Ang Nawawala

Verdict: Value for Money

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 3.84 (35 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Director: Marie Jamora

Writers: Marie Jamora and Ramon de Veyra

Cast: Dominic Roco, Dawn Zulueta, Felix Roco, Boboy Garrovillo, Alchris Galura, Mercedes Cabral, Kelvin Yu, Jenny Jamora, Marc Abaya, Annicka Dolonius, Sabrina Man

Synopsis: Gibson Bonifacio stopped speaking when he was a child. Now twenty years old, he returns home to Manila from his studies abroad, his first visit in three years. He finds his family trying to keep it together, his mother still hurting from a tragic loss in the past. Against the backdrop of the vibrant local music scene, his childhood best friend tries to reconnect with him, while he unexpectedly finds a chance at a first, real romantic relationship. Amidst the holidays, Gibson reconsiders and redefines his relationships with his family, his friends, and with himself.



5.0     Vinny Tagle (We Talk About Movies)

“It perfectly captures the state of falling in love, when every little thing takes on an extra significance.” (Read full review)

5.0     Ria Limjap (

“It’s heartfelt and stylish, and unabashedly the zeitgeist film for the members of this post-punk, post-slacker, post-everything generation who suffer—like all of us—the irony, the heartbreak, the long process of growing up and letting go.” (Read full review)

5.0     Rowena Joy Sanchez (Manila Bulletin)

Ang Nawawala is a fine example of how relatable and marketable indie films can be, especially to the youth.” (Read full review)

5.0      Eric Cabahug (InterAksyon)

“Heart, soul, humor, and wall-to-wall Pinoy rock and roll music — it’s all here in Ang Nawawala.” (Read full review)

5.0      Francis Cabal (Splinter)

“It’s a cathartic piece of cinema, which is apt because the film is ultimately about exorcizing personal demons and coming to terms with experiences that make us who we are; whether it’s losing a loved one or falling in love, or even the little things like going to shows or sharing the songs we love to other people.” (Read full review)

5.0      Carl Joseph Papa (Whatever, Carl)

“This coming of age story is one of the best films of the year so far.” (Read full review)

4.5       Philbert Dy (Click the City)

Ang Nawawala tells a small story and lets it grow into something wonderful. It is a movie made up of the small moments that mean so much, the pregnant pauses and meaningful silences that fill up so much of our lives.” (Read full review)

4.5       Wanggo Gallaga (

“I totally enjoyed watching a film that captures a part of Manila that is ignored or not properly presented in Philippine cinema.” (Read full review)

4.5       Nicol Latayan (Tit for Tat)

“This film does not require you to be critical of the technical aspects or the script or the acting, but more of tugging your heart with the emotional investment that you’ll feel for the characters in the film.” (Read full review)

4.5       Dale Bacar (Bum-Spot)

“It is a refreshing departure from movies that exploit and dwell on poverty and from the biased, one-sided way of thinking that seems to believe that this is the only reality that matters.” (Read full review)

4.5       Present Confusion

“The characters are likeable and are not one dimensional, partly thanks to good performances all around.” (Read full review)

4.5       Tinig ng Plaridel

“Chuck-filled with great lighting and emotive choice of settings, the movie could be likened to a deep, grainy, reblog-worthy Tumblr photo come to life (one which came with an awesome downloadable mixtape).” (Read full review)

4.5       Mark Angelo Ching (PEP)

“What makes Ang Nawawala such a crowd-pleaser is the perfect mix of all its details. And what holds these together is good music.” (Read full review)

4.5      Jozza Palaganas (Yahoo Philippines)

“The thing with Ang Nawawala is the restraint writer-director Marie Jamora applied in telling the story. She knew her characters’ stories and back stories, all the details, but she and co-writer Ramon de Veyra revealed just the right amount of information to keep you interested.” (Read full review)

4.5      Manuel Pangaruy (Tagailog Special)

“Kung tutuusin, manipis lang naman ang premise pero napakapal ito ng makukulay na moment at bagsakan ng linya sa pelikula sa saliw ng pinakanapapanahong pagkahilig ng mga kabataan sa musika.” (Read full review)

4.5       Lyndon Maburaot (Table Stretcher)

“A charmer. More concerned with evoking moments than propelling plots.”

4.0       Oggs Cruz (ABS-CBNews)

“The visuals are absolutely lovely, revealing an angle of the city that is patterned, orderly, the absolute opposite of the maniacal chaos of the various slums and squatters’ colonies that have been featured tirelessly in other films about Manila.” (Read full review)

4.0       Zig Marasigan (Lagarista)

“Audiences might dismiss the film as nothing more than upper-middle class hipster trite. But to do so would be to miss out on a debut film that is both genuinely funny, moving and sincere.” (Read full review)

4.0       Mara Coson (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

“This was the local coming-of-age film that we had all been expecting as remnants of our younger selves as book nerds, headphone hiders, and wallflowers, without the yellow school buses or the lockers of a public American high school upbringing we never had.” (Read full review)

4.0        Rianne Hill Soriano (Business World)

“Amid its shortcomings, this musical elegy is a worthy addition to the diverse offerings of this era’s thriving independent cinema.” (Read full review)

4.0        Chino Cruz (Katipunan)

“While not necessarily the film that defines a generation, Ang Nawawala is a stunningly thoughtful piece that isn’t afraid to immerse its viewers in the genuine realities of middle class Philippines.” (Read full review)

4.0       Arvel Salcedo (Spot Reviews)

Ang Nawawala is a very much entertaining and melancholic visual treat on a rarely seen subculture group actually in existence in the supposed poverty-stricken Philippines.” (Read full review)

3.5       Skilty Labastilla (Young Critics Circle)

“Well-crafted film with a big heart. Annicka Dolonius is a revelation as Dominic Roco’s Manic Pixie Dream Girl. At times gets a little too affected and indulgent (hello Tintin and Margot Tenenbaum!)  but you can’t deny the passion and meticulousness that drove director Jamora to come up with this, her first film.”

3.5       Don Jaucian (Philippine Star)

“Operating like a celluloid mixtape, Ang Nawawala’s best moments are bookmarked by songs that make up the greater sum of our lost years and troubled loves.” (Read full review)

3.5      Andy Briones (Visual Velocity)

Ang Nawawala is solid, cohesive and glossy. Elements perfectly complement each other—wardrobe, production design and music are all faultless.” (Read full review)

3.5      Ira Lastrilla (Cinephiles)

“I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked this film. this is very good pop cinema, full of craft (the candy-colored costumes and lighting) and creativity (loved the inventive opening credits as well as the fun Twin Peaks reference). It could’ve been the typical Sundance indie hipster movie, but instead the film somehow reminded me of Nobuhiro Yamashita’s Linda Linda Linda, with its charming personality and – of course – great music. I think this film proves – along with many other indie films in the past years – that the independent cinema in the country is creating a better popular cinema than Star Cinema or Mother Lily.”

3.5       Nel Costales (1505 Film Avenue)

Ang Nawawala and Gino Santos’ film The Animals are a refreshing whiff of air in an indie scene polluted with poverty porn films.” (Read full review)

3.0      Dodo Dayao (Piling Piling Pelikula)

“The film takes after (Gibson), swaddling itself in frippery, often intoxicating, artifice:  from the voracious color schemes and hyper-stylized dress codes to the endless parade of scenester gigs and haunts.” (Read full review)

3.0      Katrina Stuart Santiago (GMA News)

“The appeal of this movie is precisely the fact that it is unlike the indie as we’ve come to know it in the past decade or so.” (Read full review)

3.0      Edwin Sallan (Cinephiles)

Ang Nawawala is longer than necessary. Intriguing premise, well-made and well-acted but could really use some tighter editing.”

3.0      Ian Urrutia (Cinephiles)

“Geeky, hipster kids have issues too. I’d lump this in the same vein as Nick & Norah’s Infinite PlaylistHigh Fidelity and Quark’s Rakenrol.”

2.5      Arsenio Tan Liao (Cinephiles)

“Another Ordinary People with music as the vital link. It is very unlikely for a teener to have a penchant for ‘kundiman’ music. That should have been established probably in the bonding between Dominic Roco and Buboy Garrovillo.”

2.0     Noli Manaig (Closely Watched Frames)

“To be sure, Ang Nawawala excels in terms of photographic polish and irreproachable production values but there is a gaping chasm at its narrative and ideological center.” (Read full review)

2.0     Mario Bautista (Showbiz Portal)

“Most ordinary viewers won’t be able to relate with the film, not only because a lot of the dialogue are in English but because you don’t really get to know what’s going on in the hearts and minds of the characters.” (Read full review)

1.5        Rolando Tolentino (Pinoy Weekly)

“Kalakhan ng angst sa pelikula ay paukol sa fantasya ng pagiging maykaya sa bansa:  ganito (lang) ang kanilang problema, at ganito (lang) ang kanilang coping at making do mechanism.” (Read full review)


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