Che: Part One (The Argentine)


Che: Part One (The Argentine)

Critics Consensus

Though lengthy and at times plodding, Soderbergh's vision and Benicio Del Toro's understated performance ensure that Che always fascinates.



Total Count: 140
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Movie Info

Nearly 40 years after Che Guevara's execution in Bolivia, director Steven Soderbergh retraces the life of the iconic Cuban revolutionary in this nearly four-and-a-half-hour saga. Part 1 begins on November 26, 1956, as Fidel Castro (Demián Bichir) sails into Cuban waters with 80 rebels in tow. Among those rebels is Argentine doctor Ernesto "Che" Guevara (Benicio Del Toro), a man who shares Castro's dream of overthrowing corrupt dictator Fulgencio Batista. As the struggle gets under way, Guevara proves an indispensable part of the revolution due to his firm grasp on the concepts of guerilla warfare. Guevara is heartily embraced by both his comrades and the Cuban people, and quickly rises through the ranks to become first a commander, and ultimately a revolutionary hero. Part 2 of the saga begins with Guevara at the absolute peak of his fame and power. Disappearing suddenly, Guevara subsequently resurfaces in Bolivia to organize a modest group of Cuban comrades and Bolivian recruits in preparation for the Latin American Revolution. But while the Bolivian campaign would ultimately fail, the tenacity, sacrifice, and idealism displayed by Guevara during this period would make him a symbol of heroism to followers around the world. Part 1 and Part 2 were screened together as Che at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, and also received a limited theatrical release under that same title in U.S. theaters later that same year.

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Critic Reviews for Che: Part One (The Argentine)

All Critics (140) | Top Critics (37)

  • Those who have read something about this will get more out of the movies, but it's not compulsory. I saw both parts in one day and the experience was absorbing.

    Oct 1, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The Guevara portrayed here has humour but no irony: his commitment to the revolutionary ethos leaves little room for doubt, neurosis, or private loyalties of any kind.

    Oct 1, 2009 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Soderbergh has made two almost perfect war films, more like the Rings Trilogy than The Green Berets.

    Oct 1, 2009 | Full Review…
  • There is precious little in these movies to fill out our understanding of what it was that made Che a rebel, a leader of men, and the repository of the romantic dreams of several generations of armchair revolutionaries

    Mar 6, 2009 | Full Review…
  • A potentially great title-role performance by Benicio Del Toro, which won him the best actor award at Cannes, is buried beneath Soderbergh's stylistic tics and a defiant lack of dramatic tension.

    Feb 20, 2009 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • One thing's for certain: whether it's a meditation on guerrilla warfare, on Che or on moviemaking itself, you've seen nothing like it and are unlikely to ever again.

    Feb 20, 2009 | Rating: 5/5

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