Argentina is probably better known for her sporting feats, tango or beef than for her films. This roundup of films, while by no means comprehensive, is an attempt to reverse that and, hopefully, to provide a small glimpse into Argentinean culture.

The Secret in Their Eyes (2009 – crime thriller), directed by Juan José Campanella and starring Ricardo Darín, Soledad Villamil, Guillermo Francella. The action of this Academy Award winner is set in the present interspersed with continuous flashbacks to the 1970s. This thriller is about unrequited love, an unsolved crime, an unfinished novel and the political situation in Argentina in the seventies. My favourite scene of all times is the one in the  football stadium.

What the critics have said:

“Campanella approaches the material with a classic hand — no quick cuts, special effects or gimmicks here. This is a flesh-and-blood movie, and both Darin and Villamil bring earthy presence to the story.” Tom Long, Detroit News.

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.” Rick Groen, Globe and Mail

Watch the official trailer here:

Carancho (2010 – crime, drama, romance), directed by Pablo Trapero and starring Ricardo Darín and Martina Gusmán. A carancho (Caracara plancus) is a carrion bird native to South America and a fitting moniker for an ambulance-chaser. Sosa (Ricardo Darín) is a personal injury attorney without scruples and Luján (Martina Gusmán) is a young, idealistic doctor and new in town. This unlikely love story develops against a background of violence and corruption.

What the critics have said:

“Carancho” was Argentina’s nominee for the foreign-language Oscar. It didn’t make the short list, but life isn’t always fair.” V.A. Musetto, New York Post.

Hard to watch, though fascinating for its performances, and the bottomless corruption it portrays.” Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal.

Watch the official trailer here:

The Son of the Bride (2001 – comedy drama – Academy Award Nominee) directed by Juan José Campanella and starring Norma Aleandro, Héctor Alterio and Ricardo Darín. Rafael Belvedere (Ricardo Darín) is a divorced restauranteur going through a mid-life crisis. His mother suffers from Alzheimer’s and his father decides it’s time to renew their wedding vows. Juggling work, an estranged daughter, a girlfriend and organizing his parents’ ceremony proves too much for Belvedere.

What the critics have said:

“Like any good romance, Son of the Bride, proves it’s never too late to learn.” Michael O’Sullivan, Washington Post.

“It’s fresh, funny, biting, fast-paced and reasonably perceptive about people and their problems.” Michale Wilmington, Chicago Tribune


Nine Queens (2001 – comedy) directed by Fabián Bielinsky and starring Ricardo Darín, Leticia Brédice and Gastón Pauls. This film follows the exploits of veteran con artist Marcos and newbie Juan, who partner up to pull off a big swindle, the forgery of a rare stamp called the Nine Queens. It’s funny, entertaining and has great photography and great views of Buenos Aires.

What the critics have said;

If Nine Queens draws you on a journey that eventually leads up a garden path toward your own suckerhood, it’s all the more pleasurable for having done so with such slick expertise.” Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star

“Driven by a plot that’s so tightly wound, we cannot look away for wanting to know what will happen next and who is double-crossing whom.” Richard Nielsen, Arizona Republic


Watch the official trailer here:

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About the author

Ana Astri-O’Reilly is from Argentina, where she lived until five years ago. She currently lives in Dallas, USA with her British husband, but they move a lot. Previously a translator and English and Spanish teacher, Ana first started writing to share her experiences and adventures with friends and family. She speaks Spanish, English and a smattering of Portuguese.