Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 17
  2. Negative: 5 out of 17
  1. Not a man, but the romanticizing of him. A lot of jive-shit.
  2. 75
    It wisely lets us hear Pinero's words for ourselves, and in the end, they echo louder than the images that accompany them.
  3. 40
    Bratt's fast-talking, all-attitude interpretation is showboating without soul -- which can be said of the entire movie.
  4. Reviewed by: Steven Mikulan
    The main drawback is Claudio Chea's vertiginous camera work -- and the print's continual alternations between black-and-white and color add nothing but a distracting ornamentation.
  5. Ichaso moves easily between a black-and-white past and a full-color present, maintaining a pace as buoyant and rhythmic as the beat of the infectious Latin music that accompanies the film.
  6. 50
    A biopic that is as messy as the life it details.
  7. 50
    What Ichaso does do is take us on a dizzying, constantly moving ride through an exciting decade in the blossoming of "Nuyorican" culture with its most flamboyant figure as our focus.
  8. 30
    There's a strong movie in this life, but writer-director Leon Ichaso ("Sugar Hill") hasn't found it.
  9. 20
    A sustained piece of showboating mythmaking, and something of a snow job.
  10. A daring, free-spirited and ultimately moving performance by Benjamin Bratt lies at the beating heart of Pinero.
  11. Piñero never comes close to convincing us that this guy is worth a movie at all.
  12. It is a career-defining performance that could catapult the 37-year-old actor beyond bland romantic leads and into the kinds of juicy anti-heroic parts once gobbled up by Mr. Hoffman and Robert De Niro.
  13. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Ichaso tells Piñero's story through a sometimes disorienting series of flashbacks and flash-forwards, fracturing the time frame to suit the film's internal rhythms, rather than any coherent time line.
  14. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    Hectic, sketchy and finally dull.
  15. At its most indulgent and posturing, Piñero plays like a movie the man himself might've made, between scores.
  16. A well-intentioned, reverential but unenlightening portrait. It pays tribute to the artist. Yet it doesn't scrutinize him.
  17. 30
    This character was an abusive swine. Perhaps it would be best to let his art stand on its own.

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