hustisya_posterVerdict: Proceed with Caution

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 2.44 (17 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Director: Joel Lamangan

Writer: Ricardo Lee

Cast: Nora Aunor, Rocco Nacino, Rosanna Roces, Sunshine Dizon, Gardo Versoza, Chynna Ortaleza, Jeric Gonzales, Romnick Sarmenta, Jaime Pebanco, Tony Mabesa, Miles Kanapi, Sue Prado, John Rendez, Chanel Latorre, Angela Ruiz, Menggie Cobarrubias

Synopsis: A foul-mouthed woman fights for her soul in the belly of the city. Working for a human trafficking agency controlled by a powerful syndicate, she sees no evil, hears no evil. In a society like ours, you have only two choices – to be a victim, or a victimizer – she makes her choice.

MTRCB rating: PG-13

Running time: 120 mins

Trailer: 

Reviews:

3.5         Manuel Pangaruy (Tagailog Special Presents)

“Ito na siguro ang Joel Lamangan film na pinag-isip ako. Naroon pa rin ang mga signature na decision n’ya kung paano ie-execute ang eksena pero naaliw ako na parang nag-level up s’ya rito. Pati ‘yung ibang teknikal, naalagaan. Pati ang treatment n’ya kay Nora, light lang at punung puno ng kampante na hindi kailangan ng isang mahusay na aktres sa pelikula ang sigawan at iyakan.” (Read full review)

3.0         Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“The movie gets far too obvious, especially in the back half. There’s a sequence near the end that lays it on pretty thick, the movie abandoning all sense of subtlety as it unleashes all the evils of Metro Manila into a single alley. Still, even the clunkier parts of the movie are elevated by the stellar performance of Nora Aunor.” (Read full review)

3.0         Zig Marasigan (Rappler)

“It’s a flawed yet striking film, with a ravenously engaging first half that unfortunately comes undone in its second. But while Hustisya loses focus well towards its end, it is held together by the strength of Nora Aunor’s performance.” (Read full review)

3.0         Rob San Miguel (Brun Philippines)

“The only thing that holds the film together is Nora Aunor’s riveting performance. Despite being burdened by an uneven script, Aunor manages to make the film very interesting as viewers follow the complex changes that her character undergoes.” (Read full review)

3.0         Renelson Morelos (Ramblings of a Film Urchin)

“The Lamangan shout-out loud ‘advocacy’ and big ‘theatrics’ are admirably toned down in the film. There are still bits of those here and there, but for a good part of the film they don’t blare out in your face. More than a self-conscious sociorealist drama, Hustisya is an observant character study.” (Read full review)

3.0         Fred Hawson (ABS-CBN News)

“Nora Aunor is really an acting force to reckon with and delivers all the goods her fans expect from her. She may not seem too comfortable with the comedy aspects, with a number of one-liners that did not fly. But you cannot deny that her serious dramatic scenes were all nailed perfectly.” (Read full review)

3.0         Dicot Alvarado (Letterboxd)

“At its very best, it provides a striking allegory on the twisted nature of power within Manila’s streets. But most of the times, the product isn’t as smart as its attempt. Most noticeably, the film could benefit from tighter, cleaner and subtler execution, especially once it rides to a pretty faulty and obvious finale.” (Read full review)

2.5         Richard Bolisay (Lilok Pelikula)

Hustisya is too concerned about accommodating (Aunor) that the drama, out of convenience, jumps from one outrageous sequence to another, and she just keeps doing what she is told.” (Read full review)

2.5         John Tawasil (Present Confusion)

Hustisya covers so many different issues that we really aren’t sure where to begin. Are we supposed to care about the plight of sex trafficking? Are we supposed to do something about the rampant poverty and ennui? Are we supposed to do something about the EDCA, which is mentioned a couple of times in the film? The film’s lack of focus ultimately hurts the film’s message.” (Read full review)

2.0         Abby Mendoza (PEP)

“The film utilizes clichéd, hackneyed stereotypes—decadent, corrupt official, sexually-abusive and -abused lesbian inmates, a mama-san with a tacky fashion sense, a crook of a lawyer, a moralistic journalist whose commitment to truth does not see the light of day. All of whom could have left a mark, something striking at least, on its audience but for the lack of sincerity or heart in how they were written they turn out dull, unremarkable characters.” (Read full review)

2.0         The New Alphabet

“What could have been a daring and thought-provoking exploration of injustice in the metro through the expressive eyes of Aunor, Hustisya strode safely to its cliffhanger. It was too safe that it’s frustrating that a film, which could have been a vehicle for a powerful social commentary, wheeled linearly to its ending: no detours, no curves, and no jagged edges to at least substantiate its ominous title.” (Read full review)

2.0         Nicol Latayan (Tit for Tat)

“It is the supposed game-changing incident of frame up when the film just rolled downhill. At this point, it’s now a parade of the usual Lamangan schtick which probably is his vision of a political statement. He doesn’t dip so much into these so called issues but instead, stays content with just enumerating them.” (Read full review)

2.0         Don Jaucian (Philippine Star)

“What’s even more disappointing is how Lamangan lets go of the tenuous thread he’s built in the first half of the film, an intriguing (and often comedic, thanks to La Aunor’s bite) descent into the seedy underbelly of Manila’s cybersex dens, human trafficking, and high-level corruption.” (Read full review)

2.0         Carl Papa (Whatever Carl)

“Technical wise, the film was leaps better than his previous late works.  I also admire that it felt he was experimenting in form.  Working in the independent scene rubbed some different style on him.  But I had a problem with that as well. There were times that I was watching several films at once.” (Read full review)

2.0         J. Neil Garcia

Hustisya‘s strongest–and probably, only–virtue is, of course, the expectedly stellar performance of its lead, Nora Aunor. Her character… is something of a sympathetic antiheroine with a personal moral code (she may be a human trafficker, but she doesn’t like to lie) and… arrives at her own belated (and, sadly, narratively gratuitous) realization that not only is she being framed by the person who’s supposed to be her devoted and lifelong friend (played to the matronly, libidinously capacious, and chronically itchy hilt by Rosanna Roces), there’s also something morally wrong with her participation in the human trafficking business that apparently is so profitable it has generated its own elaborate economy of shadowy investors, benefactors, go-betweens, procurers, etc. Aunor does a masterful job heroically sustaining her character’s agonizing mimesis in this unwieldy, convoluted, and misguided story, vacillating from good to bad to uncertain to good and finally to maniacally laughing bad throughout a mostly confused and unavailing plot, that leaves one by turns scratching one’s head and cavernously yawning, each time character twists and reversals take place in this story with the ease and inevitability of a sneeze…”

1.5         Skilty Labastilla (Pinoy Rebyu)

“Unlike Bing Lao, Ricky Lee has not adjusted his writing to more visual, more organic forms of storytelling, and Lamangan, stuck in the same template, does not help at all with his signature in-your-face, throw-everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink approach. Hustisya may be a tad more tolerable than the pair’s most recent efforts, but they’re really too venerable and experienced to be graded on a curve.”

1.5         Patricia Denise Chiu (GMA News)

“There is a thin line between criticizing the justice system and justifying a crime or the actions of a criminal. Hustisya, never mind its bad sound and imagery, falls flat simply because it did not tell a cohesive story at all.” (Read full review)