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Voces inocentes, (Innocent Voices) (2005)



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

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

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



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

My Rating

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

Oct 9, 2007


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December 23, 2005:
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All Critics (59) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (34) | Rotten (14)

Effective without being overwhelming.

October 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

October 20, 2005 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
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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.

October 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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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.

October 14, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop 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 IconTop 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.

March 27, 2011 Full Review Source:

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.

December 12, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

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

December 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

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

November 10, 2005 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

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

October 23, 2005 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
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.

October 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

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

October 17, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

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

October 17, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
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.

October 17, 2005 Full Review Source:

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

October 17, 2005 Full Review Source:

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.

October 16, 2005 Full Review Source:

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.

October 16, 2005 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
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.

October 15, 2005 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

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

October 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Boston Herald
Boston Herald

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

October 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Contra Costa Times
Contra Costa Times

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

October 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Daily News
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.
October 14, 2010

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.
August 16, 2009
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.
November 8, 2010

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.
June 1, 2009
Daisy Maduro

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Voces Inocentes (DE)
  • Innocent Voices (UK)
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