Graceland - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Graceland Reviews

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July 22, 2015
One plot twist too many but overall a solid film.
September 9, 2014
This one borrows the premise of Kurosawa's "High and Low", but focuses on the man who's daughter is inadvertantly kidnapped and goes very different places from there. Marlon is the chaffeur for a corrupt politician. While driving the politician's daughter and his own, kidnappers strike, but confuse the two girls, killing the politician's daughter and kidnapping Marlon's. Once they realize their mistake, they blackmail Marlon into covering up the mistake in order to collect and ransom and get his daughter back. The kidnapping turns out to be motivated by a lot more than money, and things turn ugly. A fairly nasty and effective thriller.
June 5, 2014
First Filipino movie and worthy of a look.
½ March 16, 2014
I do believe it did well for a low budget film but it could have been so much better with more money pumped into it and another director with a better grip on making taunt thrillers!
Super Reviewer
½ February 8, 2014
This is a pretty damn good and intriguing thriller right here. Perhaps the thing that I liked the most about this film was how there's a reaction for every action. And, ultimately, with its themes of karma, that's what the movie is about. That's really my favorite thing about the movie, how everything in the film has a reason and a purpose. And, again, there's a reaction for every action, no matter how small it is. There's also some pretty clever twists in the film. Perhaps calling them twists is incorrect, but bringing up events that occurred earlier in the movie that you may have forgotten about. They do this in a pretty clever and sly manner, where it's actually completely out of your mind because you think that it isn't relevant to the overall arc. So that was really cool and, in hindsight, I should've been paying more attention to the film's events, because I usually notice the smaller details of a film. But this one went right over my head, so I really liked that part of the film, how it managed, not to necessarily fool me, but it managed to surprise me when I wasn't expecting it. There's also the heartbreaking fact that, even though Changho was a horrible man that had sex with minors, no matter what he does or how much money he gives the kidnappers, he'll never see his daughter alive again. It's not necessarily heartbreaking for Changho, but heartbreaking for the girl who had nothing to do with her father's penchant for little girls. Especially if you're a parent, this is probably the worst thing that could happen in this situation and I think this film captures that devastation in a very disturbing manner. Again, you don't feel for Changho...you feel for the little girl that had to pay for his bullshit. I thought the film really got the rating it did thanks to its third act, because everything prior to that felt like standard hostage thriller to me. The third act is where everything starts to unravel and the film reveals all its cards, and I thought that was very well done. And the ending is also really good as well because, again, the themes of karma come into play. The reason, and this will have SPOILERS so skip ahead, Marlon worked together with the kidnappers was to get the money he needed in order to pay for his wife's operation. While he didn't know that the kidnapping was going to go the way it did, he was very much a part of that. So, at the end, when you see Marlon hand his money over to someone in the black market, to get the organ his wife needs for her operation, and then the film ends, you're left with the fact that, if karma is going to affect everyone involved in the kidnapping and murder of Changho's daughter, then Marlon would most likely have his money stolen by these people and his wife would die. And that's something to think about, because the film really is a moral tale at its core. Was everything that Marlon went through worth it in the long run? Especially if he ends up losing his money. Everything that happened would've literally been for nothing. And it's certainly an apropos ending to leave you with, as it certainly makes you think about everything that happened. I definitely enjoyed this movie very much, the first two acts are solid, but typical of this genre, but the third act was top-notch and it really made this movie much better. It might take a little "patience" but I think the film delivers the goods in the long run, so I can't complain too much about this film.
½ January 23, 2014
B-grade thriller in Philippine setting with profound message against child prostitution.
December 7, 2013
Gets a tad contrived towards the end, and the secondary acting is amateurish at times (though lead Arnold Reyes is outstanding), "Graceland" is, for the most part, a lean, mean, efficient thriller about the knotty ways political corruption compromises the moral justification of everyday people forced to operate under its spell. Sleek and stylish without losing its edge or focus, writer-director Ron Morales' film, like the sexual deviance of the linchpin congressman belying its central kidnapping conflict, feels, bewitchingly, like an unflinching pebble broken off from a greater, scarier rock. (78/100)
½ October 22, 2013
Good plot set-up, but this was amateur work...
October 20, 2013
"A potent combo of hostage thriller and high-impact morality play." "The social and economic pitfalls facing the vast urban underclass of Manila's sprawling metropolitan area are depicted with unflinching regard in Ron Morales' observant, ruthless crime drama."
October 17, 2013
Suspense/drama about a man's moral conflict. Pulled off the right strings and was enough to keep me on the edge of my seat when I watched it.
½ September 15, 2013
Graceland is a surprising thriller which takes place in a decadent place where corruption rules and innocence is long lost.
½ August 9, 2013
reminds me of "A Simple Plan"
August 9, 2013
"Graceland" se siente como un thriller que carece de un guión desarrollado (admito que tiene un concepto intrigante pero cada giro en la trama esta colocada de forma demasiado conveniente y poco convincente, incluido su final). La cinta, de origen filipina, tiene elementos innecesariamente sórdidos que provocan disgusto en vez de impactar con su dilema moral y el viaje de su protagonista Marlon no es lo suficientemente envolvente (a pesar de su corta duración).
"Graceland" pudo haber sido una cinta pequeña y efectiva pero finalmente resulta una decepción por su ejecución.
½ August 7, 2013
great movie, very original for a Filipino movie... :)
August 2, 2013
Unflinchingly brutal, and well crafted thriller.
½ July 24, 2013
A foreign kidnapping caper you will miss unless someone recommends it to you, which is exactly what I'm doing
July 20, 2013
unpredictable.new.very real.
½ July 2, 2013
A powerful, brilliant movie about a vile, capitalist/class society and state. A "morality play" well beyond the Shakespearean variety (not to mention Hollywood dramas with "twists"). The best new movie I've seen in a long time.
June 23, 2013
Isa nanamang pelikulang pinoy na naliligo sa poverty. Parang Taken. Pero pinoy kurap version. Better than Taken 2. Or even Taken for what it's worth. Wastes Angeli Agbayani's talents by giving her a role that any other could play. Other than that, there are no other things I would rant about. This was a Triumph, somehow. A visually murky, haunting art-house production.
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