Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Ricardo Darín, wearing a mild-mannered expression of emotional remove, plays the unnamed antihero, obsessed with imagining the perfect robbery. The ''aura'' is the clarity with which he sees -- or imagines he sees -- the world in moments preceding an epileptic attack.
  2. 90
    Sublime psychological thriller.
  3. The film is a sure winner for arthouse audiences enamored of the new Argentine cinema, but it has crossover appeal for venturesome viewers in search of a good mystery, as well.
  4. Darin is an actor who's really consummate at suggesting two simultaneous levels of character.
  5. 80
    This is a tremendously atmospheric movie full of moody mystery, and it'll keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.
  6. 80
    Whereas "Nine Queens" was a movie of clockwork precision and blindsiding reversals, El Aura is more internalized and digressive but no less striking, in large part thanks to Darin's mesmerizing performance.
  7. 80
    Mr. Bielinsky, in what would sadly be his last film, demonstrates a mastery of the form that is downright scary.
  8. 80
    The Aura is far from being simply "Nine Queens2." Leisurely paced, studied, reticent and rural, The Aura is a quieter, richer and better-looking piece that handles its multiple manipulations with the maturity the earlier picture sometimes lacked.
  9. The tension and intrigue between the pretender and his would-be associates is as dense as the woods surrounding their hiding place.
  10. 75
    Bielinsky's "Nine Queens" was a complex romp through the machinations of high-stakes con artists, but this intricately plotted mystery ventures into darker psychological territory and never misses a step.
  11. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    75
    The Aura is richer and less showy than "Nine Queens," and it lifts off from the gangster genre to contemplate deeper mysteries.
  12. Its rhythm is deliberate and unhurried, yet the film is rich with detail and with small, meaningful character revelations -- the running time of more than two hours feels just right.
  13. It's less a deconstruction of the heist film than an ambitious contemplation of our fascination with the genre, directed with a dispassionate eye at a ruminative pace and centered by a queasily emotionless figure wading through a swamp of moral ambiguity.
  14. 75
    The Aura holds together as a dreamy variation on "Reservoir Dogs'" heist-gone-wrong fatalism and the know-thyself confrontations of David Mamet's "Homicide."
  15. Bielinsky is a most expressive director, achieving considerable nuances and depths of emotion with characters' looks, gestures, body language and silences.
  16. Reviewed by: Don R. Lewis
    70
    While an enjoyable twist on the noir genre, a little more character development would have been nice.
  17. Reviewed by: Jean Oppenheimer
    70
    A hypnotic unease hangs over the film.
  18. While never boring and sometimes quite gripping, Bielinsky’s manneristic style becomes distracting; he seems more concerned with generating an ominous atmosphere than with telling a compelling story.
  19. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    50
    The careful camera work, beautifully dank cinematography and the quietly nuanced performance by Darín keep our attention, but in the end, the film's bigger challenge isn't its length, or its deliberate pace: It's that it's overly freighted with symbolism and meaning.

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