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The Crime of Padre Amaro

58 customer reviews

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(Apr 22, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Stars Gael Garcia (Amores Perros) as the title character. He's a newly ordained priest sent to workin a small church community in Mexico by the Bishop. He arrives wide eyed and full of optimism hoping to serve God and his parish, however, he quickly butts heads with the elder priest in charge, Father Benito. Benito is known to accept drug money from the local drug lord in order to subsidise the construction of a new hospital and in addition is carrying on an affair with a local woman. To complicate matters, father Amaro soon finds himself in a love affair with the young Sunday school teacher. After a newspaper report, linking the drug lords with the Church, is published, Father Amaro is then trying to cover up and mend the public relations fiasco. Amaro has also been asked by the Bishop to reign in the renegade priest who has affiliations with guerrilla soldiers. Needless to say, moraldilemmas abound and Father Amaro's idealism is put to the test by personal, political and church press

Special Features

  • Photo gallery
  • Poster explorations
  • Making-of featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: Ana Claudia Talancon, Ernesto Gomez Cruz, Sancho Gracia, Gael Garcia Bernal
  • Directors: Luis Carlos Carrera
  • Producers: Daniel Birman Ripstein, Alfredo Ripstein
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 22, 2003
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008AOX5
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,675 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Crime of Padre Amaro" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 24, 2003
Format: DVD
I loved Amores Perros (once I got over the dog fighting) and Y Tu Mama Tambien - to be honest, I did not expect El Crimen del Padre Amaro to come anywhere close to these two gems. I was happily mistaken. The acting was magnificent, the directing apt, and the setting eminently appropriate to the subject matter. The film, based on a Portuguese novel written in 1875, is very apt not only in the context of the Mexican Catholic Church but also in light of recent events in the North American Catholic Church. The film addresses many issues facing the church - celibacy being the most advertised, but also liberation theology, women's rights, corruption, and the church hierarchy in itself. Though it deals specifically with the Catholic Church, this film reaches viewers of all faiths, and its relevance to today's society cannot be stressed enough.
Now on to the more specific comments on the DVD version. I found the *extras* to be interesting, especially the movie trailers, but I found the Making-of to be a disappointment in that it did not offer much insight into the process of making the film. The commentary, on the other hand, I did find to be interesting and useful. Overall, the film itself overcomes any flaws in the DVD presentation.
If you have not seen this film yet, you need to. It will not be 2 hours wasted.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 23, 2003
Format: DVD
EL CRIMEN DEL PADRE AMARO packs a wallop on many levels. Based on an 1875 novel, this story of the gradual downfall of an idealistic young priest sent out into the reality of the clerical world in the small villages in Mexico updated to contemporary times is unrelentingly fascinating, visually stunning, uncompromisingly frank in its stance on Catholic decadence, and directed and acted with finesse. Gael Garcia Bernal continues to mature as an actor and as a screen presence, making his Padre Amaro metamorphose from committed innocent to fallen sparrow in a wholly credible fashion. Despite our sadness with his bad decisions and choices, Bernal is able to keep us with this complex young priest and in doing so we are able to clearly examine the fragmented state of affairs in the hands of various priests tainted with lust, pride, sloth and a bit of each of the seven deadly sins. Director Daniel Carrera knows how to create both spectacular and intimate scenes and he masterfully leads his gifted cast through a more than difficult story.
If there is a tendency to berate this film for its anticlerical stance, then the point of the story is missed. Each of the myriad characters, sacred and profane alike, has a soul of good and one of vulnerability, and given the current tenuous state of the Catholic Church under seige, I think this film helps explain how even men of the cloth can be human. Kudos for Gael Garcia Bernal, Ana Claudia Talancion, Damian Alcazar and all of the fine cast and crew that created this very impressive and disturbing piece of art.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By ivyspies on March 20, 2005
Format: DVD
Let me start off by saying I am a huge Gael García Bernal fan. This was the movie to take the cake for me with his acting. His portrayal as a lust-striken youthful priest was so convincing it took my breath away. I was thoroughly impressed with being able to see in his eyes the desire and gradual compromises he disolved to. The movie did dish out some pretty hard-hitting statements about corruption within the Catholic church, but what of it? There lacked a certain something in the film's commentary, somewhat one-sided, I'll admit, but I felt this was justified given the story focuses over one man's plight, between his (apparently shakey) convictions and his new-found desires. The title says it all--it's about the sins of one man, Padre Amaro. It is not a thorough exposé of all the Catholic church, in which case there would be truths regarding the bad and the good. Now the reason I gave the movie 4 instead of 5 stars, was simple. The ending was anticlimatic in that it seemed to take the easy way out of a big problem created by our protagonist. The film did too good a job building up the problem making you eagerly anticipate the resolution. The way Padre Amaro takes his final step into "the other side" as a priest, was too easy and quick. I wondered how a character who started off so devout to God's service could not see through his own transparent attempt to explain away his final actions. When people sell out, it tends to be more gradual. Well then again I suppose that's the limitation of films over books. I would recommend this to those who are not overly-defensive of the Catholic church, who can simply enjoy it as a tale of one man's flaws. After all, no one's perfect and that's called humanity.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D S on August 17, 2010
Format: DVD
Quick synopsis: When young Father Amaro arrives into town, tragedy quickly unfolds herself in a long, twisted series of seemingly minute events. As he forges friendships within his new diocese, Amaro makes decisions which will bring his character into crisis.

From the moment we are introduced to Father Amaro, we quickly see that he is not a fighter. On the way into town, the bus is robbed by local banditos. The man sitting next to Father Amaro is looted from his life savings. Quiet, perhaps cautious, Father Amaro doesn't seem moved one way or another, although he gives the man some pocket change. In town, Amaro is quickly introduced to a cast of characters, which include the senor priest, the town's "old cat lady" the priests' housekeeper and her beautiful, pious daughter, Amelia, whose boyfriend, Reuben, works as the local journalist. It is quickly evident that all is not as it seems. Father Bendito, with hopes of raising a bone fide hospital, has engaged in questionable money transactions with the mayor and local cartels. Meanwhile rumors of their fellow father, Father Netal, being involved with the mountainside guerrillas cirrculate and draw attention from the Bishop.

As Father Amaro befriends his new parish, he becomes involved with the hospital, specifically with the efforts of suppressing the unwanted attention from Ruben's story which has uncovered, in no uncertain terms, the unsavory "blood money" donations between the local cartel and Father Bendito. Eager to please the Bishop and secure his career, Amaro expediently solves the problem. He also acts on the Bishops behalf in an attempt to corral the wandering shepherd, Father Netal, who seems to have become less obedient and increasingly vigilante.
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