Undertow Reviews

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Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy
April 11, 2011
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Robin Clifford
Reeling Reviews
February 4, 2011
[Director]Fuentes-Leon...does a solid job balancing characters and story and creates a sympathetic surreal tale.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
February 3, 2011
This drama is a first feature by Javier Fuentes-Léon that manages to outgrow the limits of its story.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Laura Clifford
Reeling Reviews
January 31, 2011
Stunningly photographed by Mauricio Vidal, "Undertow" is about a ghost caught between his lover's private shame and a town's public traditions.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
John Hartl
Seattle Times
January 20, 2011
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
December 16, 2010
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Doris Toumarkine
Film Journal International
December 1, 2010
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.
Top Critic
November 29, 2010
Undertow, for all its narrative tricks, has been given the rhythm and texture of real life, as well as emotional undercurrents that are haunting.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Avi Offer
NYC Movie Guru
November 25, 2010
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 8.9621/10
Top Critic
Ernest Hardy
Village Voice
November 23, 2010
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.
Harvey S. Karten
Compuserve
November 13, 2010
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'
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
David Wiegand
San Francisco Chronicle
September 16, 2010
This small film's accomplishments are many, but not the least is its ability to take a human story and frame it as a parable, without losing a bit of credibility or irresistible heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
September 10, 2010
An unconventional, sun-drenched ghost/love story...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Fr. Chris Carpenter
Movie Dearest
August 30, 2010
Beautifully rendered. Not to be missed.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Tim Robey
Daily Telegraph
August 12, 2010
It's nothing if not easy on the eye, and the acting's engaging and sympathetic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Derek Malcolm
This is London
August 12, 2010
Fuentes-Leon takes no sides. Instead he carefully explains the dilemma facing the three principal characters without any false dramatics.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Allan Hunter
Daily Express
August 9, 2010
The plot is slight and whimsical but eventually develops into a quietly touching love story.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Steve Rose
Guardian
August 6, 2010
The conclusion might be too lachrymose and melodramatic for most tastes, but if you only see one gay Peruvian fisherman ghost story this year...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
David Edwards
Daily Mirror [UK]
August 6, 2010
With its idyllic scenery, neat metaphysical twist and subtly-conveyed message, it's a weepy guaranteed to fill tissues.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
David Parkinson
Radio Times
August 5, 2010
The performances are admirable and the intentions sincere.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic

New York Times
March 3, 2011
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