Battle in Heaven - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Battle in Heaven Reviews

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½ January 16, 2016
August 2, 2015
Carlos Reygadas' second full feature and now I have seen all his flicks. The very interesting director's most provokative film I would say. Sex, blood, depression all over the line.

We follow Marcos, a working-man that has kidnapped a baby for ransom money, but things does not turn out as planned for Marcos or his wife. The mind-absent and guilty man's life and choices is what we follow. The film manage to keep a minimal focus too this true plot, really. It's always inside Marcos head, but he has much else going on. The Generals daughter, for example. She works as some sort of prostitute, while he works as her driver and she is impotant for him in many ways.

Many nice techniques here and it's weirdly, but effectively presented. One specific sex-scene is terrific where the capturing is doing everything else than making it explicit. A highlight. A confusing and affecting film. Grotesque and graphic, but at the same time very beautiful. The gritty sound mix and sound scenery is something that you can like or hate. I liked it a lot.

I miss a true punch and there is a little bit too much of nothingness here. Artsy and hard to place on a rating scale. The director has openly given out explenations that makes it simpler to "get" - this makes it better and less random. This is well crafted and meaningful.

Worth a go, but surely not for everyone - just like his other films. Films that I grade from fantastic too all right. This is all right plus.

6 out of 10 knee steps.
March 14, 2014
Boring, pretentious, bad acted, full of random not artistic sex involving fat people and a prostitute, stupid long useless shots, and gives a fake impression of Mexico City. It is a waste of time.
½ January 14, 2014
3.8/5 Okey, okey. Vaya que fue duro, pero vi Batalla en el cielo, es de las películas más incomodas y desagradables que podrás ver (con unas escenas sexuales repugnantes), locaciones nada agradables, una atmosfera de pobreza y "fealdad" está presente en toda la película. Como siempre, Reygadas no utilizó actores profesionales, y aunque en ocasiones se note esto, da en general un aire natural, fluido y realista a el dialogo y escenas. Su mensaje, que en resumidas cuenta y de manera burda podría decirse que es "México apesta", llega a la audiencia de una manera sútil, utilizando todo lo antes mencionado para ello. Es memorable, intensa y aunque sí es el filme menos genial de Reygadas, vale la pena. Advertencia: Deben estar preparados y con el humor adecuado.
December 11, 2013
good look a social structure in mexico
½ October 19, 2013
É estranhíssimo ser a CMTV um dos poucos (o único?) canal português capaz de surpreender com os filmes que exibe e ainda por cima um bocado a monte, numa divisão de "Cinema Erótico" (com uns separadores hilariantes com a música de Serge Gainsbourg). Alguém na CMTV ainda não percebeu que nem todos os filmes com cenas de sexo são eróticos só por isso. Mas é bom que esse seja o critério de programação, porque leva a vários filmes que outros canais dificilmente mostram. E, pronto, lá estava "Battalla en el cielo" a altas horas na CMTV sem ninguém dar muito por ele. Com ele trazia algumas cenas de sexo explícito, mas nem por isso muito eróticas... "Batalla en el cielo" é aquele tipo de filme arty muito feito à medida das polémicas necessárias para agitar os festivais. De resto, é difícil perceber se o realizador Carlos Reygadas é bem sucedido no seu retrato de um miserável casal mexicano que decide raptar um bebé e que depois vê-se num duelo moral provocado por isso. São poucos os detalhes revelados sobre esse mote da narrativa (que nem sequer é mostrado) e tudo o que se passa a partir daí acontece quase geralmente na postura e expressões apáticas do working-class hero Marcos, que nos absorve para uma lentidão de movimentos tão hipnótica como aborrecida (talvez propositadamente). Não fiquei admirado de ter adormecido muito perto do final, mas antes disso acontecer há aqui um registo de autor verdadeiramente intrigante (se bem que por vezes gratuito) e um gajo que sabe filmar o México sem suavizar as coisas e mostrando tudo o que tem de estanho e de semelhante aos sonhos mais improváveis.
October 9, 2013
Some art house films are hit and miss..this one is a definite miss.
June 28, 2013
very bad movie i dont understand why it can be in cannes. are u kidding me??
June 21, 2013
This is a strange film. The plot is spare. It seems to be almost be an after thought. The movie was shot with many long views that were held stationary for long moments of time. There wasn't any discernible reason for this technique. The movie starts with a scene of fellatio and ends the same way. In between, the story concerns the main protagonist dealing with his guilt over the death of a child he kidnapped.

There are a few sex scenes. These include full frontal nudity of men and women. And, they are partially shot with that distant, overly long, point-of-view. The director and his lead actress commented upon the obese actors seen in one scene.

Two of the principal characters apparently had no acting training nor experience. There are some awkward moments between their characters.

There is no good reason to see this movie. I heard about it in another movie review. I should have researched other reviews about it. This seemed like a vanity project by the director. It felt like a pretentious art film. But, where was the art? And, what was the point of it?
May 21, 2013
Recently I watched the 4 films of Carlos Reygadas, these are often frustrating films but each of them has some aspect that sticks in the mind whether it is technique or just the things shown - certainly Reygadas is one of a kind
½ January 19, 2013
Totally meaningless and pointless movie. Calling it pretentious would be a compliment, and this seems to have no pretensions at anything - it has no style (nor substance). Plot is random, at best, and just drifts from one incomprehensible scene to another. Performances mostly seem to consist of making dull, uninterested faces.

Avoid like the plague.
½ December 7, 2012
Liked the idea of this film, made me think and its very dramatic
½ November 17, 2012
Dafuq did I just watch?!!

Seriously, those guys at the Hubert Bals fund and Fond Sud, what were they thinking? What kind of potential did they see into that steaming pile of a script?

I just dunno what to say, talk about the robotic acting, or the horrid editing, or the meaningless gimmicky direction?

I think the only aspect to praise about this mess of a film would be the soundtrack, which actually added some meaning to the story, and a tiny bit of charm to the film.
½ July 5, 2012
Batalla en el Cielo (Carlos Reygadas, 2005)

How the hell does one review a movie like Batalla en el Cielo (Battle in Heaven in English)? It almost seems to sit far enough outside the realms of conventional filmmaking (and by âconventionalâ? I am not only referring to Michael Bay but to the accepted standards of avant-garde filmmaking a la Tarr or Weerasethakul here) to both defy any critical approach and to dare critics to try and find a way by crouching on the battlements and yelling obscenities. It's simple: while the movie draws on any number of influences (both its plotlines are pretty well-trod classics), it still manages to do things with those plotlines it's pretty much impossible to figure. And I should say that by âplotlinesâ? I'm referring far more to setup than I am to structure; there is much less plot to this film than any synopsis would have you believe.

But still, I am inclined to offer one, if only to provide the same sense of setup Reygadas gives us. The movie centers around Marcos (Marcos Hernández, who, like all the other principals in the film, had never acted before), a low-level member of the Mexican military whose job seems to be to oversee the raising and lowering of the flag every day at the capitol building in Mexico City. (I'm inferring here, and I apologize for not recognizing the landmarks I should be recognizing.) Marcos is trapped in a loveless marriageto a woman (Bertha Ruiz) who remains unnamed in the film; she runs a stall selling knockoff watches in the subway. The family is close to broke, so the wife hatches a plan: kidnap a baby for ransom. Meanwhile, Marcos, not lacking in the time department, is asked by his superior to play chauffeur to the man's daughter, the seductive, constantly-horny Ana (Anapola Mushkadiz). Marcos becomes obsessed with her almost immediatelyâ"not a good mental state to be in when one is in the process of committing a serious crime.

I should probably at least consider warning you that at least some of you (and I'm not talking about the Moral Majority here) are going to think this movie is porn. I've found the line on what people consider âpornâ? to be fluid, so I know this is the case. (In detail: the sex scenes are obviously not simulated [or that's the best CGI I've ever seen], though the usual hard-line porn definitionâ"the money shotâ"is absent.) In fact, since the movie opens with one of these scenes, it almost seems as if Reygadas wanted to start the movie out by kicking the viewer where it hurts. It does feel kind of gratuitous, but like everything else about this movie, it makes me wonder if I'm the one missing something. That parenthetical about my needing to infer about his job was left in by design; Reygadas keeps me wondering throughout if my own cultural ignorance just has me missing important points he's making. (Marcos' family are darker-skinned than Ana; am I reading something into that, or is Reygadas actually saying it? I have no idea.) Add onto this the fact that Battle in Heaven is never what one could call an enjoyable film, and I'm guessing a lot of viewers will look at that ending and say it isn't satisfying, either (though I am not one of them), and you've got a movie that's proably not going to play well in Skokie. But I'm guessing there's a core audience who are going to latch onto this thing like a puppy on rawhide. The problem is, I can't tell you if you're one of those people; you'll need to watch the thing to find out. ** Â 1/2
½ May 22, 2012
Even with all the sex, there's really nothing going on in this movie. Extremely dull.
½ May 15, 2012
I'm not sure about this movie but there are something in this movie that caught me in a different way that I would gave a higher rating for this movie.
May 6, 2012
I have very mixed feelings about this movie. I did enjoy to a degree the way the director observed the things around the film alot, the way he filmed faces was very different. BUT thats the photographer in me coming out, on film it just makes for a very SLOW movie.

No joke at all here~ read the back of the film case before you rent it, and you will know the WHOLE plot except for one small detail that does not even make sense when it happens, I cant say you will be completly disapointed because if you can enjoy the very fine details in a movies visual experience there are things that will make you intrigued, BUT, if you want anything with a deeper plot or even a sensable story... id sugest you flip your fingers to the right or left in the store and rent another~ very boring.

April 3, 2012
not wot the tytal says!
February 25, 2012
A piece of Sh*t movie, shock value in the form of oral sex very explicit take, a few nudes, a vagina close up, no story here, no redeeming quality, actors are walking sh*ts full of annoying pauses, long non consequential shots, nothing good here, just a pile of 3 day old in the sun SH*T..
What ever this wanna be director try to hit, he missed it by miles, like we say in Mexico he is pissing out side the pot..!
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