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3,752 Ratings

The Exterminating Angel

El ángel exterminador

Directed by Luis Buñuel
Mexico, 1962
Comedy, Drama, Fantasy


A formal dinner party starts out normally enough. After the bourgeois group retire to the host’s music room, they inexplicably find themselves unable to leave. Hours pass and then days, and as the time plods by, disturbing changes in the formerly-genteel guests occur.

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The Exterminating Angel Directed by Luis Buñuel
Buñuel’s refusal to explain how or why the guests cannot leave the room is The Exterminating Angel’s biggest coup. Just as Buñuel attacks social convention through satire, so does he attack cinematic convention through surrealism. It’s that audacity of invention and imagination that makes Buñuel’s films as stylistically radical as they are socially radical, and as ineffable and miraculous as they are caustic.
June 17, 2017
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Modeling claustrophobia as the price of refinement and pseudo-taste, the second most shocking thing about The Exterminating Angel is how aberrantly entertaining it is. Silvia Pinal, whom Buñuel catapulted to scandalous stardom a year before in Viridiana, manifests the puffed-up, neurotic entitlement of Diva-hood without upstaging Buñuel’s judiciously selected ensemble of sophisticated blowhards and reactionary-chic matrons.
December 31, 2016
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Buñuel indulges his more abstract side in a series of hallucinations that the guests suffer… The filmmaker’s symbolism is anything but subtle, particularly in the invocation of sheep as fodder for both the voracious bourgeois guests and, in the last scene, a church that offers no respite for the civil unrest that erupts outside. Buñuel’s blackly comic The Exterminating Angel depicts a society so in thrall to its power structures that revolution can only come about through supernatural means.
December 11, 2016
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