Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Civil War 25th Commemorative Edition DVD & Blu-ray Oct 13Aquarius: The Complete First Season DVD & Blu-ray Sep 15Justified: The Complete Series on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Surface on DVD, VOD, and DIGITAL HD Sep 1Good Kill on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 1

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Maksim Chmerkovskiy Will Return to 'Dancing With The St...
'The Good Wife' Cush Jumbo Tackles Comparisons...
'Class': 'Doctor Who' Spinoff Series Coming to BBC Thre...
'The Revenant' Trailer: Leonardo DiCaprio Seeks Revenge...
Will Trevor Noah Live Up To The Hype During Monday's 'D...
Watch Eddie Vedder, Beyonce Duet on Bob Marley's 'Redem...
'CSI' being laid to rest after 15 years ...
Big Brother Season 17 Finale Recap: Super Fan & Trombon...
Dancing With the Stars Recap: Bindi Irwin and Derek Hou...
Emmys 2015: Who should win Outstanding Lead Actor in a ...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Nine Queens (2000)

"Not everyone is lucky enough to have a clean conscience."
- Juan (Gaston Pauls)

Review By: Kevin Clemons  
Published: October 14, 2002

Stars: Gaston Pauls, Ricardo Garin
Other Stars: Leticia Bredice, Tomas Fonzi
Director: Fabian Bielinsky

Manufacturer: DVDL
MPAA Rating: R for language
Run Time: 01h:54m:14s
Release Date: October 01, 2002
UPC: 043396079014
Genre: crime

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

Juan (Pauls) is at best a low rent con man when Nine Queens begins to unfold its labyrinthine series of twists and turns. When he tries to pull the same trick twice in the same convenience store, he gets more than he bargains for and is accosted by the staff and saved by the older, perhaps wiser, Marcos (Darin). Marcos is also a con man, though his schemes rely more on fast thinking than the genuine charm that Juan possesses. When the chance comes along for the pair to double-cross a wealthy man by offering him a rare stamp collection called the Nine Queens, the catch is that the Nine Queens held by Juan and Marcos is an amazingly detailed fake.

To say more would be to spoil the surprises and sheer thrill that comes from viewing Nine Queens; with its intricate plot, I even wonder if I have already said too much. Nine Queens represents a most deliciously deceptive game that has not been seen since David Mamet put pen to paper with his equally cunning The Spanish Prisoner. Writer/director Fabian Bielinsky, who won a contest in Argentina similar to the recent Project Greenlight, does such a refreshing and terrific job of misleading his audience that, for once, I could not tell which way things would turn out in the end. The film's strongest point is the veiled way in which the script plays nearly every character involved in the con so that no one is above suspicion.

Bielinsky manages to thrust situations and turns at the viewer while keeping the plot one step ahead. The relationship between Juan and Marco as they learn from each other is well written. In a brilliant setup, they try to outdo one another in their confidence games, duping old ladies as well as seemingly well-minded elevator passengers. Most importantly, the script never owes anything to one particular character, a flaw shown in Mamet's nearly perfect Heist or the equally competent The Score, as both Juan and Marcos draw the same amount of energy that keeps each character likeable enough until the end. Even then, the lines are not clearly drawn.

This is Bielinsky's first film after a nearly twenty years in television and commercials work, and he shows promise as a gifted director. His camerawork and sense of storytelling are terrific, never too flashy or distracting. Bielinsky offers a streamlined film that perfectly suits the material. The performances are also notable; both Darin and Pauls create believable confidence artists who fit their roles perfectly.

Nine Queens is certainly one of the year's best films, though I fear that its audience may be lost given the poor turn out when it was released in May of this year against some truly heavy hitters. The script, pacing and performances make Nine Queens extraordinary, and a lot of fun, too.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic image, Nine Queens offers what can best be considered an average transfer. Shot on low-grade film stock, the image suffers from a sort of haze that plagues the majority of the film. Colors are vibrant though, especially during a riverside chase in chapter seventeen, which showcases the blues of the water perfectly. This is the only time the transfer is truly radiant. Sharpness and detail are fine, although hampered by the previously mentioned haziness. I noticed no noticeable edge enhancement, while the print used seemed to be free of flaws.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: Presented in a Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 transfer with English and French subtitles Nine Queens boasts a better soundtrack than I had expected. The surround speakers are alive with Cesar Lernerís wonderfully fast-paced score, while the center channel does a nice job of creating rich and clear dialogue.

The packaging for Nine Queens states that the Spanish Dolby Digital track is in fact a 5.0 mix, though every DVD player I tested showed it to be full 5.1. This is a moot point though, as the mix never really features much in the way of low-end bass.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 18 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English and French with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
2 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Lady and the Duke, and My wife is an Actress
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extras Review: Trailers for Nine Queens, The Lady and the Duke, and My Wife is an Actress are offered in anamorphic widescreen with Dolby Surround.

Extras Grade: C


Final Comments

Nine Queens is the sort of film that deserves a wider audience due to the sheer brilliance of its script and performances. It is sad that the film failed to do better at American box offices, but hopefully this undiscovered gem will find its way into your player. Recommended.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


television, dancing with the stars, maksim chmerkovskiy, carrie ann inaba, bruno tonioli, julianne hough, the good wife, cush jumbo, archie panjabi, julianna margulies, bbc3, class, doctor who, buffy the vampire slayer, hunger games, steven moffat, brian minchin, movie, the revenant, leonardo dicaprio, tom hardy, alejandro g. inarritu, christmas day release, comedy channel, trevor noah, daily show, jon stewart, music, global citizen festival, pearl jam, byonce, ed sheeran, eddie vedder, cbs, csi, ted danson, elisabeth shue, elisabeth harnois, william petersen, marg helgenberger, big brother, abc, liz, steve, vanessa, julia chen, dr. will, bindi irwin, derek, hough, chaka khan, emmys 2015, laurence fishburne, tracee ellis ross, anthony anderson, will forte, jeffrey tambor, kym johnson, shark tank, robert herjavec, jungle book, cgi, scarlet johansson, bill murray, ben kingsley, idris elba, christopher walken, drama, celebrity apprentice, arnold schwarzenegger, donald trump, nbc, taylor swift, bad blood, emmy award, original interactive program, the late show, stephen colbert, ashley madison, horror, silent, epcot international food & wine festival, walt disney world, the chew, october, celebrity, jimmy fallon, tonight show, dj khaled, all i do is win, country music awards, eric church, little big town, miranda lambert, kenny chesney, sam hunt, maddie & tae, kacey musgraves, chris stapleton, late night, jeb bush, george clooney, war room, straight outta compton, faith-based drama, a walk in the woods, robert redford, september 8, documentary, history, movies, steven spielberg, the bfg, dreamworks, walt disney company, fashion police, melissa rivers, kelly osbourne, giuliana rancic, zendaya, mtv vma, njcki minaj, miley cyrus, anaconda

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store