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Generally favorable reviews - based on 5 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: One of the most prolific and acclaimed directors of the Philippine New Wave, Brillante Mendoza has created another virtuoso exploration of the volatile Manila slums. The camerawork in this verité portrait of petty thieves and hustlers is fluid, sweeping, and seemingly untethered, as frantic as the overcrowded shacks and ditches it captures. Mendoza uses this hybrid fiction essay not to judge the questionable acts of his fringe-dwelling characters, but to subtly implicate political and religious institutions as a source of their problems. (Ignatius Films)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Tirador ’s frenetic style and locale will remind many viewers of Fernando Meirelles’ much-admired City of God.
  2. Portrayed entirely without sentiment, everyone here is equally abject, from the crushed victim of a human stampede to the starving baby playing in its own feces. The mood of scrambling desperation can be exhausting, but the filmmaking is never less than exhilarating.
  3. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Though one misses cinematographer Oydssey Flores's camerawork that played such an important role on the three subsequent films--at once more chaotic and more expressive than the digital shooting here--Mendoza's look at the illicit activity of a group of marginal Filipinos is no less feverishly absorbing.
  4. Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson
    One can maintain the energy and patience for donnybrooks and general insanity only so long.
  5. Reviewed by: Richard Kuipers
    Supplies no end of shock, but an underdeveloped emotional core keeps the viewer at arm's length.