• Released
  • December 7, 2012
  • R , 1 hr 57 min
  • Documentary
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Entertainment Weekly

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Rodrigo Santoro (Paulo on Lost, Xerxes in 300, and even better, Raúl Castro in Che) is mighty matinee-idol charismatic himself in the title role, alternating between swaggering lady-killer and ravaged victim of self-destruction.
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The New York Times

By Jeannette Catsoulis
Though powerfully acted and dazzlingly shot (by Walter Carvalho) in heavenly black and white, Heleno is a feverish opera that, like its doomed antihero, loses vitality much too soon.
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Los Angeles Times

By Gary Goldstein
That's not to say Heleno, with its magnetic energy, sensual re-creation of 1940s and '50s Brazil and bold storytelling lacks punch; the movie is nothing if not watchable. But, by presenting more surface than depth to De Freitas' womanizing, arrogance and volatility (an implied closeness to his unseen mother is about as far as the film digs), it largely feels like an arm's length effort.
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The Playlist

By Kevin Jagernauth
The movie is basically The Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Mad Man, but don't be shocked if you find yourself asking just what art he was practicing in the first place.
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Slant Magazine

The film hints at a kicky, impressionistic style that director José Henrique Fonseca never effectively employs to actually communicate Heleno de Freitas's demons.
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Village Voice

By Michael Atkinson
You're stuck daydreaming about a far, far better movie.
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New York Post

By Farran Smith Nehme
What you get instead of soccer is almost two hours of late-stage syphilis.
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Time Out New York

From its flash-forward framing sequence to its glossy black and white images, the film emulates "Raging Bull" in nearly every particular, while failing to capture even a sliver of that tortured-soul sports-movie's insight or visceral power.
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52 out of 100
Mixed or average reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.