Broken Embraces (2009)
Critic Consensus: Pedro Almodovar's fourth film with Penélope Cruz isn't his finest work, but he brings his signature visual brilliance to this noirish tale, and the cast turns in some first-class performances.
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as Ernesto Martel
as Ray X
as Madre de Lena
as Madame Mylene
as Lectora de Labios
as Harry Caine/Mateo Blanco
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Critic Reviews for Broken Embraces
While it may not be Almodóvar's greatest work, it still stands well above most other films in terms of intrigue, intelligence and innovation.
This melancholy romance is the first Almodovar feature I've ever really liked, an expertly fashioned melodrama that steers mercifully clear of his usual puckishness and star-mongering.
Stylish and sly, an engaging exercise that gives us less than meets the eye.
One failing in the film is how boring it is to watch Cruz pretend to be a bad actress. The comic movie within a movie, which borrows from Women on the Verge, isn't funny.
It all adds up to an entertaining mash of suspense and melodrama.
Audience Reviews for Broken Embraces
A pretentious and ridiculously self-aggrandizing melodrama that feels like an empty excuse to explore the beauty of Almodóvar's muse Penélope Cruz with his camera - and that unwelcome self-reference to one of his classic films is not only unfunny but a complete embarrassment.
Slow to start, but a powerful finish. Incredible storytelling, subtle direction, and absorbing acting, easy choice if you're in the mood for Artistic+Foreign. Looking forward to watching Volver...
Standard fare for Almodovar. And I dont mean that in a negative way. This man coasting is still leaps and bounds more fascinating than the pet projects of many directors. It is hyper-sexual, highly-stylized, and has melodrama oozing out of every pore. The production is regal and elegant, with brilliant colors bursting on screen while characters do their best to control the mess that their elicit passions have made. While it may not carry the same weight as Talk to Her or All About My Mother, it is an entertaining story told richly by one of the world's premiere filmmakers.
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