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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 11 March 2017
You’ll have to excuse the overall ‘gushing’ nature of this review. In short, I LOVE ‘Time Crimes’ (although I must admit that the title – once translated to English – does sound a little naff!). So, if you’re not in the mood for a Spanish film with subtitles then you probably won’t like the film or my take on it either!

Not only does the (English) title not do the film’s content justice, but it’s one of those films where you really have to pay attention to every little detail because something that doesn’t seem particularly noteworthy now may have greater significance later on. I would say what ‘Time Crimes’ is about, but I don’t want to spoil anything, as you’ll only get the one chance to watch it without knowing where it’s going. Obviously, time travel plays a major factor and expect a crime or two thrown in there. But the film’s strength lies with its ‘realism’ (if you can suspend your disbelief long enough to accept that we can leap about through time without the aid of a DeLorean). The ‘hero’ Hector (and you’ll notice the quote marks I used to describe him thus) is a slightly overweight middle-aged man who spends his time with a pair of binoculars staring into bushes while his wife works at getting their new country home up and running – hardly your average Hollywood leading man! Then his quiet little life gets thrown into turmoil when he spots an attractive woman in the bushes, seemingly taking her clothes off for no good reason. This is a warning to us all not to investigate such a phenomenon. However, if he didn’t, there wouldn’t be such a great story to follow. Like I said, I won’t spoil anything, but expect a secret facility, a secret machine and a lot of confusion involving hurtling through time and space.

It’s definitely not your average Hollywood flick. From the portly hero to the decisions he makes – everything flies in the face of what we might expect from the ‘classic Hollywood narrative.’ As much as I may love this film, I’ve only watched it the three times since its release in 2006. This is because it’s a story that you really need to watch closely in case you miss something. There are plenty of films out there where you can pop out to make a cup of tea or idly play with your phone, then come back to the plot and find you haven’t missed anything. This isn’t one. Just expect one hell of a mind-bending experience with plenty of temporal twists and turns. Watch it quick as I’m constantly amazed that it hasn’t been remade with someone like Matt Damon in the lead!
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on 1 July 2017
Quite possibly one of the best if not the best time travel movies ever made.
It excels because everything actually hangs together.
Forget Looper, which has a get-out clause in the film where the protagonist refuses to explain time travel - you may just need to take this on trust and watch this film to really get your need for time travel to be explained.
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on 28 April 2017
Excellent movie, many thanks
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 March 2015
Time Crimes is a low budget Spanish SF movie involving time travel and explores a day in the life of Hector, a middle class, middle-aged man spending a relaxing holiday with his wife at their rural summer retreat. While relaxing in his deckchair, through his binoculars he spies an attractive partially clad young woman amongst the foliage of a neighbouring property and decides to take a closer look. However, not only does he meet the young woman but also a troubled man with a bandaged head (and a pair of scissors) and a scientist with a time machine and all three become a part of Hector's very strange day. The tone of the film rapidly shifts from Carry On (with the titillating voyeurism) to Twilight Zone as the narrative becomes more and more puzzling as the movie slides into suspenseful thriller/horror mode. Definitely a film that needs a high level of concentration if you want to try and decipher the intricate screenplay.
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on 21 May 2017
An interesting idea, but poorly done. Nothing is convincing, and I began to think maybe it was meant to be a comedy. Lost interest by the halfway mark. Needs a remake.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 January 2016
Do not be put off by the dvd cover (who makes these things?) this is a witty, intelligent time-travel drama. It is full of urgency, energy and clever little tricks. As has been said previously, it is impossible to describe the plot without ruining it, so I won't. It is a low budget (but certainly not low quality) film, with no special effects. Just good acting and a paradoxical time-travel premise. A strange little gem.
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VINE VOICEon 17 March 2009
So, how do you like your time-travel? A clean-cut, enjoyable thriller a'la "Back To The Future" or "Time After Time", or perhaps something that really makes you think? Film viewers have their Art spoon-fed to them nowadays, by paranoid oligarchs who are terrified that anything perceived as challenging will afford them precious box-office, and God Knows What else.

Hence, if you aren't an Armchair Anarchist, you have to turn to the indies. And what can be more mind-twisting than the concept of time? Think Xeno of Elea, think Star Trek and "The City On The Edge Of Forever", think Quantum Physics. Shane Carruth started the trend back in 2004 with the astonishing "Primer", a film made for no money whatsoever and that relied on a masterful, convoluted script to make people return to it for repeat viewings. After watching it 10 times, I'm still nonplussed about a great many plot points (which I won't go into here, suffice to say you should see "Primer" immediately, or you're a monkey's uncle) which is not something you really have to worry about in regard to Nacho Vigalondo's film. You will understand it, you'll just have to really, really ponder how everything works. Remember that from films of yore? Good. Time to do so again.

Hector is an average Mediterranean type, apparently just moved into the countryside. After spying a naked girl acting strangely from the vantage point of his binoculars he decides to investigate (well, so would you, let's face it). In the process Hector is stabbed by a man in a trenchcoat with pink bandages rolled around his face, a MacGuffin that powers the movies plot from that point onwards... to go on would spoil the film for many, suffice to say that Hector stumbles on an apparent Time Machine that will decide his fate(s) from here on in. Vigalondo is a director who has previously specialised in shorts and miscellaneous writing gigs, but if this is anything to go by, we may be looking at the new Alex De La Iglesia here. Spain can make a good movie - well, better than us, that's for damn sure.

The Disc is looking like the usual bare-bones setup with no extras (does anybody really care about trailers as supplements? We've seen the film, we don't need to watch the advertisement for it afterwards), so we'll just have to wait for the inevitable 10-year Special Edition once the film has become a much-loved cult fixture. Also, the film has been slated for a remake by Hollywood in 2011, so get ahead of the pack and see the no-doubt vastly better original. Watch, please, your brain will thank you.
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VINE VOICEon 22 June 2009
Once every so often a small-scale film is released that takes a very big idea and creates something that Hollywood could never hope to better. Timecrimes is one of those films.

A simple premise with an "everyman" lead character called Hector who is thrown heedless (or is he?) into a nightmarish spiral of potentially catastrophic paradoxes that threaten his well-being, his family and perhaps his sanity.
The highpoint of all this for me is his "matter-of-fact" way of dealing with the reality of his increasingly desperate situation. He knows what he has to achieve and grudgingly accepts that no-matter-what he must tread that path with its attendant moral consequences.

It's tricky not to say too much and spoil the joy of this film. Suffice to say it involves a time machine (duh!), is relatively funny in a deadpan kind of way and while not quite as mindbending as the wonderful "Primer" manages to address some pretty meaty questions about the time-travel genre. The inevitability of Hector's final decision is exactly the conclusion that many lesser films would hesitate to use thus making it all the more satisfying to see it work so well here.

So a witty time-travel film with real brains that makes you think....and there I was wondering why this wasn't more popular.

Once again the (continental) Europeans show us just how it should be done.
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on 16 January 2012
This sub-titled film has its moments - about three of them - when it is interesting, as it explores the paradox of time travel, when the protagonist interacts with himself again and again.

But the direction is sloppy, the sound poor, the dialogue insipid, the acting pedestrian, the "low-budget" camera work distracting.

Don't buy - rent or borrow - or even better, look at some alternatives, of which there are many. Look at "The 13th Floor" for example.
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on 16 April 2014
Before we even start I have to warn you- this is a Spanish language film and there are English subtitles.

This innovative Science fiction film that centers around the theory of time travel. Hector inadvertently stumbles upon an experimental lab. What happens next is mind-blowing.

This is one of the best time travel films I have ever seen. So many films focus on the fantastic; If you went back in time you would kill Hitler or leave Keanu Reeve letters at the Lake house. Timecrimes is about a poor schmuck who is in the wrong place at the wrong time and just can’t catch a break.

It never answers the question: Which came first the chicken or the egg but you will be running this film over in your head for a long time after.
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