Butterfly Tongues


Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 23
  2. Negative: 1 out of 23

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Critic Reviews

  1. It's a rare film that can make us look so deeply into the dark soul of the seemingly benign.
  2. Baltimore Sun
    Reviewed by: Chris Kaltenbach
    A movie of unforced nobility and quiet pleasures, Butterfly works on all sorts of levels.
  3. 90
    Some delicately interwoven and unresolved subplots help make the young character's rite of passage wholly, disturbingly compelling.
  4. 75
    Because the film marches so inexorably toward its conclusion, it would be unfair to hint at what happens, except to say that it provides a heartbreaking insight into the way that fear creates cowards.
  5. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: John Petrakis
    May be a bit sentimental for some, but I found its patient examination of how the forces of optimism can be overwhelmed by a wave of cruelty to be both moving and wise.
  6. A powerful ending lends a strong emotional charge to this prettily filmed drama, but too much of the story is taken up with romantic clichés about the everyday challenges of childhood.
  7. 80
    The movies' time-honored old-man-and-boy theme has rarely been used to such great advantage.
  8. Diverges to become something quite powerfully unnerving and guilt-ridden.
  9. A beautiful, harrowing film of understated power and perception that affords Fernando Fernán Gómez, the Spanish cinema's great, weathered veteran, yet another of his unforgettable performances.
  10. Miami Herald
    Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    An exploration of how fear and mob rule can poison even the purest of souls.
  11. Mr. Showbiz
    Reviewed by: Cody Clark
    The story is a pleasant one despite its pointed righteousness.
  12. New York Post
    Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Butterfly doesn't require much knowledge of history to appreciate, but it really isn't suitable for very young audiences either.
  13. Philadelphia Inquirer
    Reviewed by: Desmond Ryan
    Manages the rare feat of being both bleak and deeply rewarding.
  14. Has a saccharine quality but also offers a memorable performance by famed Spanish actor Fernando Fernan Gomez.
  15. Outside national borders, this naive vantage point is an entry into a country's history and culture, explaining without seeming patronizing.
  16. Delicate, quietly devastating.
  17. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    A savory cocktail with a bitter twist.
  18. The film's climax was only one of several moments that left me utterly verklempt, without ever knowing that my buttons were being pushed.

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