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Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 134 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Recently retired criminal court investigator Benjamin, decides to write a novel based on a twenty-five year old unresolved rape and murder case, which still haunts him. Sharing his plans with Irene, the beautiful judge and former colleague he has secretly been in love with for years, Benjamin’s initial involvement with the case is shown through flashbacks, as he sets out to identify the murderer. But Benjamin’s search for the truth will put him at the center of a judicial nightmare, as the mystery of the heinous crime continues to unfold in the present, testing the limits of a man seeking justice and personal fulfillment at last. (Sony Pictures Classics) Collapse
  • Director: Juan José Campanella
  • Genre(s): Drama, Mystery, Thriller, Romance, Crime
  • Rating: R
  • Runtime: 127 min
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 34
  2. Negative: 2 out of 34
  1. 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.
  2. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    100
    Humane and harrowing, highly recommended. This one will stay with you.
  3. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    90
    A riveting Argentine thriller spiked with witty dialogue and poignant love stories.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 75
    An elegant romantic thriller adapted from a novel of the same name, is a terrific film.
  7. Reviewed by: Nicolas Rapold
    20
    Campanella, who overconfidently takes his time, outfits the film with ludicrous interrogation scenes, a drunken colleague who provides comic relief and redemptive tragedy, and a climactic flood of memories that plays like a trailer.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Aug 16, 2010
    10
    Excellent 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. Expand
  2. May 21, 2011
    10
    A movie so rich and emotionally grabbing, you'll still have it on your mind days later. One of the finest murder-mysteries/romances (not that there are many) to ever be committed to film. Covering guilt, regret, love and obsession, the twisting, turning narrative featuring fully fleshed-out and believable characters will engage you from the start, and it's even occasionally darkly comic! A true gem. Expand
  3. DardoS
    Apr 18, 2010
    10
    The key here is catching everything that they say. Every word(rapidly spoken) provides a beautiful piece in creating the big picture. The movie stirs many emotions, and it leaves you satisfied yet thinking about alotta things. It will take patience, however if you stick through it I'd bet my family jewels you wont regret it. Expand
  4. Aug 15, 2013
    10
    Una genialidad del cine de mi país, Argentina. Campanella maneja muy bien la película y la historia es realmente impresionante. Suspenso, gran guión y muy bien contada. Expand
  5. PatG.
    Apr 16, 2010
    9
    Very impressive and interesting--rich adult fare.
  6. Feb 3, 2013
    8
    "The Secret in Their Eyes" is directed by Juan José Campanella--it is a splendid multifaceted film which skillfully alternates between the present and past, as it seamlessly intertwines a murder mystery, love story, and judicial injustice. All of these elements of the story are flushed-out--creating depth, and all play a crucial part in Juan José Campanella's adaptation of Eduardo Sacheri's novel. A film that effectively juggles both affection and misery, using Benjamin's conflicted heart as a way to humanize the chilling details, while observing a man not only starved for justice, but after a woman he abandoned decades earlier.
    Benjamín (Ricardo Darín), a retired court investigator, is trying to write a novel about an old case of his that was never resolved to his satisfaction. More than two decades ago, a woman was brutally raped and murdered, and although suspects were found, the case against them was thrown out on technical grounds. However, Benjamín always suspected someone else entirely. Benjamín and his assistant Pablo Rago (Ricardo Morles), ultimately were certain that a man named Isidoro Gómez was the real killer. For help, he returns to his old office and bounces his thoughts off Irene (Soledad Villamil), whom he has always loved despite never acting on those feelings. The past and the present begin to merge as pieces of the case are reinvestigated, forcing Benjamín to reflect on his past, and what could have been. But Benjamín's search for the truth will put him at the center of a judicial nightmare, as the mystery of the heinous crime committed 25 years ago continues to haunt him in the present. Interweaving past and present, we see how the investigation affects Benjamín, as well as Irene, over the period of decades. Stealthily weaving Esposito's relationship with Irene into the on-going murder mystery, it takes on a life of it's own--a compulsive narrative that manages to be genuinely surprising. Haunting and gracefully, the film reveals its secrets slowly. Lengthly, but engaging, wonderful storytelling, and extremely well-done. The entire cast is uniformly superb, enhancing this foreign thriller--with its intelligent, layered screenplay. Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film (2010). **This was a unpredicted and surprising winner of the Oscar. It beat out two great films also in contention that year. Respectively-- "A Prophet" and "The White Ribbon."
    Expand
  7. Feb 25, 2012
    4
    Really not much to this movie. Critic who said it was "kiddie-pool deep" hit the mark. Seems like a made-for-TV movie, the Lifetime channel. Hard to believe it was even nominated for an Oscar. Expand

See all 26 User Reviews

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