User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 48 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 48
  2. Negative: 6 out of 48

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  1. Mar 27, 2013
    2
    After 15 years of a dictatorship Chilean Augusto Pinochet, due to international pressure, was allowing the people to vote in an upcoming plebiscite, an expression of the people’s will, as to whether they favored, voting ‘yes’ or not, voting ‘no’ as to if Pinchot should remain in office. There was no doubt, legally or not, that the majority of people would vote ‘yes’.

    Director Pablo
    Larrain has made this docudrama regarding the election with a screenplay by Pedro Peirano based on a play by Antonio Skarmeta called “The Referendum” and retitled it “No”. Each side of the question had 15 minutes a day to run an ad on television for 27 straight days with most of the ‘no’ ads regulated to the late hours. Rene Saavedra (Gael Garcia Bernal) is a hot shot ad executive who is put in charge of the No vote and tackles it like he was selling a previous product he handled which was a soda called Free. He uses marketing for politics as most ad agencies use it to sell cars, vacation spots or anything that uses balloons, rainbows, kids, blue skies and, in this case a mime that is a running joke throughout the movie.

    Rene is prime custodian of his son Simon (Pascal Montero) while his estranged, activist wife Veronica (Antonia Zegers) accuses him of working for the Pinochet regime. He is the son of an exiled Chilean dissident and Rene dresses in jeans to work and skate boards all over town. He also doesn’t hesitate to send his kid to bed so that he could play with Simon’s train set. It is an old friend of his father’s, socialist politician Urrutia (Luis Gnecco) who talks Rene into taking the ad campaign while Rene’s boss Lucho Guzman (Alfredo Castro) takes the opposing campaign.

    While it may have been in keeping with the time I found the direction, camerawork and editing to be very distracting, in some spots amateurish, and didn’t really add anything to the film.

    Gael Garcia Bernal has a very interesting face, penetrating eyes and, if you have seen him in any other film, you know he is a fine actor who needs that breakout role but this isn’t it.

    After watching “No” for an hour and fifty-eight minutes I have to get corny and end with say no to “No”.
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  2. Feb 28, 2013
    3
    Gael Garcia Bernal is the only pro of the entire flick. The movie has a good premise, and a strong story, but at the begining of the second act starts to fall apart, and the characters feels less and less important. At the end the movie is a mess.
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Apr 5, 2013
    40
    You'd think that a movie about such a dynamic moment and such a vibrant ad campaign would be more dynamic and vibrant.
  2. Reviewed by: Calvin Wilson
    Apr 4, 2013
    88
    The Oscar-nominated No has the gritty feel of a foreign film from the 1970s. As such, it may take a few minutes for most moviegoers to adjust to its rhythms. Ironically for a film about advertising, there’s nothing slick about it — and therein lies much of its greatness.
  3. Reviewed by: Stan Hall
    Apr 4, 2013
    67
    Anchoring a terrific cast is Bernal, who gives one of his best-ever performances.