Innocent Voices (Voces inocentes) (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

Innocent Voices (Voces inocentes)2005

Innocent Voices (Voces inocentes) (2005)



Critic Consensus: Innocent Voices is a passionately told dramatization of an ugly issue of war -- its impact on children.

Innocent Voices (Voces inocentes) Photos

Movie Info

The bloody civil war which tore apart El Salvador in the 1980s is seen through the eyes of a young boy in this drama from director Luis Mandoki. Chava (Carlos Padilla) is 11 years old and growing up in a small town in El Salvador where the fighting between rebels and government troops is a daily fact of life. Chava's father has abandoned the family, leaving him behind as the man of the house while his mother (Leonor Varela) and sister try to maintain a normal life by day while dodging bullets by night. Chava's 12th birthday is coming up, which puts the boy in a dangerous position -- at 12, he'll be old enough to join the army and be used as cannon fodder against the rebels, so he and his classmates try to find out when military recruiters will be coming to their schools so they can plan to be absent that day. However, as Chava faces both danger and adventure in his little town, the war edges in closer all the time until it can't be avoided any longer. Voces Inocentes (aka Innocent Voices) was the first Spanish-language film in 18 years for director Mandoki, who came to the United States after the international success of 1987's Gaby: A True Story.

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Xuna Primus
as Cristina Maria
Ofelia Medina
as Mama Toya
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Critic Reviews for Innocent Voices (Voces inocentes)

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (19)

Based on screenwriter Oscar Torres's childhood, Mandoki's gripping film may pull on the heartstrings too knowingly, but it's hard to forget the sight of the village's children lying silent and still on every rooftop.

November 1, 2007 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Effective without being overwhelming.

October 21, 2005 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

In the best parts of Innocent Voices, we experience both war's tragedy and its sometimes weird exhilaration -- with innocent clarity.

October 20, 2005 | Rating: 3/4

Mandoki, who with this film returns to the Spanish-speaking cinema after a string of Hollywood films, has brought a sure sense of the visual and taut construction to Innocent Voices.

October 14, 2005 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

The many riveting moments will stay with you for days, and Padilla is well up to the task of carrying this intense story on his tiny shoulders.

October 14, 2005 | Rating: 3/4

It's a harrowing tale, but one that gets phonied up with unnecessary slo-mos, manipulative soundtrack cues, and unrestrained thespianism.

October 14, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/4

Audience Reviews for Innocent Voices (Voces inocentes)


I am surprised that having witnessed a true story about a boy losing his innocence during the civil war in El Salvador with grueling pictures of the atrocities of war and the things a 11 year old goes through, I did not quite feel overwhelmed.

Nicolas Korovessis
Nicolas Korovessis

Super Reviewer

This is a very moving story based around kids in this war torn country, and what they have to go through to stay alive. This is a very well done film.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

Gripping anti-war offering from director Luis Mandoki. Innocent Voices shows us the civil war in El Salvador through the eyes of a child. Mandoki presents a harsh but accurate indictment of the war and of the U.S. involvement in it.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

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