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Voces inocentes, (Innocent Voices) (2005)


Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 48
Fresh: 34 | Rotten: 14

Critics Consensus: Innocent Voices is a passionately told dramatization of an ugly issue of war -- its impact on children.

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 18
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 5

Critics Consensus: Innocent Voices is a passionately told dramatization of an ugly issue of war -- its impact on children.


Average Rating: 4.3/5
User Ratings: 6,586


Movie Info

The bloody civil war which tore apart El Salvador in the 1980s is seen through the eyes of a young boy in this drama from director Luis Mandoki. Chava (Carlos Padilla) is 11 years old and growing up in a small town in El Salvador where the fighting between rebels and government troops is a daily fact of life. Chava's father has abandoned the family, leaving him behind as the man of the house while his mother (Leonor Varela) and sister try to maintain a normal life by day while dodging bullets by … More

R (for disturbing violence and some language)
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
Luis Mandoki , Oscar Orlando Torres
In Theaters:
Oct 9, 2007
Box Office:
BB Entertainment/Slow Hand - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Voces inocentes, (Innocent Voices)

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (34) | Rotten (14)

Effective without being overwhelming.

Full Review… | October 21, 2005
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

In the best parts of Innocent Voices, we experience both war's tragedy and its sometimes weird exhilaration -- with innocent clarity.

Full Review… | October 20, 2005
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Mandoki, who with this film returns to the Spanish-speaking cinema after a string of Hollywood films, has brought a sure sense of the visual and taut construction to Innocent Voices.

Full Review… | October 14, 2005
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

The many riveting moments will stay with you for days, and Padilla is well up to the task of carrying this intense story on his tiny shoulders.

Full Review… | October 14, 2005
New York Daily News
Top Critic

It's a harrowing tale, but one that gets phonied up with unnecessary slo-mos, manipulative soundtrack cues, and unrestrained thespianism.

October 14, 2005
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

It's depressing - God, is it depressing - in a way that only a film about growing up amidst a Central American civil war can be, but it is also often uplifting, and that is a tricky balance to pull off.

Full Review… | March 27, 2011

This coming of age tale of a boy who suddenly becomes the man of the house is too naive and simplistic to convey the tumultuous political context of El Salvador in the 1980s.

Full Review… | December 12, 2006

Padilla is superb as a boy who eagerly looks forward to manhood while ruefully bidding farewell to youth.

Full Review… | December 29, 2005
Arizona Daily Star

Innocent Voices is based on a true story, and you know what that often means: It feels very untrue.

Full Review… | November 10, 2005
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Reminds us how the human spirit can transcend even the worst tragedy.

Full Review… | October 23, 2005
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

...the hit-you-over-the-head scenes of sudden conscriptions, relentless violence and lack of real political stance keeps this from being as good as it should have been.

Full Review… | October 21, 2005
Reeling Reviews

...builds to its climax with inexorable precision, yet never hits audiences over the head with manufactured emotional moments.

Full Review… | October 17, 2005
Film Journal International

while [Mandoki's] subject matter is dramatic and heart-breaking, his film is slow and repetitive.

Full Review… | October 17, 2005
Reeling Reviews

The images of war are never easy to watch, but those feelings of profound sorrow are magnified when children are turned into soldiers with guns as big as they are.

Full Review… | October 17, 2005

A powerful reminder of how war should never be an option in the resolution of a conflict, even as a last resort

Full Review… | October 17, 2005

Despite a pro-FMLN POV, when many consider them terrorists, this is one of the better films showing how war affects the little people who find themselves in the middle of war.

Full Review… | October 16, 2005

The sincerity and earnestness of 'Innocent Voices' are beyond doubt. It's a pity that the film's execution doesn't always match them. Still, it's a mostly laudable effort.

Full Review… | October 16, 2005
One Guy's Opinion

Padilla is a wonder in this, his first starring role. He's real, honest and absolutely convincing. And gorgeous to boot.

Full Review… | October 15, 2005
San Diego Metropolitan

The film, however well-intentioned, is full of cliches.

Full Review… | October 15, 2005
Boston Herald

Innocent Voices is executed with such unbridled passion and conviction that we overlook its excesses and succumb to its dramatic story.

Full Review… | October 14, 2005
Contra Costa Times

Innocent Voices may not be a perfect movie, but in many ways it's a necessary one.

Full Review… | October 14, 2005
Los Angeles Daily News

Audience Reviews for Voces inocentes, (Innocent Voices)

This is a very moving story based around kids in this war torn country, and what they have to go through to stay alive. This is a very well done film.

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

Gripping anti-war offering from director Luis Mandoki. Innocent Voices shows us the civil war in El Salvador through the eyes of a child. Mandoki presents a harsh but accurate indictment of the war and of the U.S. involvement in it.

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer


I am surprised that having witnessed a true story about a boy losing his innocence during the civil war in El Salvador with grueling pictures of the atrocities of war and the things a 11 year old goes through, I did not quite feel overwhelmed.

Nicolas Korovessis

Super Reviewer

The story of a 11-year-old boy and his family who lived in El Salvador during the civil war. When you see this film, you see war from a human sight rather than political. The normal life, childhood innocence and the cruelty of war is what makes this film so real.

This film should be viewed by all people around the world and it is like campaign against any kind of war. All wars can only bring disaster and suffering to people, even to the innocence,such as children. I believe there is always a way out for every problem.
I highly recommend it because of the message the film brought in and for how amazingly well made it is. See this film.

Daisy Maduro

Super Reviewer

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