Tony Manero
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As Augusto Pinochet holds Chile in the grip of dictatorship, a 50-year-old man obsessed with John Travolta's character from Saturday Night Fever imitates his idol each weekend in a small bar on the outskirts of Santiago. Each weekend, Raúl Peralta and his friends -- a devoted group of dancers -- gather in a small bar and act out their favorite scenes from Saturday Night Fever. Raúl longs to become a showbiz superstar, and when the national television announces a Tony Manero impersonating contest it seems like he may finally have a shot at living his dreams. But as Raúl is driven to commit… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Larrain's (literally) dark, edgy movie is a precise artistic commentary on Augusto Pinochet's miserable regime, which was 
under way while Travolta gyrated."
‑ Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
"A memorably claustrophobic evocation of its time and place, as well as a reminder that the so-called escape offered by pop culture can sometimes be an escape into soul-sucking madness."
‑ Andrew O'Hehir,
"(Alfredo) Castro plays the part with a dead-eyed blankness, a hollow, terrifying character who is as repellent as he is fascinating."
‑ Sean Axmaker,
"Could this be ... art?"
‑ Kurt Loder, MTV
"A distortion of the historical record that is irresponsible and reprehensible. And a display of deplorable disregard by the director as irreverent whim for irreverence's sake, for the many who suffered and perished from Pinochet's crimes against humanity."
‑ Prairie Miller, NewsBlaze
"Larrain evokes the bleakness and oppressiveness of life in a police state with much subtlety even as he poses a much larger question about cultural imperialism."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"More than an indelible portrait of a sociopath with the soul of a zombie, Tony Manero is an extremely dark meditation on borrowed cultural identity."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"Alfredo Castro is magnetically repellant in the lead, a soulful creep with desperation and a very specific form of madness seeping out of his pores."
‑ Shawn Levy, Oregonian
"Perhaps best appreciated as a deadpan dark comedy about how ignorance, delusion, and selfishness can conspire to keep a people under the bootheels of a dictatorship."
‑ Bryant Frazer, Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus
"Cinephilia -- the smart-about-movies concept about the love of film -- has been so distorted in contemporary movie culture that it has led to the repugnant Chilean film Tony Manero."
‑ Armond White, New York Press
"Shot with a hand-held camera and presented in a fragmented scenario, Tony Manero is the director's compelling attempt to find parallels between the Pinochet reign of terror and Raúl's scruple-less antics."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"[Director] Larrain deftly employs a Dardennes-style in-the-moment handheld lensing, managing a high-wire act in which audience disgust is outpaced by breathless anticipation."
‑ Kevin Lee, Time Out New York
"Larrain's consciously raw execution in telling the story of a compelling but ultimately unsavory character is an id-bending exercise in provocation that's both competent and challenging."
‑ Wade Major, Boxoffice Magazine
"Films are, in a way, just collective fantasies... and, in some cases, nightmares"
‑ Chris Cabin,
"Remarkable Chilean actor Alfredo Castro portrays a sleaze-bag standing in for people desperate psychologically to escape from dictator General Pinochet's brutality."
‑ Harvey S. Karten, Compuserve
More reviews for Tony Manero on Rotten Tomatoes