Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 34
  2. Negative: 2 out of 34
Watch On
  1. 100
    It's powerfully and richly imagined: a genre-busting movie that successfully combines the utmost in romanticism with the utmost in realism.
  2. 100
    Juan Jose Campanella is the writer-director, and here is a man who creates a complete, engrossing, lovingly crafted film. He is filled with his stories. The Secret in Their Eyes is a rebuke to formula screenplays. We grow to know the characters, and the story pays due respect to their complexities and needs.
  3. 100
    Director Juan José Campanella weaves together two love stories--between the victim and her husband, and the investigator and his former boss (Soledad Villamil)--and creates some masterful set pieces; his breathless chase through a packed soccer stadium is a marvel of choreography and top-notch CGI.
  4. What are the odds that the year's most compelling mystery would end up hanging its hat on the year's richest love story
  5. The wonder is that the film balances its many genres, from the thorns of murder to the bloom of romance to the thickets of politics, with such easy grace.
  6. 100
    The movie grabbed me and wouldn't let go during a bravura set piece at a soccer game when Campanella's camera glides into the stadium, finds Benjamin's face in the crowd and doesn't stop moving (with only a couple of edits) for six breathtaking minutes.
  7. To call it a masterpiece is premature: That's a title to be earned only in retrospect. But I've seen it twice now and can't imagine what I would change. It fits together tightly as a suspenseful puzzle, yet it's also emotionally rewarding and sardonically funny.
  8. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Humane and harrowing, highly recommended. This one will stay with you.
  9. Campanella has laced his story with twists and turns worthy of Hitchcock and the framing device of the novel (which forces the protagonist to sort out the whole thing through writing) is ingenious.
  10. 90
    A deeply rewarding throwback to the unself-conscious days when cinema still strove to be magical, The Secrets in their Eyes is simply mesmerizing.
  11. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    A riveting Argentine thriller spiked with witty dialogue and poignant love stories.
  12. A beautifully calibrated movie in the most traditional sense of the word -- the ideal marriage of topic, talent and tone.
  13. An attractive, messy drama riddled with violence and edged with comedy that comes with a hint of Grand Guignol, a suggestion of politics and three resonant, deeply appealing performances.
  14. The Secret in Their Eyes never lets you forget that you're watching a movie - and never lets you wish you were doing anything else.
  15. 88
    Although it is structured like a thriller, and its plot dominated by Benjamin's detective work, The Secret in Their Eyes is really a cautionary tale about the consequences of a life of too much apprehension and propriety.
  16. 88
    The Secret in Their Eyes has a decent shot at wearing down resistance to subtitled films. Don't be put off. This spellbinder from Argentina will sneak up and floor you. It's that good.
  17. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    The Secret in Their Eyes is that rare police procedural that engages emotions as well as intellect.
  18. 88
    There are people, powerful people, who don't want old cases dug up. It's a tribute to the story's construction that the mystery only deepens, the more Benjamin digs.
  19. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    The Secret in Their Eyes finds secrets everywhere -- even in what's driving Ben and Irene as they separately examine the decisions they made back in the 1970s. For both of them, as for their country, accurate remembrance of that period is crucial.
  20. A drama that transcends cleverness. This beautiful film, directed with subtlety and grace by Juan José Campanella, really is about moving from fear to love.
  21. This macabre-yet-moving Argentinian drama from director Juan Jose Campanella is nuanced and full of intelligence and emotion; just when you think you have a bead on it, it gently swerves into richer places.
  22. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    An old-fashioned movie-movie, the kind that's substantial enough to go out to dinner after and discuss all the way through dessert.
  23. The performances are tender, the script elegant, the cinematography (especially during a virtuoso chase scene in a soccer stadium) artful.
  24. 75
    An elegant romantic thriller adapted from a novel of the same name, is a terrific film.
  25. 75
    A nearly perfect love story/murder mystery that unfortunately falters at the end.
  26. At times you may be moved as by no other foreign film this year - and then 10 minutes later be leaning forward in the seat just to stay awake.
  27. Although The Secret in Their Eyes has neither the power, the artistry, nor the electric energy of its fellow Oscar nominee, France's "A Prophet," the Argentine film nonetheless engages with style, suspense, and seriousness of intent. Criminal intent and otherwise.
  28. Although it has some memorably disquieting scenes, this story of long-delayed justice is sustained by its melancholy more than its thrills.
  29. The performances are strong enough to elevate things. Darin, Villamil and Francella are the kinds of actors who you just know you've seen before, but whom you probably haven't.
  30. 67
    The film sprawls across two decades and 127 minutes, but there isn't a memorable image in it.
  31. Campanella’s script (which is adapted from a novel by Eduardo Sacheri) bogs down, however, when the focus of the story is on Benjamín, who is dogged by his memories and his inability to make a play for Irene.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 144 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Aug 16, 2010
    Excellent film and thoroughly deserved it's Oscar win. Absorbing performances from all of the lead characters, beautifully written, and theExcellent film and thoroughly deserved it's Oscar win. Absorbing performances from all of the lead characters, beautifully written, and the direction and cinematography (including one long cut over a football stadium) were unbelievably accomplished for the director's first picture. The combination of so many different genres (mystery, romance etc.) would normally cause any movie made today in mainstream cinema to buckle under the weight, here however, the seamless transitions brings all emotions to the fore at one point or another. In a era of motion pictures when Hollywood seems so bereft of ideas, it appears more and more than the foreign language Oscar means a lot more in terms of invention, plot, script, acting, and passion, and never has this case be more apparent than here. Full Review »
  2. DT
    Apr 26, 2010
    Excellent (a bit long)--Fantastic thriller.
  3. Sep 5, 2010
    Great acting and dialogue, flashes of sheer brilliance. The problem is the first hour develops primarily in flashback and robs the mysteryGreat acting and dialogue, flashes of sheer brilliance. The problem is the first hour develops primarily in flashback and robs the mystery of immediacy. When it returns to the present, the suspense kicks in, and all the languid meandering development pays off so well you forget how annoyingly novelistic and "arty" the first half really was. Full Review »