The 33

The 33

Patricia Riggen (2014)

12A Certificate


Our Score
In 2010, over a billion people followed the 69-day operation to rescue 33 Chilean miners trapped in a collapsed mine, an uplifting news story that should have been box-office gold. In practice, this adaptation of Hector Tobar's book Deep Down Dark is a by-the-numbers account that sustains interest with its all-access views of the disaster, yet it never fully captivates. Antonio Banderas plays Mario Sepulveda, dubbed "Super Mario" by the media, and he bounces off the walls in a way that certainly evokes the Nintendo character. He keeps hope alive in a small cave 700m beneath the surface while butting heads with Lou Diamond Phillips as the doom-mongering foreman, Don Lucho. The friction fails to ignite, though, because director Patricia Riggen doesn't excavate the darkest corners of the men's minds. Above ground, Rodrigo Santoro's government minister and Gabriel Byrne's chief engineer guide us through the technical business of drilling down. The details of their work add another layer of drama as the action slows in the cave. Meanwhile Juliette Binoche (in heartfelt mode) leads the prayers at Camp Hope where TV crews descend and gather. Real people are roughly drawn and Riggen can't create the necessary air of uncertainty about this well-publicised disaster (the way Ron Howard did with Apollo 13), so in the end The 33 only grabs on a superficial level.


A Chilean copper mine collapses, leaving 33 miners trapped underground. As an international rescue effort is organised to reach them, the buried men face a battle for survival over the course of 69 days, in the face of suffocating heat and rising tensions. Fact-based drama, starring Antonio Banderas and Juliette Binoche.

Cast & Crew

Mario Sepuldeva Antonio Banderas
Laurence Golborne Rodrigo Santoro
Maria Segovia Juliette Binoche
Jeff Hart James Brolin
Andre Sougarret Gabriel Byrne
President Pinera Bob Gunton
Don Lucho Lou Diamond Phillips
Dario Segovia Juan Pablo Raba
Jessica Cote de Pablo
Marta Salinas Adriana Barraza
Director Patricia Riggen
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Other Information

Language: English / SpanishColourTheatrical distributor: Warner BrosAvailable on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 29 Jan 2016