The Violin (El Violin) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Violin (El Violin) Reviews

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
April 30, 2008
An impressive debut for Mexican writer and director Francisco Vargas.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
John Monaghan
Detroit Free Press
March 7, 2008
The film from first-timer Francisco Vargas puts a human face on universal suffering. It is also about the power of music, as the title instrument saves (for a while anyway) three generations of peasant men in their roles as guerrilla fighters.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Tricia Olszewski
Let's Not Listen
February 28, 2008
You may not remember how exactly this trio passed the time during most of the film's too-spare 98 minutes, but Plutarco is a character you likely won't forget.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
February 22, 2008
The Violin is so beautiful to look at, it almost wouldn't matter if it had a story. But it has one, and it's riveting.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
John Hartl
Seattle Times
February 8, 2008
Life-or-death matters are handled with compelling gravity.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Sean Axmaker
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
February 8, 2008
It's all stripped down to a conflict more abstract than historical, a fable of heroic defiance in the face of brutal oppression.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
January 17, 2008
Francisco Vargas makes a marvellous debut with his magnificent The Violin.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Glenn Whipp
Los Angeles Daily News
January 4, 2008
Of course, there's Tavira, who, even if he never appears in another film, has left an indelible mark on cinema with his work here.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
January 4, 2008
A message this political has rarely been delivered in so poetic a form.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Derek Malcolm
London Evening Standard
January 4, 2008
The weathered Tavina, who lost his hand in an accident at the age of 13, makes a fittingly indomitable hero. He's a character you're likely to remember - his face alone is worth a thousand words.
| Original Score: 3/5
Tim Robey
Independent (UK)
January 4, 2008
Shot in luminous, high-contrast black and white, it has the rugged if faintly self-important authority of a Hemingway short story.
Anthony Quinn
Independent (UK)
January 4, 2008
A terrific debut by Vargas, who wrote, directed and produced.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Peter Bradshaw
Guardian
January 4, 2008
Another sort of movie would find a feelgood way of resolving the story; Vargas's vision is more grim and more realistic, but it is persuasively real, and in Tavira the director has found a natural star of the screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5

The Sun (UK)
January 4, 2008
The plot is slimmer than a bowed string and lacks tension.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
January 4, 2008
A quietly gripping adversarial duel lies at the heart of this political thriller, which has been hailed as a masterpiece in Vargas's native Mexico.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Tom Dawson
Total Film
January 4, 2008
The film's strongest asset is octogenarian newcomer Tavira, who exudes stoic dignity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Anna Smith
BBC.com
January 4, 2008
A challenging yet rewarding watch.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Rob Daniel
Sky Movies
January 4, 2008
Told with ruthless efficiency and no sentiment or sermonizing, stands as a fitting tribute to the human spirit.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
David Jenkins
Time Out
January 4, 2008
A slightly meandering build-up is saved by a second half that really cooks, with Vargas ratcheting up the tension by flirting with genre convention in order to deal with Plutarco's unconventional psychological stand-off with a malodorous Captain.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/6
David Parkinson
Empire Magazine
January 4, 2008
The austere monochrome photography gives the story a gravitas that's reinforced by the dignity of the amateur cast.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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