Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Reviewed by: Russell Scott Smith
    You don't have to know Chile's bloody history to be moved by the poignant new film Machuca, the first movie made by a Chilean about the country's 1973 military coup.
  2. A fine, exciting film that makes a bloody historical event live all over again by showing it through the eyes of children on the edges of the conflict.
  3. An astonishingly intimate and painful coming-of-age story.
  4. Reviewed by: Karen Heller
    Sweet, poignant, and winningly evocative of the period, though occasionally dogged by predictable scenarios and caricatures.
  5. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    It's a tale powerfully told, nevertheless, with an unusual vantage point in its upper-class young hero.
  6. 63
    Though the film would benefit from further cuts, Machuca still manages to convey the frailty of convictions and the difficulties of growing up -- be it a child or a nation.
  7. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Wood's drama packs an emotional gut-punch that's all the more devastating for its being rooted in a dreadful historical reality.
  8. Machuca is a quiet film, moving sadly toward its inevitable climax, the final scenes a lesson in the methods by which the military restores order to a divided country.
  9. 80
    Wood's film works, first and foremost, as a powerful character drama; it's not trying to teach historical or ideological lessons.
  10. One of those special films that broadens and deepens as it goes on.
  11. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Richly human in focus, the drama steadily cranks up its political and emotional charge.
  12. 80
    Engaging entertainment and a great work of art.
  13. 70
    Though Machuca ultimately doesn't shy away from taking sides, it wisely keeps the focus on the human element. The politics take place in the background until they demand the foreground.
  14. Both sweet and stringent, attuned to the wonders of childhood as well as its cruelty and terror.
  15. 70
    A respectable entry in the Bicycle Thief school of art-house cinema, which uses a child's coming of age to explore an era of political and social turmoil.
  16. Machuca is still a half-measure. Wood is fastidious about period set design, but not much else; rather than burning with experience, the film feels opportunistic.
  17. Tender, funny and smart, Machuca is that rare discovery, an incisive political parable that also succeeds as a drama of sharply drawn individuals.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Oct 14, 2011
    Lovely film, well done and I have to say it, I am not a big fan of Chilean Movies but this is the best Chilean Film that I've ever seen. The story is so common in Chile and the actors are not brilliant but is worth seeing this movie. Full Review »