Roma (2018)


Critic Consensus: Roma finds writer-director Alfonso Cuarón in complete, enthralling command of his visual craft - and telling the most powerfully personal story of his career.


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The most personal project to date from Academy Award (R)-winning director and writer Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, Children of Men, Y Tu Mama Tambien), ROMA follows Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a young domestic worker for a family in the middle-class neighborhood of Roma in Mexico City. Delivering an artful love letter to the women who raised him, Cuarón draws on his own childhood to create a vivid and emotional portrait of domestic strife and social hierarchy amidst political turmoil of the 1970s. Cuarón's first project since the groundbreaking Gravity in 2013, ROMA will be available in theaters and on Netflix later this year.

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Critic Reviews for Roma

All Critics (247) | Top Critics (42)

Alfonso Cuaron's new film, "Roma," gives you so much to see in each new vignette, in every individual composition, in fact, that a second viewing becomes a pleasurable necessity rather than a filmgoing luxury.

Dec 14, 2018 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Alive in a way that few movies are, "Roma" is a sumptuous piece of filmmaking, a gorgeous look at life on a grand scale told through the prism of one family.

Dec 13, 2018 | Rating: A | Full Review…

Narratively, not a lot happens during the opening 60-70 minutes, but Cuaron is marinating us so that later events have an uncommonly strong impact.

Dec 11, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Cuarón's film is quotidian and extraordinary at the same time. It is about change and how we adapt and grow. It is about love and sometimes the lack of it. It is a rapturous magnum opus, that is heartbreaking, devastating, and life affirming all at once.

Dec 10, 2018 | Full Review…

It is the clarity of Cuarón's eye, and the sea-like sway of his remembrance, that compel you to trust the tale he tells.

Dec 7, 2018 | Full Review…

In the end, the film belongs to Aparicio, whose unmannered performance gives Roma an extra dimension of poetic realism.

Dec 6, 2018 | Rating: A | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Roma

Movies that are simply about life don't seem to come around often enough, so when one makes it into the limelight, it feels like something special if done correctly. Being in Spanish throughout the majority of the film, the sad truth is that most English-speaking American and Canadian citizens will probably be turned off, but if you're someone who doesn't mind watching a foreign film, I honestly don't think you'll find many films that are better than Roma in all of 2018. This film explores the story of a family in ways that I haven't seen present on the screen in quite some time. If you're a film fanatic, here's why (especially to you) I just can't recommend this movie enough. Following a family, as they deal with the hardships of dealing with the harsh realities of what some families go through, Roma focusses on their housemaid in Cleo. Becoming a very good friend of the family, her story is chronicled through the time she spends with them, just as much as she spends time with her friends as well. With a side story that had me sobbing throughout the third act, I truly can't remember when movie left my jaw on the floor in terms of an emotional impact. This is a film that cares solely about these characters and I was completely invested in each and every one of them. Written and directed by the incredibly talented Alfonso Cuarón, this film is showcased in a way that has the audience feel as though they're peering in on a family in crisis. This movie is an observation of family life and how rapidly it can change. Throughout horrible consequences or brief, happy moments, Alfonso Cuarón is able to display breathtaking cinematography that makes the movie itself feel like a character telling its own story. When a filmmaker can accomplish something like that, with long takes to further deepen the story, you know we have a gem on our hands. This man doesn't make enough films as far as I'm concerned and this is just another piece of impeccable entertainment that he can add to his resumé. Having never seen Yalitza Aparicio appear in anything before this appearance as the leading lady in Roma, I can confidently say that she should absolutely quit her day job if it isn't acting. Not only did she sell herself as this character in a way that stuck with me, but her expressions that range from fear to sadness, joy to love, and even devotion to commitment, her performance had my eyes glued to the screen for the full 135 minutes. Even though it may seem lengthy to some, I didn't think a single frame of this movie was wasted. Even throughout the slow moments, there were multiple levels of storytelling going on. When such a simple premise can be made to feel this epic in scale, I have nothing but unrequited love for it. In the end, Roma doesn't just have it all in terms of writing and directing, but those aspects are taken to new heights throughout these performances and the overall film that has incredible emotion throughout, ultimately builds to a couple of different climax's, and each of them feel either earned or absolutely shocking. As I mentioned, there was a specific moment toward the end of the movie where I just couldn't help but open my jaw wide. The payoff of one of the storylines is absolutely nothing what I expected. Roma is emotionally powerful from start to finish and I simply can't recommend it enough. Now streaming on Netflix of all places and probably up for many awards in the coming months, Roma is a true gem.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer


At first it seems like Cuarón is making a dispassionate historical examination, but that is because he is slowly letting you into the character's space. By the midway point you are completely invested in Cleo and this family. Also, typical for Cuarón, each shot is monumentally rich in imagery.

Alec Barniskis
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer


Roma is what one would call a hard sell. Despite being writer/director Alfonso Cuarón's follow-up to his Oscar-winning Gravity (Cuarón won Best Director for this effort) it couldn't be more different and because of this, more daring. It's daring based simply on the fact it is a two-hour personal opus, shot in black and white, and featuring English subtitles. In going ahead and acknowledging the elephant in the room, it's not difficult to see why the production companies who gave Cuarón $15 million to make the project also decided to go with Netflix as their distributor. And while, based on nothing more than its pristine aesthetic, Cuarón's most personal film to date certainly deserves to be seen on the big screen, given the content of the film and the types of people whose lives Roma explores it also makes perfect sense that the film be released to audiences in the most accessible way possible. It is a fine line to walk and while, as someone who loves going to the cinema, will always believe seeing a movie in the theater is the best way to see a movie it's hard to argue that the majority of mainstream audiences don't see many a films until years after they've been released and on their own televisions or other devices. Is it a shame some viewers will only experience the beauty of Cuarón's cinematography (yes, he serves as his own cinematographer here too) on their smart phones? Of course, but by making a film like Roma available to those who aren't within driving distance of a theater, but have a subscription to Netflix allows for the film to connect with what Cuarón is illustrating as well as connect with a bigger, more diverse audience than it likely would have if limited to a traditional theatrical and home video release. The key word here though, is illustrate. Roma doesn't so much as tell a specific story or drive home a certain narrative as much as it does illustrate a contemplative yet precisely executed observation of a year in the life of this upper-class family in Mexico City in the early seventies and more pointedly, on that of the family maid, Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio, making her acting debut). read the whole review at

Philip Price
Philip Price

Super Reviewer

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