Inspectors Velarde and Alfaro must find what appears to be a serial killer. This hunt against the clock will make them realize something they'd never thought about: neither one of them is that different from the killer.
Antonio de la Torre,
The story of two men on different sides of a prison riot -- the inmate leading the rebellion and the young guard trapped in the revolt, who poses as a prisoner in a desperate attempt to survive the ordeal.
Inspector Nick Cafmeyer seems to have it all - looks, brains and a successful career. But a dark cloud hangs over his life: since the age of nine, he has been haunted by the unsolved ... See full summary »
Geert Van Rampelberg,
Johan van Assche
A hard-working single mother and wife of a getaway driver who is about to be released is approached by an unassuming and gentle man, completely unaware though of his inscrutable and utterly impelling motives.
Antonio de la Torre,
The story of a man who fooled an entire country. A tale of cheats and impostors, taking its inspiration from true facts and from one of the most intriguing characters of recent decades: the spy Francisco Paesa.
Miquel García Borda
Shattered by the unexpected news of their irreversible break-up, an aspiring orchestra conductor is puzzled by his girlfriend's mysterious and seemingly inexplicable case of disappearance. But, can he look beyond the facts?
María Soledad Rodríguez
An accidental discovery near a doctor's estate stirs up some painful memories eight years after his wife's hideous murder, and now, things are bound to take a turn for the unexpected. Does the good doctor know more than he's letting on?
1980. In a little town close to Coto of Doñana (Andalusia, south to Spain), two teen girls have disappeared. The father of one of the girls, who have connections with important people in the forces of the law, gets that two police detectives of homicides from Madrid are assigned to the mission to find the girls if they are alive, or find the assassin if they appear died. The detectives are Pedro Suárez and Juan Robles. While that Suárez is a young, taciturn and circumspect agent in a Spain that it tries to find a new identity as democratic country after General Franco's death in 1975, Robles is a veteran, funny and expeditious agent, with a mysterious past as alleged member of Franco's Armed Police dismantled in 1978. Unable to reconcile one with each other, Suárez and Robles find trapped by the hostile environment of a place where the old Franco's methods and customs still alive, and where they two aren't welcome. When the girls appears died, the following investigation move the cops...Written by
In the vain of True Detective (2014) but with the intensity (and pretentiousness) dialled down a couple of notches. This was compulsive, engaging and entertaining throughout.
I watched with the original Spanish audio and Spanish subtitles so I can't really comment on the quality of the script because my level of understanding was at about 70-80%.
The pacing was even, there weren't any unnecessarily drawn out scenes and everybody behaved in a realistic manner. The acting from the leads was superb but some of the supporting cast were quite wooden and most of the photographs used in the film were extremely posed. Those are minor critiques though; the only thing that really irks me is that no matter how well these films are made, and no matter how sensitively the subject matter is broached, they always feel a little gratuitous, hence why they usually lose one or two points from me. I watched The Treatment (2014) a while ago and both of these films currently have roughly the same IMDb score. Clearly then, ratings are hugely affected by the emotional impact of dealing with sexual abuse and murder. La Isla Mínima was, in my opinion, markedly better than The Treatment and I hope its rating increases to reflect this.
Another reason this film was more satisfying than others in its genre is that the police behave in a realistic manner - granted this is part of the commentary on the culture in this part of the world and what police have to resort to in order to protect their own people, but it still felt satisfying from a plot perspective and as an audience member. The final confrontation was horrific and yet entirely necessary. The film needed it and this was also entirely in keeping with the characters and the message of the film. Obviously, each will take away their own views but for me, the 'very' end made me question my earlier conviction that the final confrontation was 'justified': isn't that what everyone says to justify their actions?
If you enjoy films in this genre then it's an obvious choice 8/10.
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