Apartment Zero (1989) - Rotten Tomatoes

Apartment Zero (1989)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Set in post-Junta Argentina, Apartment Zero uses the story of a gay romance to ponder whether or not the overthrow of the military government had really changed anything. Preferring to be an "outsider", Argentinian Colin Firth pretends to be British. Firth escapes from reality by holing up in the movie theatre that he owns. His life is turned around by his new roommate Hart Bochner, who seems to be the living embodiment of Firth's film icons James Dean and Montgomery Clift. Firth's apolitical attitudes--and his sexual attraction to his new roommate--are tested to the breaking point when it becomes apparent that Bochner is in the employ of the government, arranging the "disappearances" of political dissidents. Given the number of films that have been expanded to "director's cut" length on videocassette, Apartment Zero is a rarity: it was shortened by director Martin Donovan for the video version.

Cast

Hart Bochner
as Jack Carney
Colin Firth
as Adrian LeDuc
Dora Bryan
as Margaret McKinney
Liz Smith
as Mary Louise McKinney
Fabrizio Bentivoglio
as Carlos Sanchez-Verne
James Telfer
as Vanessa
Mirella D'Angelo
as Laura Werpachowsky
Juan Vitali
as Alberto Werpachowsky
Cipe Lincovsky
as Mrs. Treniev
Miguel Ligero
as Mr. Palma
Elvia Andreoli
as Adrian's Mother
Marikena Monti
as Tango Singer
Robert Baldi
as Political Group in Cinema
Luis Romero
as Projectionist
Debora Bianco
as Girl in Cafe
Federico D'Elía
as Boy in Cafe
Sebastian de Nico
as Political Group in Cinema
Veronica Gambini
as Girl with Carlos in Building
Nicolas Pereyra
as Doctor at Instititution
Rosario Varela
as Girl with Carlos at Tango
Raul Florido
as Jack's Argentine Contact
Claudio Ciacci
as Young Man in Cinema
Darwin Sanchez
as Police Inspector
Daniel Queirolo
as Young Cop
Miguel Angel Porro
as Taxi Driver
Oca Spirito
as Woman in Cinema #1
Micky Chapman
as Woman in Cinema #2
Lisanne Cole
as Political Group in Cinema
Max Berliner
as Prospective Tenant
Germán Palacios
as Political Group in Cinema
Mane Arauz
as Prospective Tenant
Horacio Erman
as Political Group in Cinema
Maria Jose Catino
as Prospective Tenant
Guillermo Willart
as Paramedic #1
Inés Estévez
as Political Group in Cinema
Javier Balina
as Paramedic #2
Ruth Jasiuk
as Political Group in Cinema
Marina Zemma
as Political Group in Cinema
Ezequiel Donovan
as Foreign Element
Pablo Lena
as Political Group in Cinema
Eduardo Peralta Ramos
as Foreign Element
John Kamps
as Foreign Element
Juan Jose Gato
as Political Group in Cinema
Daniel Astesano
as Immigration Officer
Goran Johansson
as Foreign Element
Gabriel Corrado
as Victim in Hotel Room
Alfredo De Quesada
as Speaker at Group Meeting
Stephen Cole
as Strange-looking Man in Airport
Jorge Caseres
as Young Man with Vanessa
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Critic Reviews for Apartment Zero

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (10)

[This] film, a dazzling mix of mirth and menace, is that rare find: a thriller that plumbs the violence of the mind.

Full Review… | February 9, 2015
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

This overwrought and underdeveloped psychological thriller with heavy-handed political implications adds up to exactly nothing.

Full Review… | February 9, 2015
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Give it zero for conduct, zero for concept and 100 for chutzpah.

Full Review… | February 9, 2015
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

It's that grab for political significance that does Apartment Zero in -- that turns what might have been a modestly successful psychological thriller into a messily failed art film.

Full Review… | February 9, 2015
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Apartment Zero emerges as a genuinely creepy, disturbing and gripping psychological piece.

Full Review… | July 7, 2010
Variety
Top Critic

The result is largely unconvincing; the dialogue sounds like translation, and the direction also has an affected air.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Apartment Zero

½

In "Apartment Zero," Adrian LeDuc(Colin Firth) runs a moribund repertory cinema club in Buenos Aires but turns down his friend Claudia's(Francesca d'Aloja) offers to rent out his theatre for political meetings, preferring, in his words, to keep the blood off the walls and on the screen. With his mother(Elvia Andreoli) requiring constant medical care, he puts an ad in the newspaper for a roommate. After a few applicants that do not meet his high standards, Jack(Hart Bochner), a hunky American, shows up to rent the room, with Adrian even making him breakfast. Early on in "Apartment Zero," Adrian admonishes people who watch films on video, saying they prefer to skip through the slow parts. Later on, I was thinking again of that statement, wondering if Adrian could possibly be commenting on the film he is in, as it suffers from a particularly crawling pace, even with its psychosexual themes on full display. Just as the movie finally kicks into gear when it takes a turn towards the baroque in its last act, it also takes an extremely roundabout way to also take full advantage of its intriguing post-junta milieu. A situation Adrian ignores because he has had his head in the sand, apparently due to his love of movies.(He even acts more English than Argentinian.) In any case, Colin Firth is superb, years before he would cause half of England to have a spontaneous orgasm.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

½

An intriguing, intense psychological thriller with sexual overtones set in Buenos Aires, about a lonely cinema owner Adrian LeDuc, played by Colin Firth in a sensational, multi-layed performance, who's life is changed when circumstances forced him to rent his insane mother's room who is the hospital, to a mysterious, handsome stranger named Jack Carney, played by Hart Bochner in a compelling performance. Adrian is obsessively attracted to Jack, and the two form a bizarre relationship, that has an unspoken sexual longing. This connection becomes troubled when reports of bodies in the streets begin, and Adrian starts to believe that Jack is hiding a horrific secret, that he may be the mass murderer that has been terrorizing the city. Extremely well acted by the entire cast, brilliantly directed and scripted by Martin Donovan. A dramatically charged film with Hitchcockian elements that give it suspense and its wicked black humor. Highly Recommended.

Danny Rovira
Danny Rovira

Super Reviewer

½

odd but with excellent performances by two fine actors.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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