Casa de los babys 2003

Critics score:
58 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: If most of the characters seem underdeveloped, they are also convincing and interesting. Read more

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: A stirring exploration of the overwhelming desire for motherhood, the whims of fate, clashing cultures and what happens when exporting children becomes part of a country's economy. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: [I]t's beautifully written but it feels so written ... Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Sayles, a rare screenwriter who consistently creates thoughtful roles for grown-up women, has outdone himself here. Read more

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: Eschewing all sentiment, avoiding all pathos, keeping his film and most of the women hard as nails, [Sayles] manages to tell a compelling story. Read more

Stephen Holden, New York Times: The movie's even-handed portrayal of two cultures uneasily transacting the most personal business resonates with truth. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: [Sayles] does more showing than his usual telling, without forsaking his interest in people and the histories and societies that have created their problems. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: While we'd like it if the film had managed to be less schematic, had succeeded in fulfilling its sociological aims in more humanistic terms, we're willing to cut it slack because it sometimes seems no one else is even trying. Read more

Houston Chronicle: Read more

Denver Post: Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: There isn't a moment with this group you don't want to be watching, yet the dialogue floats by in wisps. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: [Casa de los Babys] wanders and stumbles in search of a center, but it finds plenty of goods along the way. Read more

Chuck Wilson, L.A. Weekly: A lean yet unconvincing character study set in an unnamed South American country. Read more

John Anderson, Newsday: Gets bogged down in bad dialogue, wasted acting and the most un-Saylesian thing of all, outright ignorance. Read more

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer: I spent most of the 95-minute running time of Casa trying to distinguish between some of the actresses from my previous image of them. Read more

Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel: Each woman is a cardboard cutout, and the talented actresses here seem boxed in by their roles. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Admittedly, mediocre Sayles is still watchable, but, relative to expectations, Casa de los Babys is a disappointment of significant proportions. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Sayles sees like a documentarian, showing us the women, listening to their stories, inviting us to share their hopes and fears and speculate about their motives. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: Suggests a filmmaker whose vision has become reductive, motivated not by all-embracing interest but by an ultimately self-protective intent not to surrender to blind emotion in any form. Read more

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: Its greatest achievement is to insist that we, the relatively lucky, do what fear and pride seldom allow us to do -- to venture back to life's opening scene, respinning the wheel and replaying the lottery. Read more

Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star: In this single film, [Sayles] includes more vividly drawn female characters than I've seen in a year's worth of major releases. Read more

Time Out: Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: A powerfully written, well-acted movie that tackles an unusual and compelling subject. Read more

David Rooney, Variety: A subject more suited to docu treatment. Read more

David Ng, Village Voice: The screenplay's clutchy banter (interspersed with arias of teary confession) feels distinctly Oprah, but Sayles extracts unexpected life from his wooden setups. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: If Casa de los Babys isn't necessarily a fully realized film, it's still a deeply felt glimpse into dizzyingly complex political and psychological forces that shape the most crucial decisions of a woman's life. Read more

Desson Thomson, Washington Post: For all his patient, accumulative storytelling, Sayles yields little that doesn't feel trite or overly schematic. Read more