Critics Consensus

Led by a powerful performance from Sônia Braga, Aquarius uses a conflict between a tenant and developers to take an insightful look at the relationship between space and identity.



Reviews Counted: 107

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User Ratings: 1,745


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.9/5

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Movie Info

Clara, a 65-year-old widow and retired music critic, is the last resident of the Aquarius, one of the few buildings of its age and character that remains in a rapidly changing seaside Recife neighborhood. Now that the other apartments have been swept up by a company with ambitious plans for redevelopment, pressures to move on surround Clara from all sides. But she has pledged to leave only upon death, and will engage in a cold war with the developers to keep a home that has been a silent witness to her entire life. The resulting confrontation is mysterious, frightening and nerve-wracking, tingeing even Clara's most familiar routines with the tension of a thriller.

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Critic Reviews for Aquarius

All Critics (107) | Top Critics (17)

"Aquarius" is about a half-hour too long for the story it tells, yet it feels like a privilege to be in the presence of such a powerful character and such a quietly commanding performance.

Nov 8, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

This isn't a movie about a situation; it's a movie about a fully formed, red-blooded character dealing with a situation while also dealing with everything else.

Oct 28, 2016 | Rating: A | Full Review…
Detroit News
Top Critic

This is a film more about the sacredness of our memories than the evil ways of gentrification, but skilled director Kleber Mendonca Filho is clearly interested in both.

Oct 27, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Despite Sonia Braga's fierce performance as a woman of unbreakable determination and proud refinement, this drama by the Brazilian director Kleber Mendonça Filho quickly lapses into sentimental attitudinizing.

Oct 24, 2016 | Full Review…

"Aquarius" makes a compelling case for looking up from our ubiquitous distractions to take in the world around us - the one that we live in and, whether we're aware of it or not, lives in us.

Oct 20, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Filho is a born filmmaker whose storytelling rarely follows expected narrative pathways, and "Aquarius" takes its sweet time, focusing on what appear to be inconsequential details and gradually building force by accretion.

Oct 20, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Aquarius


Sonia Braga delivers one of the best performances of her career in this exceptional story full of human warmth about people, memories and their intimate relationship with places/objects, exploring our sense of moral violation when we feel invaded in our own personal space.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

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