Mar adentro 2004

Critics score:
84 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: If ever there was a film that deserved to get the proverbial bump from Oscar, this is it. Rarely has any film so focused on death felt so vibrantly alive. Read more

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: Bardem accomplishes something extraordinary. Eschewing easy sympathy, he creates a real person, real pain. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Ultimately, this is one man's story, told with great empathy, and Amenabar deserves great credit for lifting the film above the soap-opera sentimentality into which it could have easily fallen. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: Javier Bardem is the heart of this movie and he gives a great, screen-filling performance. Read more

Steve Murray, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Bardem's Ramon is such a vital life force, it's all the more bittersweet to watch him fight to leave a world that would be much emptier and sadder without him in it. Read more

AV Club: Read more

Bill Muller, Arizona Republic: For whatever reason, it's an injustice that Bardem was not nominated for best actor. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: It's such a repetitive and thinly constructed piece of filmmaking that the scope and complexity of Sampedro's case are turned to porridge. Read more

Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times: One of the most profound and uplifting dramas of the year. Read more

Houston Chronicle: Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: In death is found a profound argument for life. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Amenabar (the inventive Spaniard who made The Others) promotes dignity, love, and inspiration with such insistence that there's relatively little chance to feel Ramon Sampedro's unendurable pain. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: A gorgeous film. Read more

Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly: [Amenabar] is an exquisitely expressive filmmaker, and it's this, together with Bardem's stunningly calibrated performance, that gives this painterly blue-green movie its haunting beauty. Read more

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: Amenabar shows us the aching depth of Sampedro's loss and makes his most eloquent statement on behalf of a man who only wanted control of his destiny. Read more

John Anderson, Newsday: Bardem, who continues to make a good case that he is among a handful of the best screen actors alive, is totally transformed. Read more

David Ansen, Newsweek: Read more

Logan Hill, New York Magazine/Vulture: Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: It's still just a soap opera, wrapped around an argument. And it's one we've heard half-a-dozen times before. Read more

Jami Bernard, New York Daily News: Based on a true story, the movie has abundant humor and uplift -- but it's a heartbreaker of extraordinary dimension. Read more

Stephen Holden, New York Times: The Sea Inside, the story of a quadriplegic activist fighting for the right to die, struggles to transcend the disease-of-the-week genre to which it belongs. Read more

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer: Soars to the fantastically romantic heights of love between a man and a woman. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Amenabar maintains a low-key approach that preserves the film's emotional integrity while still making a powerful statement. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: The movie invites us to decide if we are pleased or not. I agree with Ramon that, in the last analysis, the decision should be his to make: to be or not to be. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: What could have been a preachy biopic becomes poetry in the hands of the gifted director and writer and editor and composer Alejandro Amenabar. Read more

Charles Taylor, There's a combination of fatalism and hard-edged humor at work in The Sea Inside that you can imagine Irish writers would feel right at home with. Read more

Carla Meyer, San Francisco Chronicle: Focuses on life, not death, and in doing so establishes the sanctity of individual ownership of an existence. Read more

Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune: This entire project easily could have turned into a weepy soap opera, but Bardem keeps it on point. Read more

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: Oscar talk will start early for Javier Bardem's masterly performance here. Read more

Leah McLaren, Globe and Mail: Never once does this film sacrifice its moral ideas or complexity of character on the cheap altar of sentimentality. Read more

Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star: It comes as no surprise to learn that Javier Bardem, the virile and charismatic Spanish actor, is capable of turning on the charisma even working only from the neck up. What is alarming is realizing that the rest of the movie he's in is paralyzed as well. Read more

Time Out: Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: It's a potent blend of emotional and cerebral filmmaking anchored by what may be the year's most impressive performance by the supremely talented Bardem. Read more

Jonathan Holland, Variety: Absorbing and almost unbearably poignant. Read more

Laura Sinagra, Village Voice: Director Alejandro Amenabar sidesteps legal polemics, but oddly doesn't aim for unflinching realism either, only hinting at the messy regimens that would underscore Ramon's claims of his condition's indignity. Read more

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: Despite a score by the director himself designed expressly to nudge viewers in the direction of catharsis, I never really felt anything. Read more

Nelson Pressley, Washington Post: Amenabar avoids passion and mess, but he hits his lesser mark -- plain dignity. Read more