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Abre los Ojos (1997)

Thriller | 117 minutes
3,72 1.356 votes

Genre: Thriller / Mystery

Duration: 117 minuten

Alternative title: Open Your Eyes

Country: Spain / France / Italy

Directed by: Alejandro Amenábar

Stars: Eduardo Noriega, Penélope Cruz and Fele Martínez

IMDb score: 7,7 (73.172)

Releasedate: 19 December 1997

Abre los Ojos plot

Woman seducer César finally falls in love with Sofia. Nuria, César's penultimate conquest, does not accept this and wants to end their lives by crashing into a tree during a car ride. César survives, but his face is seriously disfigured after the suicide attempt: He gets into a crisis but brightens up when Sofia still declares her love to him, but certainly also when he hears from the doctors that they can 'beautify' his face. César is happier than ever before; let just that moment such strange things start to happen that the real nightmare begins for him.

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avatar van IH88


  • 8777 messages
  • 3088 votes

“Abre los Ojos!”

Fantastic movie. Abre los Ojos is an original, mysterious and sometimes alienating viewing experience. The film is somewhere between a psychological thriller, a personal drama and sci-fi, and Amenábar's direction gives it a dreamy, almost hallucinatory atmosphere.

What is real? And what not? Amenábar plays with it, but takes the viewer and the characters seriously. In the end all the puzzle pieces fit and that shows how ingeniously the script is put together. Abre los Ojos also made me a mental note to watch more movies with Penélope Cruz. Cruz combines sheer beauty, sensuality, charisma and acting talent, effortlessly taking her scenes to the next level. And luckily, Abre los Ojos has a lot more to offer.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van tbouwh


  • 5654 messages
  • 4967 votes

All credit to the director who composes his score himself. After The Others, this is the second film by Alejandro Amenabar that partly draws its strength from the melodramatic soundtrack, which is never really oversentimental. What does the loss of our 'real' appearance do to us if we are so fond of that ideal image? As a starting point for the plot of Abre los ojos, that one question is as simple as it is effective. So effective, in fact, that the interpretation of the mystery/thriller element is almost impossible.

Certainly during the last half hour the call for answers becomes more and more emphatic, which results in a disappointing apotheosis. A scenario that is so driven by explanation loses its nuances. That's not a big problem if your film is based on that. Here, however, Amenábar could have won more drama-wise. It's not for nothing that this is the best rendition of Penelope Cruz I've seen so far.

A love-hate relationship with the cinematography (beautiful compositions, but also a dull, somewhat dated appearance) means that I eventually end up below 4*.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van Fisico

Fisico (moderator films)

  • 8418 messages
  • 4727 votes

I haven't seen the others from Amenabar yet, but he will have to come out very hard to surpass this beautiful abre los ojos. This shows and shows what talent Amenabar was and still is. The comparison is made here with Vanilla Sky, but this one is still on my list. Abre los ojos is a film about dreams and reality, about nightmares, parallel worlds and paranoia. Enough material to create a mysterious thriller drama.

Amenabar manages to weave all this together in a sublime way. Almost everything fits together and ensures that the film does not get boring for a second. Reality and fiction alternate and it is difficult for the viewer to unravel exactly what the problem is. But it never becomes inaccessible or difficult to follow. Editing, camera handling and beautiful images are top notch and flow into each other effortlessly.

With the truly breathtaking Penélope Cruz who plays with great maturity and charisma, it is a pleasure, but Noriega also shows the best of himself. His character is penetrating and arouses little sympathy. However, his role is excellently fulfilled as an arrogant playboy on the one hand and a paranoid mutilated man on the other. Good looking!

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original