Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    Jan 10, 2013
    75
    Clandestine Childhood is the impressive first feature by Argentine director Benjamín Avila.
  2. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Jan 8, 2013
    70
    A charming, involving first feature, Clandestine Childhood muscles its familiar coming-of-age material into something more vibrant and urgent than the usual.
  3. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Jan 10, 2013
    60
    Avila has a tough task, visualizing violent and complicated events through a child's eyes. The calmer scenes are staged in staid and somewhat clunky fashion, but the graphic animation depicting the worst moments is starkly effective.
  4. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Jan 9, 2013
    60
    If such outré flourishes don't fully lift the story past the limitations of innocence-lost storytelling, they do suggest Ávila is an artist worth keeping an eye on.
  5. Reviewed by: Marc Olsen
    Feb 7, 2013
    50
    Clandestine Childhood is a sincere effort but also rather sincerely a meager one too.
  6. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Jan 10, 2013
    50
    When a filmmaker proves as reluctant as Mr. Ávila to speak up about the past, to engage with its full complexity, it can be hard to hear what he's saying.
  7. Reviewed by: Neil Young
    Jan 6, 2013
    50
    As is often the case with directors who adapt their own life-histories, there's the sense that a little too close to his material.
  8. Reviewed by: Jay Weissberg
    Jan 6, 2013
    50
    Designed to highlight the uneasy coexistence between everyday childhood experiences and the intense pressures of living with parents secretly fighting the junta, the picture has strong moments, but is bogged down by a script that regurgitates standard-issue ideas without finding anything interesting to say.
  9. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Jan 4, 2013
    50
    Benjamín Ávila structures the film as a series of precious moments, remembrances of a difficult year when the politics of patria and family got in the way of his puppy love.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Mar 25, 2014
    8
    This was the Argentina's submission for last year's American Academy Awards and failed to make into the final five. But it was a clean sweep in Argentinian Academy Awards in the same year. Forget that past sad occurrence, I mean the Oscars, this movie was great and I liked it very much. After a very long gap I saw an Argentinian movie reckoning to be a good and it was. I am satisfied and glad I saw it which was loosely based on the director's real life story when he was a child.

    This story was told from the perspective of a kid called Juan. His parents are the activists during the Cold War known as the Dirty War. After their return to the home country with different names, Juan joins the school known as Ernesto. He finds hard to understand his parents' behaviour, but comfortably settles with his new fake name with a little help from his uncle. The problem arises when his true identity matters the most. Whether he reveals or not is the crux of the movie's end.

    In my recent watch I had seen the people who struggle while protesting in a country's revolution. It might be based on real like 'NO' or fictional like 'Night Train to Lisbon', but majority of them end in heartbreak tragedy. Similarly, this movie opened its account in a simple manner like most of the drama that based on the revolution theme. Yes, of course it confuses at first about what's going on then slowly explain the situation. But all the difference and racy pace emerge suddenly in the last quarter of the movie. Till then I was in the movie trying to concentrate, but then instantly put me on the edge of my seat with cute romance and followed by thriller. That, the end portion of the story of last 10-15 minutes took the movie to the heights.

    Yes, like I said the movie kicks off with a slow and boring pace with nothing much to enjoy earlier and ends in a style. Some movies are largely depends on the story's end solution and so this. To me it looked fine movie, different people will have different opinions, so watch it by yourself and express yours.
    Full Review »
  2. Jan 22, 2013
    9
    This is the type of movie that might not interest a large. It is a movie that shows the perception of a child near puberty during the violent dictatorship in Argentina. It is very likely that the public in South America, who saw and felt the consequences of dictatorship, will relate to it, whereas public from other countries that did not experience the same trauma. Yet, it is a good movie, with great interpretations from the children. What is more, this movie shows how the relation between politics and family relationships, specially when children are involved, can be extremely delicate and dangerous. Full Review »