White Elephant Image
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67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: In the “Villa Virgin”, a shantytown in the slums of Buenos Aires, Julian (Ricardo Darín, The Secret in Their Eyes) and Nicolas (Jérémie Renier, In Bruges) – two priests and long-standing friends – work tirelessly to help the local people. Nicolas joins Julian in overseeing the constructionIn the “Villa Virgin”, a shantytown in the slums of Buenos Aires, Julian (Ricardo Darín, The Secret in Their Eyes) and Nicolas (Jérémie Renier, In Bruges) – two priests and long-standing friends – work tirelessly to help the local people. Nicolas joins Julian in overseeing the construction of a hospital following the failure of a project he was leading in which paramilitary forces assassinated members of the community. Deeply troubled by his actions, Nicolas finds solace in Luciana, a young atheist social worker. [Strand Releasing]
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Mar 27, 2013
    83
    It’s hard to imagine a more potent symbol of good intentions gone to seed than the decrepit Buenos Aires building that gives White Elephant its title.
  2. Reviewed by: Tim Robey
    Apr 29, 2013
    80
    On his broadest canvas yet, Trapero mounts a saga about the role of conscience, which might seem old-fashioned if it weren’t so urgently imagined. An added fillip is Michael Nyman’s stirring score, his best in years.
  3. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    Mar 18, 2013
    70
    Argentine director Pablo Trapero fashions a gripping, fast-paced story.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Mar 18, 2013
    60
    For all the competence and strength of Trapero's direction, the film is not as powerful as it might have been.
  5. Reviewed by: Jay Weissberg
    Mar 18, 2013
    60
    The lensing is flawless in White Elephant, but the same can't be said for the script, which tries to keep too many thematic balls in the air without privileging any one.
  6. Reviewed by: Dave Calhoun
    Apr 29, 2013
    60
    Thematically, White Elephant is a vague animal and its true interest never truly comes into focus.
  7. Reviewed by: Tom Dawson
    Apr 19, 2013
    60
    Writer/director Trapero arguably crams too much into the film’s running time, but potent turns and Michael Nyman’s yearning score are among the compensations.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of
  2. Mixed: 0 out of
  3. Negative: 0 out of