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Átame! (Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!) (1990)


No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 3



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 16,604

My Rating

Movie Info

"I'll never love you . . . ever!" the sexy and attractive Marina (Victoria Abril) states emphatically to the love-struck Ricky (Antonio Banderas). You know she means what she says because when she makes this statement she is handcuffed and lashed to a bed, not exactly the proper way to warm anyone up for romance. Yet in Pedro Almodovar's Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! the way to a woman's heart is depicted as being held in captivity until the Stockholm Syndrome kicks in. The film concerns the plight of

Dec 12, 2000


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All Critics (28) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (6) | DVD (9)

Mr. Almodovar's comic invention runs out too soon, leaving the audience to giggle weakly in anticipation of the big laughs and disorienting shocks that never arrive.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A writer-director driven by his passion, Almodovar allows his movies to moan and sweat and writhe. Sex looks like sex, not pornographic but messy and warm. The curtains do not billow, the sheets burn.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Almodovar's polarities are so perfectly lined up in opposition to my own that it is quite possible for one of his movies to shoot right through my brain without striking a single cell.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A curiously uplifting watch despite such a morose subject-matter.

September 16, 2013 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Though this controversial film about romantic, sado-masochistic love in the hetero world is weak and ultimately disappointing, it's still worth seeing for understanding Almodovar's evolution.

July 17, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

One of those movies that makes you laugh if you sit back and absorb the entire absurd situation at once.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Typically nutty and passionate Almodovar

April 21, 2006
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

An off-kilter - and off-putting - mix of humor, sex, and Stockholm Syndrome obsession.

May 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

Psychodrama and dark humor flow freely from this setup.

October 1, 2003 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Perhaps its greatest truth comes from two of its characters watching a movie in production: one notes that the film is more a love story than a horror story. Replies the movie's director, 'Sometimes the two are indistinguishable.'

August 5, 2003 Full Review Source: James Sanford on Film
James Sanford on Film

If you've never seen an Almodovar film before, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! would be a good place to start because it contains many of the virtues of his best films...

January 9, 2002 Full Review Source: Movieline

A brave, convention-challenging sex farce about the ties that bind us in love.

August 29, 2001 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Whether you find him offensive or invigorating, it's hard to deny the Almodovar's unique style.

February 27, 2001 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Harmless. Fun.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Átame! (Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!)

By now I have started to understand the methodology of director Pedro Almodovar, though why certain things are supposed to be funny oftentimes get lost in translation. With this feature film there didn't seem to be anything funny about the situations detailed in the film and yet it's categorized as a comedy. There may have been some strange and effortlessly eccentric characters that could seem funny to a Spanish audience, but I didn't see the parallels in my own culture. As for the explicit nature of the film's content and the sexual nature that exists within the narrative, I had no problem with it. What I did find fault with was how the narrative is framed and the eventual ending. The film combines elements of horror and romantic comedy, featuring Antonio Banderas as Ricky, a maddened former mental patient. He leaves the institute and goes off to find a former porn actress now making a horror film for an acclaimed Spanish director. Ricky follows her, finds her inside her apartment, hits her unconscious, ties her up, and tells her he wants to marry her and have children with her. The film progresses as Ricky realizes she is a heroin addict, she realizes that he has had a troubled past, and they both slowly but surely fall in love. Almodovar uses the metaphor of binding together through the emotional responses of love for the ropes. The love story between Ricky and Marina (Abril) is supposed to mirror "Beauty ad the Beast" and "Frankenstein." Though not sadomasochistic with its representations of being tied up, there is obviously a lack of tenderness when it comes to Ricky's abuse. Though he "doesn't intend to hurt her" he chips her tooth, binds her, handcuffs her to him when they go in public, and threatens her sister. Even if they could fall in love, would we as the audience want them to? It's definitely in the realm of icky, and to forgive that would be misguided. Everything else about the film is entertaining, from Abril and Banderas' performances to the supporting characters to the somewhat understandable comedic aspects. It just wasn't a film with an understandable end, which threw the rest of my opinion of this into disarray.
October 15, 2013

Super Reviewer

Wow! Almodovar is a master at finding humor and romance in the most unlikely places.
April 7, 2012
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

My kind of love story...
January 16, 2012

Super Reviewer

I can honestly say that Almodóvar is starting to become one of my favorite directors. His movies are so fresh and unconventional!

Átame! is a joy to watch. Victoria Abril and a very young Antonio Banderas have a chemistry which comes together in one of the best lovemaking scenes I've seen in a long time!

Victoria Abril's eyes are mesmerizing. When she's introduced in those first scenes she looks plain and dull, but when she starts acting (in the movie she stars in a movie) she will sweep you off your feet!
February 25, 2011

Super Reviewer

    1. Ricki: I had to kidnap you so you'd get to know me. I'm sure you'll get to love me as I love you.
    – Submitted by Zaenal A (2 years ago)
    1. Ricki: If you're untied, will you escape?
    2. Marina Osorio: I don't know. You'd better tie me up.
    – Submitted by Maria Y (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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Latest News on Átame! (Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!)

May 6, 2010:
Banderas and Almodovar Share Skin
Twenty years after they made "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!," Antonio Banderas and Pedro Almodovar have...

Foreign Titles

  • Fessle mich! (DE)
  • Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (¡Atame!) (UK)
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