The Exterminating Angel (El Ángel Exterminador)


The Exterminating Angel (El Ángel Exterminador) (1967)



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Movie Info

In this jet black and surreal comedy, a formal dinner party starts out normally enough. After the sophisticated guests retire to the host's exquisite music room, they find that they cannot leave. Hours pass and then days, and as the time plods by, disturbing changes in the formerly-genteel guests occur.

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Critic Reviews for The Exterminating Angel (El Ángel Exterminador)

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (2)

My feeling is that his canvas is too narrow and his social comment too plain to keep our interest fixed upon his people and their barren stewing for an hour and a half.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

A macabre comedy, a mordant view of human nature that suggests we harbor savage instincts and unspeakable secrets.

Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

'The Exterminating Angel' is a confrontation. Not only because of its clear political underpinnings, but because of a weird undercurrent of human sympathy.

Jan 25, 2017 | Full Review…

It's one of the greater pleasures of the film that its surface-level plot is weird enough to watch it for the sheer joy of Surreal farce.

Dec 17, 2016 | Rating: 10/10 | Full Review…

One of the most celebrated prizes of Mexican cinema.

Dec 29, 2015 | Full Review…

The comedy is as black as an 8 Ball.

Jul 21, 2012 | Rating: 90/100 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Exterminating Angel (El Ángel Exterminador)


Buñuel clearly refuses to be subtle in this sharp allegorical satire (and because of that I only wish he had gone even further and embraced insanity and chaos all the way), using an absurd and quite ingenious idea to give a well-deserved slap on bourgeois values and hypocrisy.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

This movie criticizes the strangeness of etiquette with a hyperbolic tale of social rules gone wrong. No one can convince themselves to leave, apparently because no one else has left. Its not as though these rules of propriety have turned us into sheep, its that we were sheep to begin with, and these individuals with their nuanced rules are self-blinded of the suffering society around them. As time passes, or is made entirely meaningless, civility is eroded and these people are revealed to be the horny, hungry, irritable and fearful animals found in the rest of the animal kingdom and social classes. It took someone with a bit of free spirit who very early in the movie, before the whole trapped issue, lashes out by breaking a window for no explicit reason. She locks herself in a closet. People are murmuring to each other how she's still a virgin. They try so hard to turn everyone else into sheep just like them. They are fortunate that they failed.

Matthew Slaven
Matthew Slaven

Super Reviewer


A weird satirical piece of work that's thoroughly watchable & fairly enjoyable. Surrealistic movies are generally not my cup of tea, but thankfully, there's more to it here than merely surrealism.

familiar stranger
familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

I have to say that this is probably not eveyones "cup of tea"...but I really enjoyed it. Sure the basic premise has been done before to varying degrees...but you haven't seen this particular "morality tale" until you've seen it told as only Luis Bunuel can tell it. It is one of those films that, the more you think about it...the more you "see". There is so much going on and so much "symbolism" both subtle and blatant that I think you really need to watch it more then once to really "get it". And even then...I think there is much that Bunuel left to "your interpretation". Which I love.

Robert C
Robert C

Super Reviewer

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