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All Critics (23)
| Top Critics (11)
| Fresh (9)
| Rotten (14)
"The Liberator" shoehorns the epic life of early 19th-century South American revolutionary Simón Bolivar into two hours of intermittently powerful cinema.
Simple enough for audiences who know nothing about Bolívar, poetic enough for those who grew up reading about El Libertador in school books.
Arvelo, a Venezuelan like Bolivar, touches many of the essential bases in Bolivar's story. But, perhaps inevitably, he is only able to achieve little more than mere touches.
As if the film's ostentatious aerial vistas, merely functional scene-writing and score weren't distracting enough, Mr. Sexton's dialogue freezes dead any simulation of the period with tone-deaf lines amid Bolívar's impassioned rhetoric.
How disappointing that a movie about challenging authority should be such a slave to convention.
Édgar Ramírez is electifying as Simón Bolívar, the Venezuelan land owner turned warrior. But even Ramírez cannot liberate this movie from a clichéd script.
Despite the super-fast pace of The Liberator, which is about the rise and fall of the 19th-century South American warrior and anti-colonist Simón Bolívar, Ramirez always finds a way to give his words and moments weight.
An underwhelming screenplay is done no favors by Arvelo's flavorless direction, and much less by Gustavo Dudamel's wall-to-wall, dot-every-i score.
A rose-colored portrait of a national hero, "The Liberator" eschews political or emotional complexity in favor of simple-minded cheerleading.
Surely, history was nowhere as simple as The Liberator makes it.
Compelling lead performance saves violent Bolivar biopic.
The lavish war epic comes back to life is this swashbuckling tale of treachery and charisma.
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