Pellet Image
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. 90
    At once subtle and visceral, the film never succumbs to the trap of the maudlin or tearful, offering instead with its unflinching gaze a measure of faith in the future.
  2. 80
    This is quick and unpredictable storytelling, its dialogue simple but tough. Alberto Jimenez is excellent as the conscience-stricken father, whose duty to respect the law tests his relationship with his own son, and both kids, Juan Jose Ballesta and Pablo Galan, give passionate, committed performances.
  3. 75
    Spanish director Achero Manas' El Bola shows how the boys' bond leads to salvation of a sort for the needy Pellet. He does so with great sensitivity, never sinking into exploitation.
  4. Could easily serve as an instructional video for repressive regimes who have not yet learned you can get more with honey than with vinegar.
  5. Despite an abrupt ending, Mana gives us compelling, damaged characters who we want to help -- or hurt. Perhaps most important, El Bola forces us examine our personal motivations for each impulse and their consequences.
  6. As blunt as it is in depicting child abuse, El Bola is a movie steeped in an ambiguity that lends its conflicts a symbolic resonance.
  7. 50
    A sober, earnest drama about child abuse.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2