Átame! (Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!) (1990) - Rotten Tomatoes

Átame! (Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!)1990

Átame! (Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!) (1990)



Critic Consensus: Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! undermines its own effectiveness with an excess of camp, but writer-director Pedro Almodóvar and an attractive cast make it all worth watching.

Átame! (Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!) Photos

Movie Info

Upon his release from a psychiatric hospital, Ricky visits a film set to watch the object of his love and desire, Marina -- a drug-addicted actress -- who does not even remember him from a previous escapade. He is determined to make her love him, so he kidnaps her.

Watch it now


Victoria Abril
as Marina Osorio
Francisco Rabal
as Maximo Espejo
Rossy de Palma
as Camel in Vespa
Lola Cardona
as Directora Psiquiatrico
Montse G. Romeu
as Periodista
Carlos Garcia Cambero
as Hermano de Lola
Miguel Garcia
as Gitano Viejo
Manuel Bandera
as Bailarin Tango
View All

Critic Reviews for Átame! (Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!)

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (7)

Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! comes from a transitional phase in Almodóvar's career, one in which he was using bigger budgets to hone his aesthetic, create characters with greater depth, but still indulge a punkish urge to shock.

August 26, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

An off-kilter - and off-putting - mix of humor, sex, and Stockholm Syndrome obsession.

May 4, 2005 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Psychodrama and dark humor flow freely from this setup.

October 1, 2003 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Mr. Almodovar's comic invention runs out too soon, leaving the audience to giggle weakly in anticipation of the big laughs and disorienting shocks that never arrive.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 2.5/5

Almodovar's polarities are so perfectly lined up in opposition to my own that it is quite possible for one of his movies to shoot right through my brain without striking a single cell.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

A writer-director driven by his passion, Almodovar allows his movies to moan and sweat and writhe. Sex looks like sex, not pornographic but messy and warm. The curtains do not billow, the sheets burn.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Átame! (Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!)

By now I have started to understand the methodology of director Pedro Almodovar, though why certain things are supposed to be funny oftentimes get lost in translation. With this feature film there didn't seem to be anything funny about the situations detailed in the film and yet it's categorized as a comedy. There may have been some strange and effortlessly eccentric characters that could seem funny to a Spanish audience, but I didn't see the parallels in my own culture. As for the explicit nature of the film's content and the sexual nature that exists within the narrative, I had no problem with it. What I did find fault with was how the narrative is framed and the eventual ending. The film combines elements of horror and romantic comedy, featuring Antonio Banderas as Ricky, a maddened former mental patient. He leaves the institute and goes off to find a former porn actress now making a horror film for an acclaimed Spanish director. Ricky follows her, finds her inside her apartment, hits her unconscious, ties her up, and tells her he wants to marry her and have children with her. The film progresses as Ricky realizes she is a heroin addict, she realizes that he has had a troubled past, and they both slowly but surely fall in love. Almodovar uses the metaphor of binding together through the emotional responses of love for the ropes. The love story between Ricky and Marina (Abril) is supposed to mirror "Beauty ad the Beast" and "Frankenstein." Though not sadomasochistic with its representations of being tied up, there is obviously a lack of tenderness when it comes to Ricky's abuse. Though he "doesn't intend to hurt her" he chips her tooth, binds her, handcuffs her to him when they go in public, and threatens her sister. Even if they could fall in love, would we as the audience want them to? It's definitely in the realm of icky, and to forgive that would be misguided. Everything else about the film is entertaining, from Abril and Banderas' performances to the supporting characters to the somewhat understandable comedic aspects. It just wasn't a film with an understandable end, which threw the rest of my opinion of this into disarray.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

Wow! Almodovar is a master at finding humor and romance in the most unlikely places.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

My kind of love story...

Stefanie C
Stefanie C

Super Reviewer

Átame! (Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!) Quotes

News & Features