The Motorcycle Diaries

Critics Consensus

The Motorcycle Diaries is heartfelt and profound in its rendering of the formative experiences that turn Ernesto "Che" Guerva into a famous revolutionary.

83%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 157

92%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 68,750

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Movie Info

On a break before his last semester of medical school, Ernesto "Che" Guevara (Gael García Bernal) travels with his friend Alberto Granado (Rodrigo de la Serna) from Brazil to Peru by motorcycle. The two men soon witness the great disparities in South America, encountering poor peasants and observing the exploitation of labor by wealthy industrialists. When they reach a leper colony in Peru, Ernesto's values have changed so much that he sides with the sufferers, forgetting his own comfort.

Cast & Crew

Gael García Bernal
Ernesto 'Che' Guevara de la Serna
Rodrigo de la Serna
Alberto Granado
Mercedes Morán
Celia de la Serna
Mia Maestro
Chichina Ferreyra
Jorge Chiarella
Dr. Bresciani
Jean Pierre Noher
Ernesto Guevara Lynch
Facundo Espinosa
Tomás Granado
Lucas Oro
Roberto Guevara
Jose Rivera
Writer (Screenplay)
Robert Redford
Executive Producer
Eric Gautier
Cinematographer
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News & Interviews for The Motorcycle Diaries

Critic Reviews for The Motorcycle Diaries

All Critics (157) | Top Critics (41) | Fresh (130) | Rotten (27)

Audience Reviews for The Motorcycle Diaries

  • May 29, 2013
    As a road trip film, it's stellar. As a historical insight into the events and psychological gear grinding that influenced the revolutionary leader known as Che Guevarra, it falters.
    Kevin C Super Reviewer
  • Apr 10, 2013
    Even if you don't agree agree with Che Guevara's ideas and views on capitalism, I'd still recommend this movie highly, or even the book, because you do get to see how this journey shapes him into the Che Guevara the world knows. And you know, I would much prefer this type of movie rather than one that focuses on his post-revolutionary work since that would certainly skirt a middle-ground between people praising what he did and people deriding what he did. And both sides would have valid points. This film, on the other hand, since it doesn't focus on his 'work' as a revolutionary you can view the events of the film with an open mind. Basically the film is a road film with Ernesto and Alberto traveling from Argentina to Venezuela and what he sees during the trip, how, in his view, capitalism and colonialism have driven into poverty the people that used to own those lands, the constant struggle of the lower class to make enough money just to have a meal to eat, and the fact that there was, when he volunteered at the San Pablo leper colony, a separation between those that were sick and the doctors that he simply did not agree with. And how he wishes to end the separation between all Latin American countries and unite us all as a people, which is certainly an admirable goal. The way he was presented in this movie, he was a man of the people. And you have to wonder how he goes from, after the events of this film, an aspiring doctor to a revolutionary whose influence is still felt today. Certainly the events of this film helped shape what he would become, but that is certainly something that fascinates me. The film is certainly heartfelt and it's clear that the crew, at least the director and the producers, had a massive respect for the man because the film is as unbiased as can be. Just because it reflects Che's viewpoints doesn't mean it condones socialism or communism, the beauty of it is is that it lets you make up your own mind about it. The film also acts as a coming-of-age story because when Ernesto left he, and this sounds like a cliche, was still a boy. And throughout his trip you get a very clear change that there was something in him that changed, something that made him mature and look at the world with vastly different eyes. Of course a lot of this is in due part to Gael Garcia Bernal's performance as he certainly has that naive, boyish look at the beginning of the film. Again, at the end, he looks and feels like a completely different person so Gael definitely did a great job at selling the character being transformed by his experiences. That's not to say Rodrigo de la Serna, isn't great, because he is, it's just that Gael's performance is that good, it's certainly a more understated and while they do certainly tell you who he is, they don't beat you over the head with it. All in all, this is an absolutely incredible movie about a fascinating man and the experiences that changed him. It is informative and entertaining at the same time, so I certainly recommend this movie HIGHLY.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Jul 04, 2012
    Whatever the intentions of its filmmakers what ultimately succeeds here is the opening of South America as more than simply a world party/nightclub stop as two young professionals put their promising lives on hold for a bit in order to sightsee their own unknown and surprisingly impoverished continent.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 27, 2012
    Che before he was CHE. I like to think that this moment in my life is the time I am John before I am JOHN. Most of these efforts don't work but I liked this film. We really get a sense of young men discovering injustices in a way that compels them to do something about it in their later days.
    John B Super Reviewer

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