A Show of Force - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A Show of Force Reviews

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½ March 31, 2013
A fictionalization of the Cerro Maravilla incident in Puerto Rico, in which police killed two idealistic independistas who were trying to stage a political incident to embarrass the pro--Statehood government. Amy Irving plays an Anglo reporter who had been married to an independista lawyer who died of cancer. Kevin Spacy is an FBI agent who is a menacing presence throughout the movie, and Lou Diamond Phillips plays an infiltrator who pretends to be an independista. Got that all? Lupe Ontiveros, who played Selena's killer in the movie with Jennifer Lopez, is good as always in a small part. Amy's actual mother plays her fictional mother, and Robert Duvall is her cynical boss. To top it all off we have Andy Garcia, who is a bowtied lawyer. I lived in Puerto Rico in the late 80s, and heard Cerro Maravilla spoken about a lot, and with this movie I begin to understand what went on. The movie simplifies things, but tries to present the nationalist point of view to a U.S. audience and features beautiful scenery and good acting.
½ March 7, 2013
With Kevin Spacey as, I can only presume, Phil Collins (Look at that hair!) this is an all-too-typical political thriller/conspiracy movie with nothing original or particularly exciting to offer. The performances are fine for the most part (there's some stinkers and the late 80s/early 90s shooting doesn't help) and there's the occasional good scene but there's nothing special aside from a possibly darker feel than others in the genre at the time, though that's debatable.

It's just boring really for the most part, it never feels like it's trying to do anything other than tick boxes for the genre and re-enact a story word-for-word like a documentary. It's the quintessential bad true-events film where something with endless possibility and emotional depth (in this case the Cerro Marravilla murders) is turned into a bland, emotionless film that manages to take away any reality from a serious event and turns it into an extended soap opera, and a bad one at that.

What's worse is that this film is only loosely based on real events- it cheaply takes elements and adds them to a mind-numbingly bad script leaving the viewer
wondering why they are even watching it and not reading up about the actual events and getting a more thought-provoking and generally less-time-wasting experience.

If there's a point to be addressed and a film uses a true event to make that point then, whether it succeeds or not, it should be treated with respect but when, as is the case here, a sad event is used to make a movie simply for profit and without any emotional gravity then at the very least the movie better be damn good. This one isn't.

Thank God for Kevin Spacey's hair then.
July 18, 2007
I'm a Puerto Rican, and it's a real shame to view how Hollywood enjoys making a fiasco out of serious events such as this one, the Serro Maravilla massacre. Thank God Romero Barcelo was made the Keyser Soze of the whole plot (which is true).
November 25, 2004
[font=Arial][b]A Show of Force is by far one of the ten best movies ever !!! Nominated for best picture by more than 50 international film critic organizations. It is rare that a film is made depicting a politically criminal cover-up by the FBI. This is the true story of two young freedom fighters who were brutally murdered as a sacrifice for FBI and police efforts to quell a growing movement. [/b][/font]
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