Critics Consensus

An engrossing documentary look at ordinary lives, Romántico puts relatable individual faces on issues that are far too often dehumanized.



Reviews Counted: 24

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Reviews Count: 0
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Average Rating: 4/5

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Movie Info

A Mexican troubadour struggling to make a living in San Francisco's mission district travels back across the border to visit his dying mother in filmmaker Mark Becker's unflinching portrait of illegal immigrant Carmelo Sánchez. By day Sánchez washes cars, and by night he moves from restaurant to restaurant playing romantic ballads for tips. But Sánchez isn't alone in America, his best friend Arturo is always by his side. When Sanchez's mother falls ill and he returns to Mexico to be by her side, Arturo follows along as viewers are offered a deeply personal look at the life of a kindhearted and hardworking man who is simply doing his best to provide for his impoverished family.

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Critic Reviews for Romántico

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (14)

  • ... a fine example of how the new technologies enable filmmakers to tell stories hard to capture before.

    Jan 26, 2007 | Rating: 3/4
  • There's nothing extraordinary about mariachi singer Carmelo Muñiz Sánchez, and nothing extraordinary about Mark Becker's documentary profile Romántico. At times, that seems to be the point.

    Jan 19, 2007 | Rating: C

    Tasha Robinson

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • Romántico would be nothing if it were just a hard-luck story. The movie is something else: the revelation of a way of life, of a whole area of human experience going on right under our noses -- or standing over our restaurant tables.

    Jan 19, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Romántico is a quiet, admirable slice-of-life documentary, giving us insight into the human condition without claiming universal knowledge of larger questions involving immigration or family responsibility.

    Jan 19, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The movie's interests tend more toward the personal than the political. Cultural differences notwithstanding, Sánchez is the archetype of the overachieving dad, sacrificing his present to provide for his family's future.

    Jan 11, 2007 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • If this terrific documentary doesn't adjust your idea of what it means to have a hard life and a good attitude, you haven't been paying attention.

    Jan 11, 2007

Audience Reviews for Romántico


[font=Century Gothic]"Romantico" is a documentary about Carmelo Muniz Sanchez, a 57-year old man, who works as a mariachi with his friend, Arturo, in San Francisco. To make ends meet, they also work in a car wash. Illegally in the United States for the past three years, Carmelo sends money back to his family in Mexico. But he is homesick, and wants to return when he hears that his elderly mother's health is declining.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]"Romantico" is a sober counterpoint to the hysterical hyperventilating of the anti-immigration movement that has been shameless enough to bring terrorism up in the debate. In a poignant manner, the film puts a sympathetic face to illegal immigration, detailing Carmelo's life on both sides of the border(allowing he and his friends and family to tell their story without any commentary), thus giving very good reasons why a person would emigrate. Ironically, Carmelo is much more able to support his family far away from home. For example, he can earn $100 in a night here in the states while much less in his home country. [/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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