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

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Universal acclaim- based on 128 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) Expand
  • 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
    Humane and harrowing, highly recommended. This one will stay with you.
  3. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    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
    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: 22 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Aug 16, 2010
    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. Dec 17, 2011
    What an inspired gem of a film. Fantastic acting - some of the best I have had the pleasure of watching in years. Unique plot and story with some great humour. But overall a dark drama with undertones which you can never quite see, but can certainly feel. The film starts scratching a bit deeper below the surface, and this is when it really keeps you captivated.
    I just wish more people would watch it and experience the clever directing of Campanella. Forget the subtitles ... I would rather "read" a great film, than watch a mediocre one any day!
  3. Sep 19, 2010
    Argentinian romance crime drama The Secret in Their Eyes was released in the U.S. after winning the 2010 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Writer-director Juan Jose Campanella has crafted thoughtfulness and humanity into this masterwork.

    Graceful arcs of script are translated lovingly into story on film. Action and plot move in satisfying ways. Relationships develop fully and believably. The film uses no cinematic formula, and only one CSI-like murder scene. It moves from present to past to present with all the naturalness of fully realized drama.

    Soulful Ricardo Darin plays Benjamin Esposito, a retired detective now writing a novel. Benjamin once worked for Irene Menendez Hastings (Soledad Villamil), now a judge. Irene had been Benjaminâ
  4. Aug 15, 2013
    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. Feb 3, 2013
    "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."
  6. Sep 5, 2010
    A very good detective story and love story with a nice twist at the end. Well acted and directed. The makeup bothered me a bit because it seemed a bit too much and even a bit fake, giving the actors a pasty look.. Expand
  7. Feb 25, 2012
    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. Collapse

See all 25 User Reviews

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    Oscar-winning foreign language film "The Secret in Their Eyes" arrives in American theaters this weekend. But it's not the best-reviewed foreign film of the past year, continuing the Academy's decade-long trend of selecting lesser titles. What films have they overlooked?