6.8/10
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Heli (2013)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 9 August 2013 (Mexico)
Heli must try and protect his young family when his 12-year-old sister inadvertently involves them in the brutal drug world. He must battle against the drug cartel that have been angered as well as the corrupt police force.

Director:

Amat Escalante

Writers:

Gabriel Reyes (screenplay), Amat Escalante (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Armando Espitia ... Heli
Andrea Vergara ... Estela
Linda González Linda González ... Sabrina
Juan Eduardo Palacios Juan Eduardo Palacios ... Beto
Reina Torres Reina Torres ... Detective Maribel
Ramón Álvarez Ramón Álvarez ... Evaristo
Gabriel Reyes Gabriel Reyes ... Detective Omar
Felix Alberto Pegueros Herrera Felix Alberto Pegueros Herrera ... Comandate (as Félix Alberto Pegueros Herrera)
Kenny Johnston ... Asesor Extranjero
Laura Saldaña Quintero Laura Saldaña Quintero ... Rosalinda
Agustín Salazar Hernández Agustín Salazar Hernández ... Bebé Santiago
Juan Pablo Nieves Dominguez Juan Pablo Nieves Dominguez ... Chuchin
Jaime Osvaldo Chía Palacios Jaime Osvaldo Chía Palacios ... Maruchan
Virgilio López Macías Virgilio López Macías ... El Guayo
Eduardo Rene Salazar Güereca Eduardo Rene Salazar Güereca ... El Morocho
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Storyline

Heli, a factory worker in rural Mexico must try and protect his young family when his 12 year old sister inadvertently involves them in the brutal drug world when she agrees to look after some cocaine found by her older boyfriend. When the drug cartel want their drugs back they go after the boyfriend and Heli's young family. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Mexico | Netherlands | Germany | France

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

9 August 2013 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Ели See more »

Filming Locations:

Calderones, Guanajuato, Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Official submission of Mexico to the Oscars 2014 best foreign language film category. See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Cannes Film Festival 2013 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme from Heli
Written by Lasse Marhaug
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User Reviews

 
Hard going
12 September 2014 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

HELI is a Mexican crime film marketed as a dark and disturbing thriller that reveals the terrible fall-out that follows on from an ordinary family falling foul of drug dealing gang members. What reviews also failed to mention is that it's rather dull and stodgy, for the most part.

The problem with HELI is the attempted worthiness; this was conceived as Oscar bait, so there's a level of stillness and artiness throughout. I don't mind arty films per se, but they have to be interesting enough to keep my attention, such as Andrzej Zulawski's POSSESSION. While HELI certainly has plenty of redeeming qualities, such as some quite stunning landscape cinematography, there just isn't enough story to sustain the running time.

The set-up of the film, introducing a poor family in rural Mexico, is okay as things go. Then things get very dark and harrowing with the crime story, including some unflinching torture sequences which offer the sort of stuff we've never seen before. It's truly shocking and easily the best part of the film.

And yet it seems to fizz out after that. The last act goes back to the sedate feel of the early scenes and it proves a real anticlimax compared to what's gone before. I understand the writer/director's intention is to depict the effect of trauma upon ordinary lives, but the characters just aren't interesting or likable enough that you care. HELI had plenty of potential, but that's the issue I had with it: I just didn't care a jot for any of those involved.


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