Heli - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Heli Reviews

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Brogan Morris
We Got This Covered
May 27, 2014
Cold, alienating and only occasionally gripping, Heli is an uneasy mix of black comedy, social realist drama and crime thriller. If only the rest of the film matched the slickly confident cinematography.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/10
Tomas Hachard
Slant Magazine
June 8, 2014
The emotional and political point through all this isn't to be taken lightly, but because the entirety of the film has such a nihilistic temperament, its effect is muted.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Farran Smith Nehme
New York Post
June 11, 2014
An average newspaper reporter can do a more artful, compassionate job with a drug-war story than this movie does.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Calum Marsh
Little White Lies
May 22, 2014
This relentless torrent of Mexican miserabilism makes for alienatingly grim and violent viewing.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Guy Lodge
HitFix
May 23, 2013
Heli executes its shocks with sleek, gasp-inducing effectiveness, but neither it politics, nor its shifts in physical perspective, ever surprise or disorientate us.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
William Goss
MSN Movies
June 29, 2013
...ultimately comes off as an empty piece of provocation.
Tim Grierson
Paste Magazine
May 29, 2013
For all the horrors Heli reveals about modern-day Mexico, it's stubbornly lacking in insight about the characters that live there.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Andrew Osmond
Empire Magazine
May 18, 2014
It's well-told and shot, yet ultimately unrewarding.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Keith Uhlich
Time Out
May 23, 2013
Escalante's aesthetic is pure Film Fest 101.
Top Critic
Stephen Dalton
Hollywood Reporter
June 9, 2014
The film's emotional and psychological threads resolve themselves less convincingly.
Mike D'Angelo
The Dissolve
June 11, 2014
The rest of the movie isn't as graphically awful as its centerpiece torture sequence, but it does little more than flatly illustrate the obvious-namely, that the drug war is very bad news for ordinary, well-meaning Mexicans.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Randy Cordova
Arizona Republic
July 10, 2014
Although it obviously is made with some skill, it also is unrelentingly dire.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Joe McGovern
Entertainment Weekly
December 3, 2014
The film's nihilism serves as a metaphor for the merciless death pit of Mexico's drug war, but not much else.
Danny Leigh
Financial Times
May 22, 2014
Soon, the stylistic flourishes don't just seem self-conscious but cribbed, karaoke shades of Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Harmony Korine.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Geoffrey Macnab
Independent (UK)
May 23, 2014
The director Amat Escalante shows plenty of visual flair but his detached, matter-of-fact approach to the suffering endured by his protagonists becomes alienating.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
Variety
June 9, 2014
Much of what Heli has to say feels either obvious and/or exhausted by a raft of other recent narrative and documentary features.
Zach Hollwedel
Under the Radar
August 4, 2014
Though not without its faults, Heli is a beautifully shot, deliberately quiet surprise.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Andy Crump
Movie Mezzanine
August 9, 2014
...maybe Heli contains few layers beyond its central political outcry, but then, maybe it doesn't need to.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Erik McClanahan
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 31, 2014
The imagery is equal parts ugly and beautiful as the tale descends into a nightmare most could never conceive.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Craig Skinner
HeyUGuys
May 17, 2013
A dark tale, Heli is certainly not easy viewing but Escalante's bleak journey is one worth taking, for its raw and intense power is often rather extraordinary.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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