Secuestro Express - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Secuestro Express Reviews

Page 1 of 11
May 10, 2014
Gritty look at the realities of rich, poor and crime in South America, and the kidnapping for profit industry, as well as the police corruption problem. Well filmed with good camera work and a good, fast, and well-acted script.
½ April 11, 2013
Studying up on Caracas before I go there soon
January 21, 2013
Unfortunately, very violent... more emotionally than physically... sad how this goes on in Latin America.
December 28, 2012
Sooooo Not interested.
March 3, 2012
As a film, it's fast-paced thriller. As a social commentary, it's just plain shallow.
½ February 27, 2012
Absolutely not my type of film, but very real and presents an interesting topic.
February 18, 2012
It'd be better if it didn't try to moralize kidnapping and class warfare.
½ January 29, 2012
A view of Venezuela and latin american ransom tactics. Is an ok movie
½ August 30, 2011
Amazing! The plot is about a kidnapping, however, the movie is really about the growing chasm between the haves and the have-nots in South America. Well worth watching with the director's commentary since it provides good insights into the disparity in wealth in Venezuelan society and its effect on the general population. The acting is uniformly excellent with a particularly good performance by Mia Maestro as the girlfriend of the abducted couple.
April 30, 2011
Una pelicula que cuenta claramente lo que vivimos los caraqueños y todos los venezolanos a diario, que te deja con esa paranoia del secuestro al salir del cine. Real y cruda.
April 29, 2011
This what we lives here in Venezuela. There's a "normal" feeling about this because it happens very often
February 21, 2011
Carla: Listen. I work in a clinic without resources for the poor everyday... doing what I can to help poor children. And you treat me this way. Trece: Fuck, who told you to drive around in a brand new car? You think I can guess who you are? Carla: Why is having money a sin? My father's worked hard all his life. Trece: That's not the point. I have money too. Carla: What is it, then? Trece: Don't look at me like that, OK? Don't look at me like that, or I'll lose it. Point is... Carla: Yes? Trece: When half city is knee-deep in shit, and you're rolling in a expensive car. Shit, how you expect them not to hate you? Huh? Why shouldn't they hate you? Look at your outfit, look at this... [points at her clothing and jewerling] Trece: . Do you know how many families that shit could feed? Huh? One thing is that we're different. Great, I get that. But rubbing your money in people's face is another. Carla: But everyone gets robbed here. Trece: But not all with the same hatred.
October 4, 2010
Shows the reality of us Venezuelans
September 16, 2010
Toda una película de acción del cine venezolano.
September 16, 2010
i am from venezuela, so let me say tough this practice is very common down here but still, this movie is stereotyped, heavily influenced by politics, the language that they use is over the edge, i know that in caracas that's how they speak but they way overused it... i mean every police officer, military, taxi driver, and others is corrupt and criminal in this movie. off course you see drug traffic, sodomy, and all the cliches related to latin america. you have the cliches to kidnapping movies too: there is a sadist rapist guy, and there is a kind of good guy who does it for the needs. little bit of stockholm syndrome...

Ruben blades doesn't even bother to try and imitate the venezuelan accent he just plays ruben blades rather than a character...
The director desperately try to rush visuals with cheap tricks and poor edition...

mia maestro its the higlight of this movie when it comes to acting, the kidnappers had some highlights when they show some tridimension.

it's sad to me that they portrayed our people in this manner, and worst of all it's this movie did good in box office here so... just celebrates criminal lifestyle and denigrate the work of many good filmmakers that just can't get the money to shoot their projects...

Me da mucha pena que personas de Venezuela se presten para retratar a nuestra gente de esta manera.
July 4, 2010
Average. It's a good insight into the world of kidnapping in Venezuela, yes, but it's not very substancial as a film. And Mia Maestro can't act.
Super Reviewer
½ April 20, 2010
This is a movie about kidnapping first and foremost, but it is also a strong commentary on the ongoing struggle between the have and the have nots.

The story kicks off quickly when a rich young couple is kidnapped without warning outside of a drug store. The kidnapping scene is done very well. If there is any excuse for using DV it is the type of hand held quick shots the director gets while the couple is being taken. I've never been kidnapped but I feel like this is what it would be like. No overly clever threats just quick and decisive action. Shut up, don't look at me, and a pistol whip to the mouth the second i think you're looking. The three kidnappers all have distinct personalities that are at times contradictory to each other and with the whole act of kidnapping. This adds to the realism in a huge way. One of the assailants is particularly protective of the girl which becomes a theme throughout the film.

As the movie rolls onward the use of DV becomes less noticeable and actually begins to seem appropriate because we do tend to think of video as being "real". The cinematographer should be commended on his excellent use of color. Almost every scene is alive with brilliant hues that contrast wildly. I am not sure if this was done in some way to evoke the thematic idea that the rich and the poor live so close yet are so different, or if it is simply eye candy to savor. Either way it accomplishes that goal.

This is a film full of sudden plot twists and because it is a continuous story told in a 1 to 1 step with reality it seems we are literally experiencing every moment of the ordeal with the characters. Violence erupts from nowhere and you get the feeling that this is a lawless place where the kidnappers really are in control. By the end of the movie I would certainly think twice before exploring south America without a desert eagle and suitcase of cash.

Overall this a gritty movie that paints a realistic portrait about kidnapping in south America. there is nothing glamorous or pretty about it and thats what works so well here particularly in concert with the grainy DV look. Maybe the only aspect of the movie I had a problem with wasn't even so much individual to the movie itself. It is more the idea that the kidnappings are justified simply because the wealthy are wealthy. This movie is so well designed as documentary on a kidnapping that it doesn't leave time for us to really see the living conditions of the kidnappers. Therefore it is very difficult for me to make the logic jump that If I was in their position I would probably become a kidnapper as well. There will always be the haves and the have nots, but I would venture to say that violence, greed, and sadism are independent of financial status. They are simply the consequence of being human and we have to live with that as best as possible.

"Secuestro Express" is a neat little twisty thriller in the exaggerated style of gritty British crime dramas like "Layer Cake," with a pointed political and social overlay.

Using swooping, in-your-face close-up cameras, limited narration and dossier-style on screen character and time descriptors, writer/director Jonathan Jakubowicz, in his full-length fiction debut, captures a docudrama feel to make the kidnapping of a young, lighter-skinned couple by a motley group of "nigros" (darker-skinned) thugs, with a variety of psychological and financial motives for doing this "work", a commentary on class in Latin America, specifically in Caracas, Venezuela.

The individuality of all the characters, including the criminals, adds to the explosive unpredictability as stereotypes of Latin American culture are ironically skewered, including oligarchies, macho men, religion and sensuality, as each person uses political and class rhetoric to justify greed, selfishness and condescension on all sides.

Drugs are caustically shown to have pervasively corrupted and enthralled all levels of the society through a harrowing picaresque exploration of "the ghetto" (as the subtitles translated the geography).

The acting is excellent, particularly Ma Maestro, of TV's "Alias," who goes through an entire spectrum of emotions. Jean Paul Leroux as her boyfriend "Martin" is very good at shifting gears as our sympathies shift around him.

The song selection felt very atmospheric and the soundtrack kept the tension ratcheted up.

In a night pregnant with a strange mix of tension and dizzy abandon, lovers Carla and Martin prowl clubs before drunkenly wandering back to his car. While he comes across as crass nouveau riche, she appears more liberal. Their conspicuous affluence, however, makes them ideal targets for kidnappers, and the trio of Trece, Budu and Niga gets a bead on them and promptly sweeps them up at gunpoint. The kidnappers then demand $20,000 to be delivered in two hours. Carla phones her rich father Sergio to procure the money, but chaos soon ensues. A botched ATM robbery is followed by a stopover at the palatial estate of a gay drug dealer.
November 25, 2009
The second part of the movie was incredible intense and strong. The first part thou, was to much Tarantino and Trainspotting and weakened the rating.
Page 1 of 11