. But there's a side of Miguel that he keeps hidden from most people -- Miguel

Jun 1, 2011


The Film Collaborative - Official Site External Icon

Watch It Now


Latest News on Undertow

November 24, 2010:
Critics Consensus: Tangled Weaves A Fun Web
This week at the movies, we've got a hairy situation (Tangled, with voice work from Mandy Moore and...


Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (28) | Rotten (4)


March 3, 2011 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This drama is a first feature by Javier Fuentes-Léon that manages to outgrow the limits of its story.

February 3, 2011 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Reminiscent of such heavenly Hollywood fantasies as "Here Comes Mr. Jordan," Peru's "Undertow" suggests a more passionate, lyrical tale of a soul in search of a body.

January 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Right from the start of Undertow, writer-director Javier Fuentes-Leon refuses to reduce any of his characters to clichés, which gives the film its fresh, captivating power.

December 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Undertow, for all its narrative tricks, has been given the rhythm and texture of real life, as well as emotional undercurrents that are haunting.

November 29, 2010 Full Review Source: NPR
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Set in a small, picturesque Peruvian fishing village, it's less a coming-out tale than a magic realism-infused coming-of-consciousness love story.

November 23, 2010 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The first part of the film is... slow-paced and antsy-making, with none of the sensitive and tragic character study of the second part.

April 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

[Director]Fuentes-Leon...does a solid job balancing characters and story and creates a sympathetic surreal tale.

February 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Stunningly photographed by Mauricio Vidal, "Undertow" is about a ghost caught between his lover's private shame and a town's public traditions.

January 31, 2011 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

This poetic gem about loss and the consequences of a passionate but hidden gay relationship in a tiny ocean-side village of modest fishermen deservedly won Sundance's World Cinema Audience Award and represents Peru's bid for an Oscar nom.

December 1, 2010 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

A captivating, breathtaking and intricately layered amalgamation of heartfelt drama, romance and magical realism. It's one of the most powerful love stories since Brokeback Mountain.

November 25, 2010 Full Review Source: NYC Movie Guru
NYC Movie Guru

More heart-tugging mélo than spooky thriller.

November 21, 2010 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Peru's selection for Best Foreign Film of 2010 is a slow-moving story of a man who had good reasons to fear 'coming out'

November 13, 2010 Full Review Source: Compuserve

An unconventional, sun-drenched ghost/love story...

September 10, 2010 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Beautifully rendered. Not to be missed.

August 30, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Dearest
Movie Dearest

It's nothing if not easy on the eye, and the acting's engaging and sympathetic.

August 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Fuentes-Leon takes no sides. Instead he carefully explains the dilemma facing the three principal characters without any false dramatics.

August 12, 2010 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Sadly, the film offers few insights and follows a predictable trajectory...

August 9, 2010 Full Review Source: Scotsman

The plot is slight and whimsical but eventually develops into a quietly touching love story.

August 9, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

Audience Reviews for Undertow

At face value, this is a good film. Great cast, believable dialog, location that is intriguing but not distracting.

It's not until you start to dig a little deeper and really think about all of the symbolism and emotions (both spoken and unspoken), that you start to realize what a beautiful and heartbreaking love story it is.
February 2, 2012
Robert C

Super Reviewer

Beautiully wrought story of a man coming to grips with his true self. Exquisite performances with Cristian Mercado absolutely riveting in the lead. This isn't a film that provides easy answers or comforting assurances, life in this village is a tough ingrained macho stronghold even though a small glimmer of progession is allowed to shine though near the end. Mercado shows the intense struggle the main character must navigate to not only make peace with a crushing tragedy but learn how to align his moral code with something that could cost him everything he hasn't already lost. Deeply affecting and well worh seeking out.
July 18, 2010
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

In the beginning, there is the belly, of very, very pregnant Mariela(Tatiana Astengo) who is enjoying some down time with her husband Miguel(Christian Mercado). That is interrupted by his cousin Tano(Juan Pablo Olivos) who wants him to preside over his brother's burial at sea, per local custom. Otherwise, life goes on in his fishing village where Santiago(Manolo Cardona), a handsome artist, has taken up residence and is having a torrid secret affair with Miguel. Santiago also takes the time to buy Mariela a candle at the market. So, when Santiago shows up unannounced in his house one morning, Miguel is angry but it is nowhere near close to what he is thinking...

"Undertow" has some beautiful footage, a neat premise and respect for local traditions. But the movie suffers from a near fatal case of indecision that leads to a slow pace that cannot be explained away by the leisurely rhythm of life in this village. The movie would want us to believe the indecision is due to Miguel not being able to make up his mind who to be with, but I have no problem with bisexuality. Admittedly, if he had acted decisively at one point about something else, it would have saved him a lot of trouble down the line. Rather, it is the story that has little direction after the plot kicks in, with the movie eventually just coming to a halt.
May 11, 2012
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

This unexpectedly lovely film from Peru is a sweet surprise. A gentle kind-of coming out story set in a Peruvian fishing village, it is also as tender as it is straight-forward, even when delving into a bit of magical realism territory. It's the story of a married fisherman in what seems like a perfectly happy marriage who is also deeply involved with a painter on the side. To give too much away would be robbing this simple story of some of its surprise, but suffice to say it's about a guy who has no intention of coming out and finds out life has other things in mind for him. Though some of the storytelling is a little on the blunt side, there is so much gentleness to the delivery of the story that it doesn't matter in the least. Beautifully acted by its three leads, it's a sweet surprise and should've gotten noticed by more people. Check it out!
December 19, 2010
Jeff Talbott

Super Reviewer

    1. Santiago: Sorry, but if you think of me, I show up.
    – Submitted by Danny T (19 months ago)
View all quotes (1)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Undertow on our Movie forum!

What's Hot On RT

Critics Consensus
Critics Consensus

November Man is Slick, Convoluted

Total Recall
Total Recall

Pierce Brosnan's 10 Best Movies

Mindy Project
Mindy Project

Get caught up on the comedy

Red Carpet Roundup
Red Carpet Roundup

See pictures from this week's premieres

Foreign Titles

  • Contracorriente (DE)
  • Undertow (Contracorriente) (UK)
Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile