Heli (2014)


Critic Consensus: There's no denying the seriousness of Heli's story or the raw power of its more uncomfortable moments, but they're used in service of a grimly alienating film that many viewers may ultimately find unrewarding.


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Movie Info

Heli (Armando Espitia) is a young man living in a small town with his father, his wife,their baby and his 12-year-old sister Estela (Andrea Vergara). He works at the same car factory as his unassuming dad, although on different shifts, while his wife is still adjusting to being a mother and recovering from a difficult birth. His sister, a conscientious student, is stumbling through an unconsummated love affair with an older guy, Beto (Juan Eduardo Palacios), who is treated like dirt in brutal police cadet training sessions in the desert. One foolish decision on the too-green sister's part - allowing Beto to hide some drugs in a water tank on the roof of their home - sends the lives of her entire family into a tailspin. The sudden involvement of a vicious special crime force and, later, the corrupt local police only reinforces the picture of this family as victims of forces way beyond their control. (c) Cinema Village

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Critic Reviews for Heli

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (17)

The film's nihilism serves as a metaphor for the merciless death pit of Mexico's drug war, but not much else.

Dec 3, 2014 | Full Review…

Director Amat Escalante and his gifted cinematographer Lorenzo Hagerman have crafted a powerful film that feels and looks a lot like Steven Soderbergh's Oscar-winning Traffic.

Aug 7, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Although it obviously is made with some skill, it also is unrelentingly dire.

Jul 10, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

Unmistakably, an angry film, an indictment of circumstances that seem to force a choice between impotence and homicide.

Jun 12, 2014 | Full Review…

A stunning piece of filmmaking.

Jun 12, 2014 | Full Review…

An average newspaper reporter can do a more artful, compassionate job with a drug-war story than this movie does.

Jun 11, 2014 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Heli

"Heli" is an uncompromising, nihilistic film, angry behind dead eyes and graphically shocking.

Daniel Parsons
Daniel Parsons

Super Reviewer

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