Amores Perros - DVD cover

Amores perros

Country: Mexico
Release Date: 14 May 2000
Genre(s): Drama
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Cast: Emilio Echevarría, Gael García Bernal, Goya Toledo, Álvaro Guerrero, Vanessa Bauche, Jorge Salinas, Adriana Barraza, Gustavo Sánchez Parra …
Awards: Ariel Awards: Best film, BAFTA: Best Film Not in the English Language; Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film; Fantasporto: Best Film; Cannes Film Festival: Prize of the Critic's Week....

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Amores perros

Amores Perros - sceneAmores perros is a 2000 neo-noir Mexican film directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. Amores Perros is the first movie in Iñárritu’s trilogy of death, and was followed by 21 Grams and Babel. It is an anthology film, sometimes referred to as the “Mexican Pulp Fiction,” containing three distinct stories which are connected by a car accident in Mexico City. Each of the three tales is also a reflection on the cruelty of humans toward animals and each other, showing how they may live dark or even hideous lives. Amores Perros was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2000 and won the Ariel Award for Best Picture from the Mexican Academy of Film. The film Amores Perros is a clear representation of the division between classes in Mexican society, as we are shown characters from under, working and middle classes. It also shows how authority such as the police are corrupt in Mexico as one of the characters is shown to be friends with such characters as El Chivo who is a hit man in order to help a jealous half-brother.

The film was released under its Spanish title in the English-speaking world, although its title was sometimes translated as Love’s a Bitch in marketing. In a 2001 interview on National Public Radio, director Iñárritu pointed out that an American English idiom, Love’s a Bitch is not a satisfactory translation of the title[citation needed] (see below). The soundtrack included songs by well-known Latin American rock bands, such as Café Tacuba, Control Machete and Bersuit Vergarabat.


Three interconnected stories about the different strata of life in Mexico City all resolve with a fatal car accident. Octavio is trying to raise enough money to run away with his sister-in-law, and decides to enter his dog Cofi into the world of dogfighting. After a dogfight goes bad, Octavio flees in his car, running a red light and causing the accident. Daniel and Valeria’s new-found bliss is prematurely ended when she loses her leg in the accident. El Chivo is a homeless man who cares for stray dogs and is there to witness the collision.


  • AFI Fest: Audience Award – Best Feature Film
  • ALMA Awards: Outstanding Foreign Film
  • Argentinean Film Critics Association Awards: Silver Condor – Best Foreign Film
  • Ariel Awards: Best Actor: Gael García Bernal; Best Actor in a Minor Role: Gustavo Sánchez Parra;  Best Cinematography: Rodrigo Prieto; Best Direction: Alejandro González Iñárritu; Best Editing: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Luis Carballar and Fernando Pérez Unda; Best First Work: Alejandro González Iñárritu; Best Make-Up: David Ruiz Gameros and Marco Antonio Rosado; Best Set Design: Melo Hinojosa and Julieta Álvarez; Best Sound: Antonio Diego, Martín Hernández, Geoffrey G. Rubay and Rudy Pi; Best Special Effects: Alejandro Vázquez
  • BAFTA Awards: Best Film not in the English Language
  • Bogota Film Festival:  Audience Award – Best Film;  Golden Precolumbian Circle -               Best Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu;  Golden Precolumbian Circle – Best Film
  • Boston Society of Film Critics Awards: Best Foreign-Language Film
  • Camerimage: Golden Frog: Rodrigo Prieto
  • Cannes Film Festival: Critics Week Grand Prize: Alejandro González Iñárritu; Young Critics Award – Best Feature: Alejandro González Iñárritu
  • Chicago International Film Festival: Audience Choice Award: Alejandro González Iñárritu; Gold Hugo -Best Film: Alejandro González Iñárritu;  Silver Hugo -            Best Actor: Emilio Echevarría and García Bernal
  • Cinema Brazil Grand Prize: Best Foreign Language Film
  • Edinburgh International Film Festival:  New Director’s Award: Alejandro González Iñárritu
  • Fantasporto: Best Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu; Best Film; Best Screenplay: Guillermo Arriaga
  • Ghent International Film Festival:  Grand Prix: Alejandro González Iñárritu
  • Havana Film Festival: Coral – Best First Work: Alejandro González Iñárritu; Cuban Press Association Award: Alejandro González Iñárritu; Glauber Rocha Award: Alejandro González Iñárritu
  • Huelva Latin American Film Festival: Rábida Award: Alejandro González Iñárritu
  • Lleida Latin-American Film Festival: Best First Work: Alejandro González Iñárritu; Screenplay Award        Guillermo Arriaga
  • London Critics Circle Film Awards: ALFS Award – Director of the Year: Alejandro González Iñárritu
  • MTV Movie Awards, Latin America:  MTV North Feed (mostly Mexico) – Favorite Film
  • Mexican Cinema Journalists:  Silver Goddess: Francisco Pina
  • Montréal Festival of New Cinema: Screenplay Award: Guillermo Arriaga
  • National Board of Review: Best Foreign Language Film
  • Oslo Films from the South Festival:  Films from the South Award: Alejandro González Iñárritu
  • Palm Springs International Film Festival: FIPRESCI Prize: Alejandro González Iñárritu
  • Premios ACE:  Cinema – Best Actor: Gael García Bernal;  Cinema – Best Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
  • São Paulo International Film Festival:  Critics Award: Alejandro González Iñárritu; International Jury Award – Honorable Mention:       Alejandro González Iñárritu
  • Tokyo International Film Festival: Best Director Award: Alejandro González Iñárritu; Tokyo Grand Prix: Alejandro González Iñárritu
  • Valdivia International Film Festival: Audience Award: Alejandro González Iñárritu

Data Sheet

Directed by : Alejandro González Iñárritu
Produced by: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Written by: Guillermo Arriaga
Cast: Emilio Echevarría, Gael García Bernal, Goya Toledo, Álvaro Guerrero, Vanessa Bauche, Jorge Salinas, Adriana Barraza, Gustavo Sánchez Parra …
Music by: Gustavo Santaolalla and Antonio Vega
Cinematography: Rodrigo Prieto
Editing by: Luis Carballar, Alejandro González Iñárritu and Fernando Pérez Unda
Release date: 14 May 2000
Running time: 153 minutes
Country: Mexico
Language: Spanish Review

Amores Perros roughly translates to “Love’s a bitch,” and it’s an apt summation of this remarkable film’s exploration of passion, loss, and the fragility of our lives. In telling three stories connected by one traumatic incident, Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu uses an intricate screenplay by novelist Guillermo Arriaga to make three movies in close orbit, expressing the notion that we are defined by what we lose–from our loves to our family, our innocence, or even our lives. These interwoven tales–about a young man in love with his brother’s pregnant wife, a perfume spokeswoman and her married lover, and a scruffy vagrant who sidelines as a paid killer–are united by a devastating car crash that provides the film’s narrative nexus, and by the many dogs that the characters own or care for. There is graphic violence, prompting a disclaimer that controversial dog-fight scenes were harmless and carefully supervised, but what emerges from Amores Perros is a uniquely conceptual portrait of people whom we come to know through their relationship with dogs. The film is simultaneously bleak, cynical, insightful, and compassionate, with layers of meaning that are sure to reward multiple viewings. –Jeff Shannon

From The New Yorker
This three-part tale, the début directorial effort of Alejandro González I–árritu, gives you a pretty good idea of what life is like in Mexico City and leaves you with an enduring wish never to drive its streets at rush hour. The first section chronicles the near-incestuous affair between Octavio (Gael García Bernal) and his sister-in-law Susana (Vanessa Bauche). The second, which sags with weary symbolism, is about a model who loses a leg. The third and strongest tells of an ex-terrorist and tramp (Emilio Echevarría) who kills for money and dreams of love. The connective tissue between these folks is a car crash, and each of them also either owns or trains dogs. (If your taste in movies doesn’t run to pooches with bloody flanks and broken necks, you should probably stay away.) I–árritu’s style carries the day; it may be heated and hectic, but he doesn’t bully you into judging these frazzled figures, and, in Echevarría, he has found a figure of great and grimy nobility. In Spanish. -Anthony Lane
Copyright © 2006 The New Yorker

Amazon’s Customers Reviews

Excellent Movie

I’ve recently gone on a foreign language film binge, and this one settles with the cream, near the very top. Plot wise, there are three stories that interconnect on the basis of a big car accident, and each revolves around dogs and their owners. The first piece is about a guy who lusts after his older brother’s wife while also making big money in dog fights. The older brother gets more and more angry while at the same time the younger brother has made an enemy at his side job. The second story is about a middle aged man in the magazine industry who leaves his family and moves in with a beautiful model. Things get hectic when her lovable ball of fluff disappears beneath a hole in the floor and won’t come out. The final tale is about an ex-professor turned radical turned nearly pennyless hitman who wanders the streets with his group of trustworthy dogs. Things change for him when he unknowgly nurses a very dangerous mutt back to health. Now, these stories may not sound intrigiuing at first, but the strengths lie in the tone, cinematography, acting, and atmosphere. Give it a chance, and I think everyone can take something positive from the experience. Of course, this takes us to the WARNING: THIS FILM CONTAINS BLOODY IMAGES OF DOG FIGHTING. The question is, can you handle this sort of thing? I was prepared, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought, but if you go in expecting Fido and Lassie frolicking in the hills at sunset, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise. In the form of mauled carcasses. Yep, quite nasty. But consider the fact that the animals were trained and not harmed, and that the rest of the movie is excellent, and you should be able to bear it. Also, this film has many levels, and warrants repeated viewing, thus making it a quality purchase. BUT–because of the dog fights, I can’t just flat out recommend that everyone buys it on a whim. If you’re not sure, RENT IT FIRST. Otherwise, it’s a guranteed positive experience.

Mexico Unvarnished

Any of those who would dismiss this movie for its allegedly senseless violence or because they feel it’s a pale imitation of Pulp Fiction simply do not understand Mexican culture. Violence, verbal or physical, proliferates in Mexican culture; I think many of the reviewers (mostly overly sensitive gringos, I would gather) who are uncomfortable with this movie would probably be equally uncomfortable with the Mexican view of life inherited from the Spaniards–i.e., the fatalism, the grim resignation to the frequent ugliness and brutality of life, and a sort of crude vivacity. Pienso que estas personas que no les gusta México no tienen cojones. But then again, most people want illusion not reality at the movies, which brings up the next point.

As for the Pulp Fiction charge, this movie bears about as much relation to that movie as Picasso, in his early, rough stage, does to Andy Warhol’s soup cans. In Amores Perros, the violence, and, hence, the feeling, is real; in Pulp Fiction, it’s trendy posing. We cringe at the gore and we giggle at the jokes, then we forget the whole pop culture soufflé Tarantino has served up. The people in Amores Perros are blood and guts–crude, yes, and occassionally ugly, but there’s no doubt they’re the real thing. Quentin Tarantino has never delved this deeply.

I give this movie four stars instead of five because it’s still at times subject to a youthful impetuousness that fits the first story beautifully but not the other two. It’s not quite great, but it’s still mighty impressive. And the middle story about the model losing her leg and enduring a romantic crisis with her lover is in the end rather tiresome–it’s undeniably felt by the actors, but it seems like tawdry bourgeois angst or an episode from a melodramatic telenovela next to the urban blight and horrors of the first and third stories.

Fresh, interesting and meaningful stories on many levels
This Mexican film is so good that it was nominated for an Academy Award in 2001. It’s a true drama in every sense of the word and even at 153 minutes, it held me captivated. There are three stories, and each of them could be a full feature in its own right. But they interconnect by a chance traffic accident. And each character’s life is affected by it in different ways. All the stories have to do with love. All the stories have to do with death. And all the stories have to do with dogs. In fact, in each story, the dog is as much as a character as the people.

The first story stars Gael Garcia Bernal, who later became well known for his roles in “Y Tu Mama Tambien” and “The Crime of Padre Amaro”. He wants to earn money to run away with his young sister-in-law who is being mistreated by his brother. And so he uses his dog in dogfights. The film opens with a wild chase scene in which he is fleeing from a competing dog fighter. That’s when the accident occurs.

The second story is about a beautiful model and her lover who leaves his wife and children for her. She has a dog, which she loves as if it were a child. She is injured in the accident and becomes wheelchair bound. When her little dog gets trapped under the floorboards in her new apartment, the story escalates.

The third story is about a homeless man, a former revolutionary, who makes his living as an assassin. He owns several dogs and rescues the fighting dog from the accident. As the story moves along we discover that his has abandoned his family years before. His grown daughter thinks he is dead and has no idea that he follows her around.

This is a very simple outline of the story but it is much more than that. Each character is deeply developed and I felt I was inside of each of them. I held my breath at times as the stories took yet another twist. And I felt deep emotion for each of their plights. I also loved the dogs. And I thought the stories were fresh, interesting and meaningful on many levels. They were sad, and yet very complete. And at the end I felt a catharsis of emotion that is present so many works of art.

Highly recommended.

Amores perros, 10.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings


Amores Perros - poster
Amores Perros - poster
Amores Perros - DVD cover
Gael García Bernal
Amores Perros - scene
Amores Perros - scene
Amores Perros - scene
Amores Perros - scene


Amores Perros - DVD cover Play
Amores perros
Amores perros is a 2000 neo-noir Mexican film directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. Amores Perros is the first movie in Iñárritu’s trilogy of death, and was followed by 21 Grams and Babel. It is an anthology film, sometimes referred to as the “Mexican Pulp Fiction,” containing three distinct stories...
Posted 11 Feb 2011

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Categories: BAFTA, Cannes Festival, Images, Mexican movies, Mexico, Synopsis, Trailers


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  3. Roberto
    18 Dec 2012, 9:35 am

    I must say 21 grams is just great. So this film should be good as well as the analysis of Mexican society.
    I have to watch it soon!

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