Live Flesh (Carne trémula)

Critics Consensus

Live Flesh surveys the fallout from an act of violence with a mature melodrama that sees Pedro Almodóvar working in surprisingly restrained form.



Reviews Counted: 41

liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 13,343


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.9/5

You may have noticed some of the recent changes we have made. To read more about what we’ve been working on behind the scenes, please check out our new RT Product Blog here.

Want to See

Add Rating
My Rating    

Live Flesh (Carne trémula) Photos

Movie Info

Pedro Almodovar's most mature and restrained film is a superbly structured melodrama about five people whose lives in modern Madrid are inextricably linked by a bullet fired in a police scuffle.

Watch it now


Liberto Rabal
as Víctor Plaza
Penelope Cruz
as Isabel Plaza Caballero
Pilar Bardem
as Doña Centro de Mesa
Álex Angulo
as Conductor del Autobús
View All

News & Interviews for Live Flesh (Carne trémula)

Critic Reviews for Live Flesh (Carne trémula)

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (12)

  • A single ricochet gunshot propels the plot and dramatically alters the lives of the quintet. The result is a vengeful, five-way battle of wits.

    Jan 9, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

    Mike Clark

    USA Today
    Top Critic
  • The overall purpose of Live Flesh, the latest and reputedly most 'mature' work from Spanish bad-boy director Pedro Almodovar, remains engigmatic.

    Apr 12, 2002 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • Almodovar, whose work here has newly sophisticated polish, appreciates the dark twists of this story along with the eroticism that bring heat to all the scheming.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Like the gorgeous cinematography (which is used to good effect to eroticize a sex scene), this is all part of Almodovar's stylistic package. Never has it been more impressive than here, where everything (not just the flesh) is vibrant with life.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • I can only conclude that the people who think Flower and Live Flesh represent the new, mature Almodóvar think that his earlier pictures were immature.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • Almodovar seems more assured here, confident that he can interest us without overt winking and tomfoolery.

    Jan 1, 2000

Audience Reviews for Live Flesh (Carne trémula)

Javier Bardem, and Liberto Rabal, are easy on the eyes and make the movie worth watching. It's a mildly interesting story, somewhat predictable, and with its fair share of slow moments. And as is so often the case in Almodovar movies, the intense connection between characters is shown through melodrama...not character development. If you are a fan of Almodovar, you will enjoy this. I, apparently, am not really a fan. I don't think that I have really liked any of his movies too much.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


Life, love, desire...and everything in between.

Wahida K
Wahida K

Super Reviewer


I've only seen three other Almodovar movies and they all impressed me immensely, but Live Flesh is sort of a dud. The last thing I would call this, contrary to its Flixster page, is "restrained"; those telenovela moments that Almodovar is so good at concocting are pretty much the only thing keeping this movie alive. There are plenty of hysterical dramatic highlights, like a birth on a bus, an unhappy lover bombarding her husband with hairspray, a shootout in an apartment, and a terrifically bloody climax. The rest of the movie is inert and dramatically unchallenging, trying to bill itself as subdued, but let's call a spade a spade here. This is a prototype for Almodovar's later formula - a fusion of campy melodrama and quiet human introspection - but despite some strong ideas, this overarching story isn't strong enough to sustain said formula. It's too simple and sort of random; none of the characters seem to behave with much thought. I dunno, I'm not too coherent about this one but I really didn't care for it. Maybe it's me.

Drew Smith
Drew Smith

Super Reviewer

The more I see of Bardem, the more I like him. Given that my first notice of him came via No Country for Old Men -- which you must see for his performance in that one -- I grow more and more to appreciate what an amazing range he has. This film too, like In Bruges, is a kind of fairy tale, albeit not one you would read to your kiddies at bedtime. A great cast brings a very intricate story of love, revenge, and redemption to beautiful fruition, and I'm getting to appreciate Penélope Cruz more and more in all kinds of ways : ) Oh yeah, baby!

Lanning : )
Lanning : )

Super Reviewer

Live Flesh (Carne trémula) Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features