Posts tagged ‘Joel Torre’

Best Performances of the Decade So Far (Top Ten)

  1. Sid Lucero, Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan (2013)

10 Sid Norte

Character: Fabian, an embittered law student who commits a brutal murder

“It’s now common knowledge that Lucero is one of the finest actors not just of his but of any generation. He has mastered the naturalistic speaking style, the way people stammer and hesitate and pause when talking in real life. Working with Lav Diaz, who is known to give his actors free rein over their performances, must have been heaven for Lucero who, as Fabian, a disaffected youth who deals with the consequences of a crime he committed, gets to display his acting chops in full throttle, knowing full well that he will most likely never get another role that will be as meaty and as complex. A towering performance if there ever was one.” – SCL

  1. Eugene Domingo, Barber’s Tales (2014)

9 Eugene Barber's

Character: Marilou Aguallo, a newly widowed woman who inherits the town’s only barbershop from her husband

“Domingo’s boundless dramatic gifts continue to unravel as she delivers a master class in thespic restraint and subtlety in her prized portrayal of a subservient housewife. She is a thespic knockout from beginning to end—you won’t miss the knowing twinkle in her eyes we often see in her crowd-pleasing ‘dramedic’ potboilers, even in the production’s random moments of angst-leavening humor. Her character’s situations may be dire, but she manages to keep her scenes from becoming overwhelmingly treacly. Eugene is smart enough to know that gut-wrenching ululations of grief don’t necessarily result in a textured characterization. Without a doubt, hers is one of the year’s finest performances.” – Rito Asilo

  1. Angel Aquino, Ang Huling Cha-Cha ni Anita (2013)

8 Angel Chacha

Character: Pilar, a mysterious woman who becomes the object of a pubescent girl’s affection

No other actor could have played the complicated Pilar the way Aquino did. The role calls for a gorgeous actor who is capable of showing a dark side and Aquino gets under the skin of her character, that when she breaks Anita’s heart, we wanted to shake her silly and forgive her at the same time.

“Aquino was a beguiling presence in Ang Huling Cha-Cha ni Anita.” – Cathy Peña

  1. Joel Torre, Kabisera (2013)

7 Joel Kabisera

Character: Andres, a simple fisherman who finds part of a consignment of drugs floating in the sea and decides to run a drug empire

“Torre portrays Andres with a mix of apprehension, excitement, familial love, obsession, and menace, and makes it all too human that even as we curse him for making wrong decisions along the way, we can understand why he had to do the things he did. If that, meaning eliciting empathy, is not the goal of acting in the first place, nobody knows what is.” – SCL

  1. Martin Escudero, Zombadings (2011)

6 Mart Zombadings

Character: Remington, a homophobe cursed by a wizard to turn gay on his 21st birthday

“His character shifts and emotional upheavals are competently delivered in the subtlest movements. He perfected the nuance of a flaming (queen) who’s hard-pressed in controlling his emerging effete tendencies. What a joy to watch!” – Cathy Peña

“Escudero is a stunning discovery. His comic talent is impeccable. He speaks, sashays, and acts like a real gay man! He is the crowning glory of Zombadings.” – Fidel Antonio Medel

  1. Eula Valdez, Dagitab (2014)


Character: Issey Tolentino, a Humanities professor who gets entangled in an extramarital scandal

Valdez almost did not get to play Issey Tolentino, the juicily complex professor character written by director Giancarlo Abrahan, because of scheduling conflicts. The stars must have aligned for the role to be offered back to her, after the replacement actors also backed out, because we can’t imagine any other actor who could give the role justice. Valdez lends Issey a delightful blend of sexiness, intelligence and mystery that makes her riveting to watch.

“Valdez is a great actress and it is not up until now that she is given more to work with and she is just amazing.” – Carl Joseph Papa

  1. Vilma Santos, Ekstra (2013)

4 Vilma Ekstra

Character: Loida Malabanan, a single mother who acts as a bit player in TV soaps

“For naysayers who scoff at the actress’ penchant for physical acting, here’s a movie that shows the egoless Vilma—warts, wrinkles, eye bags and all—at her quietly insightful and vulnerable best, as she fights for better roles on the set of a teleserye that must finish 45 sequences overnight. She’ll break your heart especially in scenes that require no dialogue, particularly in the sequence that shows Loida quietly watching her botched scene with Cherie Gil and Pilar Pilapil.” – Rito Asilo

“After a harrowing day on the set where she lost a good role, Loida returns to an empty home. She boils water for a bath, then transfixes her gaze on the table. She starts to eat the leftover food she took home from the set; then eats like there’s no tomorrow, drowning out her frustration and embarrassment. You could see all the pent-up emotions on her face as she masticates and swallows and weeps? The scene is short and line-free, but it packs a wallop. It showcases the emotional power of Vilma Santos as the seasoned and sincere actress that she has become. No lines needed.” –  Cathy Peña

“The only way to silence the doubters is to turn in a nuanced, convincing performance.  It’s a testament to Santos’ instinct as an actor that she finds the honest core of Loida and operates from there. Everything else follows.” – SCL

  1. Eddie Garcia, Bwakaw (2012)

3 Eddie Bwakaw

Character: Rene, a closeted gay septuagenarian who finds comfort in the company of his dog

“Garcia is simply marvelous as the late-blooming homosexual. He masterfully circumvents the stereotypical picture of a washed up gay man. We last saw his brilliance in I.C.U. Bed #7 and we feel honored to witness a level of artistry achieved only by years of insightful experience. Garcia is exquisite in his grief and cantankerous manner. He is delight nonpareil.” –  Cathy Peña

“It’s a testament to Garcia’s talent that Rene, the testy curmudgeon that he is, never loses the empathy of viewers. We cheer him on when he gets the courage to act on his feelings for a younger man and grieve with him when he loses a loved one. And in the end, when he decides to turn a new leaf in his twilight, we, too, wish to have the desire to face life head on even in old age.” – SCL

“It’s hard to beat Eddie Garcia’s tragicomic turn in Bwakaw.” – Rito Asilo

  1. Joel Torre, On the Job (2013)

2 Joel OTJ

Character:  Mario Maghari aka Tatang, a prisoner hired as an assassin

“It is in Torre’s crackerjack portrayal that the film finds its soul—he is ruthless one minute and vulnerable the next, and he juggles those emotions with audacious believability. Watch how the 52-year-old actor knocks his final scene with Anderson out of the thespic ballpark—as they forge their friendship with a shocking gesture of sacrifice!” – Rito Asilo

“Torre schools younger, studlier co-stars in acting by showing that you don’t have to look the part of an action star to deliver a knockout performance – you only have to fully inhabit the character and make sure that you’re playing not just a role but a whole, complex human being. Viewers saw that in Torre’s morally hollow Tatang yet fully understood him nonetheless.” – SCL

  1. Nora Aunor, Thy Womb (2012)

1 NoraThy-Womb

Character: Shaleha, a Badjao midwife who helps her husband search for a second wife

“Aunor’s silent but intensely immersive portrayal. Nora will break your heart as her world-weary face lights up at the film’s final fade. Like the movie itself, Shaleha doesn’t know the fate that awaits her after she delivers Mersila’s baby, but the evocative eyes of the legendary actress who portrays her do!” – Rito Asilo

“Much has been said about Aunor’s eyes that speak volumes, and director Brillante Mendoza utilizes them to the hilt with numerous close-ups. But more than the eyes, it’s Aunor’s body language here that makes her performance captivating. She has fully inhabited the role of a barren midwife and completely understood the verité style favored by Mendoza that you don’t see her act. It’s as if every line she says is something she herself, not the scriptwriter, has thought of. For a movie legend to completely disappear in a role is such a daunting task, but Aunor makes it look so damn easy.” – SCL

“La Aunor succeeded as she gracefully disappeared into her character without much vocal calisthenics or excessive physical artifice.” – Cathy Peña



PART 1: Nos. 100 to 81

PART 2: Nos. 80 to 61

PART 3: Nos. 60 to 41

PART 4: Nos. 40 to 21

PART 5: Nos. 20 to 11

Ibong Adarna: A Pinoy Adventure

Ibong AdarnaVerdict: Proceed with Caution

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 2.21 (7 ratings)

Genre: Adventure

Director: Jun Urbano

Writers: Jun Urbano, Angelo Hernandez

Cast: Rocco Nacino, Leo Martinez, Joel Torre, Angel Aquino, Benjie Paras, Lilia Cuntapay, Patricia Fernandez, Ronnie Lazaro

Synopsis: Sultan Mabait (Joel Torre) rules over a small kingdom of warring tribes. His scheming brother Datu Mangimbot (Leo Martinez) asks a witch to place a curse on the Sultan, striking him with a mysterious illness. Mabait’s son Sigasig (Rocco Nacino) goes on a quest to find the mythical Ibong Adarna, whose song can cure any ailment. The dangerous journey has the young hero facing stormy seas, dense jungles, a savage tribe, magical fairies, and the bird itself, which may be the most fearsome threat of all. (Click the City)

MTRCB rating: G

Running time: 90 mins



4.0         Philbert Dy (Click the City)

Ibong Adarna isn’t a perfect film by any means, but even its missteps are kind of endearing. The movie has a very distinct voice, a sort of classical approach that is sorely missing from a lot of comparable local G-rated movies.” (Read full review)

3.0         Oggs Cruz (Rappler)

“It seems that Urbano believes that there is a certain level of consistency in how children see the world, that despite the constantly changing politics and philosophies of the world, children would still appreciate the utter simplicity and frankness of a morally-grounded fairy tale.” (Read full review)

2.5         Benedict Bartolome (PEP)

Ibong Adarna the Pinoy Adventure aimed to elevate the Filipino movie viewing experience by bringing culture and dignity to the screen but it ultimately falls back to tried and true simple comedy.” (Read full review)

2.0         Cathy Peña (Make Me Blush)

“There are moments that for a split second take you back to your childhood. But these are way too fleeting to really indulge or enjoy. Once reality slaps you right back, you realize that, in this film adaptation, there isn’t much to munch on other than its predictable strain.” (Read full review)


“Hindi ko alam kung dahil aimed at kids ang pelikulang ito, pero medyo nakakainis na sa una palang ay kita mo na kung sino ang masama at kung sino ang mabuti. Kalimutan man natin ang super-obvious na name suggestions, masyadong clear-cut kung kanino ka dapat mag-root.” (Read full review)

1.0         Fred Hawson (Fred Said)

“The acting was terribly cheesy, way beneath the known talents of the actors gathered for this project. The visual effects were like the quality of a regular TV fantasy program only, no effort for believability and obviously cartoonish. They do not inspire awe nor wonder at all, even for the kids.” (Read full review)

1.0         Emil Hofileña (Cinemil Movie Reviews)

“There’s no tension, there’s no sense of wonder to anything. You’re just seeing things unfold. Same goes for the characters. You should not settle for archetypes, even if they were in the source material.” (Watch video review)

Bang Bang Alley

Bang Bang Alley JP POSTER final 150Verdict: Value for Money

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 3.43 (7 ratings)

Genre: Thriller

Directors: Ely Buendia, Yan Yuzon, King Palisoc

Writers: Ely Buendia, Yan Yuzon, Zig Marasigan

Cast: Art Acuña, Perla Bautista, Gabe Mercado, Bela Padilla, Jimmy Santos, Joel Torre, Althea Vega, Megan Young

Synopsis: Three stories of people driven to extremes as the reality of violence creeps into their lives. (Click the City)

MTRCB rating: R-16

Running time: 110 mins.



4.0         Duane Lucas Pascua (

“Judging by the technique alone, Bang Bang Alley may very well signal a resurgence of film noir in Philippine cinema. The film is gritty and rich in character and atmosphere.” (Read full review)

3.5         Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“As a whole, Bang Bang Alley is more than worth a look. Makina is worth the price of admission alone, as it presents a story of violence that isn’t just about people pointing guns at each other. It posits a penchant for brutality that might be latent in any person backed into a corner.” (Read full review)

3.5         Oggs Cruz (Rappler)

“As a showcase of new filmmaking talent, it is predictably a mixed bag. Yuzon astounds mostly because of his ability to frankly communicate his suspicious outlook of Philippine politics. Palisoc impresses with his ability to tell the deviously common tale of a man succumbing to his inner demons with a lot of clever sophistication. Buendia is sadly the odd man out.” (Read full review)

3.5         Averill Pizarro (Philippine Star)

“Watching Bang Bang Alley (is) like reading a series of crime stories the way Quijano de Manila wrote about them – with the objectivity and detail of the news, and with the heart and narrative of a good feature.” (Read full review)

3.5         Jecoup Asombrado (Pinoy Exchange)

Bang Bang Alley is far from perfect but it is worth commending for telling stories about crimes which is beyond just guns and blood. All three stories (and even the “My Way” vignette in the beginning) had something worthy to say and this is a good start for the three first-time filmmakers.” (Read full review)

3.5         Renelson Morelos (Reel Thoughts)

“Overall, the screenplay of Bang Bang Alley may still benefit from some polishing and enhancement, but the film’s technical aspects (cinematography, editing, sound, etc) and the actors’ performances can’t in any way be faulted.” (Read full review)

2.5         Rob San Miguel (Brun Philippines)

“The unnecessary shaky camerawork and weird angles are absent (in Makina) and Palisoc focused more on his characters and his narrative. Unlike the two stories, the cinematography actually enriches the film, and the editing was better than the other two stories.” (Read full review)

On the Job

OTJ-Movie-PosterVerdict: Essential Viewing

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 4.29 (28 ratings)

Genre: Action, Drama

Director: Erik Matti

Writers: Erik Matti and Michiko Yamamoto

Cast: Joel Torre, Gerald Anderson, Piolo Pascual, Joey Marquez, Angel Aquino, Michael de Mesa, Leo Martinez, Shaina Magdayao, Empress Schuck, Vivian Velez, Rayver Cruz

Synopsis: Tatang (Joel Torre) is a prison hitman: a convict occasionally set loose to kill someone on the orders of someone in power. His status as a prisoner provides the perfect alibi for his crimes. The film follows him and his protégé Daniel (Gerald Anderson) as they carry out a series of hits. Upright cop SPO1 Acosta (Joey Marquez) is investigating these murders, along with rising NBI agent Francis Coronel Jr. (Piolo Pascual). But while Francis wants to stay clean, he’s compromised by the fact that his politician father-in-law might be involved in these killings. (Click the CIty)

MTRCB Rating: R-16

Running Time: 120 mins.



5.0         Alfred A. Yuson (The Philippine Star)

On the Job is a complex film, with parallel narratives and intertwining threads coursing through the city streets like chaotic traffic. With its powerful story, ambitious scenario, envisioned gravitas and a myriad of characters, it is a difficult film to make.” (Read full review)

5.0         Mikhail Lecaros (GMA News Online)

“From the story to the performances to the choices in cinematography, On the Job is that rare sort of film where everything works. Indeed, as far as changing the game in terms of the types (and quality) of stories major Philippine studios will bankroll, Matti and his cohorts have scored a homerun here.” (Read full review)

5.0         Phillip Cu-Unjieng (The Philippine Star)

“This is a new standard for the Filipino noir film. Dark, brooding, muscular and visceral, yet complex and concise in its story-telling, On the Job fully deserves its Cannes screening and should be a wonderful eye-opener for the mainstream Filipino audience.” (Read full review)

5.0         Eric Cabahug (InterAksyon)

“The pivot on which everything is hinged — prison inmates given a free secret day pass to carry out clean, clear, concise assassinations — is pure genius and informs the entire movie, from the cinematography and the music to the editing and the performances.” (Read full review)

5.0         Carljoe Javier (Rappler)

“It gives us no quarter. It makes no concessions to the audience in terms of theme and story, but it is decidedly compelling and entertaining.” (Read full review)

5.0         Renelson Morelos (Re[e]l Thoughts)

“While watching the film, one feels it to be coming alive just on its own onscreen, without any ‘self-conscious’ effort by the director to shove it down to us. In its own way, the film is an involving viewing experience.” (Read full review)

5.0         Nicol Latayan (Tit for Tat)

“There’s a lot of great things to say about this, but If there’s a clear standout in it, no doubt it is Erik Matti. His slick direction is the main core which holds the film together and gives it the necessary oomph.” (Read full review)

4.5         Philbert Dy (Click the City)

On The Job is an ambitious, serious crime drama for adults, one that manages to entertain without sacrificing its depth. It is a breath of fresh air in the increasingly stagnant environment of the Filipino mainstream.” (Read full review)

4.5         Rito Asilo (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

“If you have no bias against the Third World sleaze that frames the production’s tenebrous criminal underbelly, Matti’s persuasively proficient depiction of crime, greed and police corruption will shake you out of your apathy—to the edge of your seat!” (Read full review)

4.5         Zig Marasigan (Kristn)

On the Job is a Philippine crime drama done right. Tense, stylish, and intelligent, the film goes well beyond genre conventions and manages to showcase its own unique identity as a film that is proud to be Filipino.” (Read full review)

4.5         Mario Bautista (Showbiz Portal)

“This is Matti’s best work so far. He has a sure grasp of his material, particularly the hard hitting action sequences that starts with the opening scene where Joel and Gerald do their first hit while the annual ‘basaan’ festival is going on in San Juan.” (Read full review)

4.5         Mari-An Santos (PEP)

“The story of corruption and need, poverty and greed, and the lengths people will go to advance their interests is universal. But the characters and the cityscape lend to the film a unique, undeniable Filipino feel.” (Read full review)

4.5         Paul Alcantara (Katipunan)

“Yamamoto and Matti’s script is well crafted with its plotlines moving at a nice albeit imperfect pace. The characters are fleshed out just right, letting the story tell itself naturally.” (Read full review)

4.5         Jay Rosas (Edge Davao)

“The real star of OTJ is director Matti. He plays his cards expertly and blends the technical elements into a coherent whole, taking in references of the action-crime thriller that are inspired of and respects the genre.” (Read full review)

4.5         Nel Costales (1505 Film Avenue)

OTJ is one, big dirty finger pointed towards all corrupt politicians. It is alsoan entertaining film with amazing action set-pieces.” (Read full review)

4.5         Reel Advice

“By the time the main protagonists physically meet, On the Job will have you at its reins easily and finding out the overall arc is the only thing on your mind.” (Read full review)

4.5         Emil Nor Urao (E-Reviews)

On the Job excels at being a cerebral and entertaining action flick for its mature audience. It will let you experience the different kinds of prison in the Philippines. I’m not a fan of films that demoralizes my country, but it’s hard to hate an awesomely-written movie like this.” (Read full review)

4.0         Oggs Cruz (Twitch)

On the Job is not satisfied in what pundits consider a safe and viable middle-ground. It opts to simply just move forward, always consistent to an aesthetic that is both true to the filmmaker and not manufactured simply to please a market.” (Read full review)

4.0         Derek Elley (Film Business Asia)

“At the end of the day, On the Job is simply a well-packaged, tenebrous crime thriller with a clever idea, and doesn’t pretend to be anything more. Its high-up villains are standard politicians, and its heroes and killers are street-level types who operate in a separate universe.” (Read full review)

4.0         Nestor Torre (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

“One of the film’s most unique strengths is its complex and sometimes even contradictory view of life, eschewing facile black-and-white renditions in favor of a more realistically complicated depiction and interpretation, depending on the characters involved, and their apparent or hidden motives.” (Read full review)

4.0         Skilty Labastilla (Young Critics Circle)

On the Job is a thoroughly enjoyable, immensely gripping thrill ride that takes full advantage of the grit and grime of Manila’s seedy underbelly and of the unfathomable moral corruption of the country’s political and military elite. Matti and his team are firing on full cylinders here to give us the best that genre movie-making can offer.”

4.0         Fred Hawson (Fred Said)

“This is as timely as the present headlines.  You will understand why fugitives and whistle-blowers are morbidly obsessed about their security.  This film lives up to its hype, guys.  This is a must-see Filipino film.” (Read full review)

4.0         Macky Macarayan (Death of Traditional Cinema)

“While it is true that the story has been more or less explored in previous action flicks both local and international, it’s the inspired performances of OTJ‘s leads (and even supporting characters), a rich back story for its protagonists and antagonists, and more notably, the seamless fusion of cinematography, editing and music that gives OTJ a gritty feel more than enough to satisfy fans of the action genre.” (Read full review)

4.0         Jansen Musico (Pelikula Tumblr)

OTJ does not engross its viewers in cheap explosions and over-the-top setpieces. The film respects its audience too much for that. Though there is definitely no lack in action, it doesn’t sidetrack its intentions. Behind the blatant machismo and gunfire is a hard truth that cuts deeper than a blade.” (Read full review)

3.75         Irvin Malcolm Contreras (A Girl and a Gun)

“I’m not a fan of Tiktik but this solid thriller, which is an improvement, shows that he’s a force to be reckoned with. Though far from perfect, it’s got flair, style and very well-paced (though I must say he should stop casting Joey Marquez).” (Read capsule review)

3.5         Richard Bolisay (Lilok Pelikula)

“The main weapon of On the Job is its unapologetic preference for action, its clear-cut view of crime and redemption, and its apparent lack of disguise.” (Read full review)

3.0         Rob San Miguel (Brun Magazine)

“May it be incidental or accidental, Matti just crafted a perfect example on how celebrities can be utilized to highlight a social issue but such use inevitably betrays the original purpose. Celebrities get the attention but they also distract and dilute the issues because, in the end, we just remember how lovable, sympathetic, and talented the celebrities are. We forget the real issues.” (Read full review)

2.0         J. Pilapil Jacobo (Young Critics Circle)

On the Job preoccupies itself too much with the techniques of cinema which make ‘action’ a legitimate object of Filipino film that its so-called treatise on Philippine violence barely works even as police reportage.” (Read full review)

Juana C. The Movie

juanacVerdict: Value for Money

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 3.61 (14 ratings)

Genre: Comedy

Director: Jade Castro

Writers: Rody Vera

Cast: Mae Paner, Angelina Kanapi, Annicka Dolonius, Jelson Bay, Joel Torre, John James Uy, Mads Nicolas, Niño Muhlach, Ronnie Lazaro

Synopsis: A young woman from a far off province is sent to study in a prestigious Manila university. But she gets caught up in the wrong crowd and ends up becoming a high class prostitute. Her surprising skill gives her access to the most powerful figures in the government, which exposes her to corruption at the highest levels. (Click the City)

MTRCB Rating: R-16

Running Time: 90 mins.



5 .0         Rianne Hill Soriano (Business World Online)

“A delectably biting satire, it manages to keep the audience entertained from start to end.” (Read full review)

4.5          Abby Mendoza (FHM)

“It coherently attacks the illnesses of politics without being too preachy, but instead through intelligent mockery that is utterly funny and poignant. It is with these implements that Juana C. The Movie and its titular actress are able to succeed in shedding light on serious societal matters in a very entertaining manner.” (Read full review)

4.0          Mikhail Lecaros (GMA News)

“Whether the script calls for her character to lose her clothing (which is often), pose as a rich college student or break the Fourth Wall to deliver punch lines more directly, Paner is a comedic force of nature who never outstays her welcome.” (Read full review)

4.0          Ria Limjap (

“Only Mae Paner, poster girl for The New Sexy—and our answer to Lena Dunham—can prance across the screen with abandon, reminding us that it doesn’t matter what you look like, as long as you have a strong message, that is, a call for awareness and action.” (Read full review)

4.0          Rob San Miguel (Brun)

“The movie may seem to contain the usual toilet and crass jokes but upon careful scrutiny (if you manage to stop laughing), the jokes bite.” (Read full review)

4.0          Mark Angelo Ching (

“There may be well-shot scenes of playful bed scenes and laugh-out-loud comedy, but the movie still manages to comment on corruption and the ever-widening poverty gap. It is hard to balance the movie’s two components, but Jade Castro’s masterful direction makes it possible.” (Read full review)

4.0          Bernard Santos (My Movie World)

“I like how the film was done: napakatotoo, may mensahe, napapanahon at makabuluhan.” (Read full review)

3.5          Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“The movie can be quite a jumble at times, but it manages to press on through sheer will of belief. It is a hopeful, happy movie that’s just infectious enough to keep things from completely going off the rails.” (Read full review)

3.5          Alwin Ignacio (The Daily Tribune)

“As the collective laughter dies down, however, the laugh-out-loud flick presents some very painful truths — the root of our country’s ills.” (Read full review)

3.5          Emil Nor Urao (E-Reviews)

“Pinakita lang ng Juana C. The Movie na kahit likas sa ating mga Pilipino ang matukso sa karangyaan at katamaran, kaya pa rin natin magbago. Hindi man niya pinakita ng direkta ang kanyang mga hinaing, mukha namang madaling maiintindihan ang mga ito ng sambayanan sa isang nakakaaliw at loka-lokang paraan.” (Read full review)

3.0          Oggs Cruz (Twitch)

Juana C. the Movie works best as a caricature of Philippine society. By enunciating and exaggerating immense national issues to the point of ridicule, the film brings the discourse to a level that is readily understandable to the common man.” (Read full review)

3.0          Nicol Latayan (Tit for Tat)

“It’s pretty obvious that the movie has a lot to offer, and while some of the subplots didn’t work for me, the main message of the film stood out in the end.” (Read full review)

2.5          Jansen Musico (Pelikula Tumblr)

Juana C The Movie is rough around the edges. In fact, it’s all over the place. It tries to bring up as many socio-political issues as it can, given its running time. The film needs a sense of order. Though it reflects just how chaotic our society is, it doesn’t mean that the film should be just as chaotic.” (Read full review)

2.0          Skilty Labastilla (Young Critics Circle)

“By crafting a consciously slapdash movie, the filmmakers seem to be saying, ‘Don’t take the movie seriously; take the message seriously.’ And that’s basically the movie’s downfall: it’s a message movie whose message is something everyone already knows in the first place.” (Read full review)

Mariposa sa Hawla ng Gabi

mariposaVerdict: Proceed with Caution

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 2.75 (8 ratings)

Genre: Drama, Suspense

Writer/Director: Richard Somes

Cast: Erich Gonzalez, Alfred Vargas, Mark Gil, Joel Torre, Maria Isabel Lopez, Rez Cortez, John Lapuz

Synopsis: Set in 1994, Mariposa sa Hawla ng Gabi is about an innocent woman named Maya (Erich Gonzales) who sets off for Manila to find her long-lost sister. But her harmless purpose will lead her to a horrifying discovery that will change her life forever. (Rappler)

MTRCB Rating: R-16





3.5          Oggs Cruz (Twitch)

Mariposa sa Hawla ng Gabi works best when its visuals reflect a very exaggerated image of Manila that’s best kept in the shadows. It stumbles when it’s actually trying to tell a story.”

3.0          Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“Every scene is a ridiculous showcase of attention-grabbing grimy detail. But for all that flavor, the movie lacks meat.” (Read full review)

3.0         Dodo Dayao (Piling Piling Pelikula)

“It’s saying a lot to pin this down as hitting some  ceiling with regards to how visually sumptuous it is, as every Richard Somes film looks good enough almost to eat.” (Read full review)

3.0         Sanriel Chris Ajero (Cinephiles)

“Visually striking plus some interestingly bizarre performances from the cast (esp the supporting ones) – but nothing more.”

3.0         Gio Potes (Cinephiles)

“I think I responded heavily dun sa underground community ni Frank (the superb and fun Mark Gil, channeling Dennis Hopper?) esp how he treats women and gays. Not that I think it is feminist but this film shows how men’s pursuits for their ideal images of women can be totally devastating. Like a tame Miike directing Vertigo. Overall, it’s a pretty movie pero nagkulang lang sa direction at characterization.”

2.5         Richard Bolisay (Lilok Pelikula)

Mariposa sa Hawla ng Gabi has the makings of a fine action movie, but along the way it is hindered by its tireless underpinning of mood, oftentimes forgetting that it has a story to tell, which is a pity because its narrative is captivating.” (Read full review)

2.5         Nicol Latayan (Tit for Tat)

“There’s nothing solid to hold on to in terms of the characters. Yes it was packed, but I would have been fine with more minutes if it can open the characters a lot more to its viewers.” (Read full review)

1.5         Skilty Labastilla (Young Critics Circle)

“Too relentlessly noisy and undisciplined for my taste. The film revels in shock and gore but doesn’t let the audience empathize with any of the characters. By mid-film, I just stopped caring.”

A Secret Affair

Verdict: Proceed with Caution

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 2.40 (20 ratings)

Genre: Drama, Romance

Director: Nuel Crisostomo Naval

Writer: Mel Mendoza-Del Rosario

Cast: Anne Curtis, Derek Ramsay, Andi Eigenmann, Jaclyn Jose, Jackie Lou Blanco, Joel Torre, Johnny Revilla, Shy Carlos

Synopsis: The movie starts with Anton (Ramsay) proposing to his girlfriend Raffy (Curtis). She accepts, but she gets cold feet the night before the wedding, succumbing to her insecurities about their relationship. Raffy goes away for a while, and Anton finds comfort in the arms of Raffy’s sorority sister Sam (Eigenmann). Raffy eventually returns, and hopes to reunite with Anton. Anton is all too happy to have things back the way they were, but Sam wants something more for herself. (Click the City)

MTRCB Rating: R-13

Running Time: 110 mins



5.0         Mark Angelo Ching (

“Storytelling is not the only positive aspect of A Secret Affair. I liked how Naval composed every frame.” (Read full review)

4.5         Jennifer Dugena (PEP)

“The movie presents emotionally graphic issues of betrayal, deception, and treachery in a relatably real manner, at times cathartically so.” (Read full review)

4.0         Starmometer

A Secret Affair is a crowd-pleasing romantic drama with hard-hitting dialogues delivered by finely wrought characters.” (Read full review)

3.5         Maridol Rañoa-Bismark (Yahoo Philippines)

“You end up crying, laughing and nodding to yourself at the unexpected though logical ending. And while you’re at it, you  pick up lessons on family, love and betrayal as well.” (Read full review)

3.5         CBCP CINEMA

“Maingat ang pagkakatahi ng kuwento ng A Secret Affair. Hindi madaling hulaan ang katapusan kaya kailangan abangan ang mga eksena.” (Read full review)

3.5         Bum-Spot

“Curtis’ role fit her perfectly. She doles out her lines (specially her ‘taray’ lines) as naturally and effortlessly as she breathes air.” (Read full review)

3.5         Ihcahieh

“To some extent, this movie appears to be better made than No Other Woman. Here, the subplots in which the minor characters are involved are given enough focus for the actions to be justified.” (Read full review)

3.0         Philip Cu-Unjieng (Philippine Star)

“What I don’t like about the film are exactly what promises to make the film a runaway success. What are set up as dialogue is often an excuse for speeches and an opportunity for dropping the mouth-gaping closing line.” (Read full review)

2.0         Oggs Cruz (Twitch)

“Its bare plot essentially revolves around the stupidity of people, but Naval still insists on conjuring obvious lessons on life and marriage out of it. It is as if morality is an afterthought by the filmmakers, who are quick to exploit the very real problem of infidelity for a quick buck.” (Read full review)

2.0         Nicol Latayan (Tit for Tat)

“The film’s biggest problem is its material. For a movie that tends to borrow all the tips from the telenovela handbook, it tried to push a ‘realistic’ (read: moral) ending.” (Read full review)

2.0          Jowana Bueser (The Birth of Damnation)

“A second-rate duplicate of a substandard original portends dire results.” (Read full review)

2.0         Manuel Pangaruy (Taga-ilog Special)

“Direction-wise, it’s serviceable enough. It’s just that it was already done before; same theme, almost the same cast, same gloss and same approach. Some scenes are likeable (car scene with Jaclyn Jose and daughters, the iconic artwork in Burgos Circle, etc.) but it’s very hard to take the characters seriously. The women here are either plain bitch or just fickle minded.”

1.5         Rito Asilo (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

“Kitsch-rich and fraught with tedious clichés, the movie lurches between melodrama and comedy as its warring characters trade one-liners with scathing, scattershot hooks.” (Read full review)

1.5         Cathy Peña (Make Me Blush)

A Secret Affair brims with caricatures, none of them deserving our empathy.” (Read full review)

1.5        Mario Bautista (Showbiz Portal)

“There are no real persons in both movies, only caricatures. As such, you don’t sincerely sympathize with any of them.” (Read full review)

1.0        Aristotle Atienza (Young Critics Circle)

“Ipinapanukalang babae ang may kasalanan (balikan kung paano ginawang trivial ang kabit, kerida, at mistress) kaya kailangang turuan ng leksiyon, dahil ang lalaki, ano pa nga bang bago, ay lalaki lamang.” (Read full review)

1.0        Skilty Labastilla (Young Critics Circle)

“Such a ridiculous movie with despicable characters who don’t seem to run out of stupid decisions. Really, all the movie does is show a never-ending loop of stupid-decision scenes, confrontation scenes, and crying scenes that it will take extreme restraint on the viewer’s part to not shout at the cinema screen in utter frustration.

Andi Eigenmann has screen presence but can only do so much with such a one-note role. Also, Tim Yap needs to stay away from movies. The guy can’t act to save his life. And to think he plays himself!”

1.0        Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“The film revels too much in the tainted joy of petty revenge, and that can only do harm in the long run. Through it all, dramatic music plays, and the women laugh as their souls continue to darken.” (Read full review)

1.0        Ria Limjap (

“This is a fairly ridiculous movie, with terrible transitions and hammy acting.” (Read full review)

1.0        Dicot Alvarado (Sine Critic)

“The film frames these characters in such a way that we’re supposed to care for them, however we as an audience know that these people are completely revolting and not worthy of our sympathy.” (Read full review)

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