Alejandro Landes (2019)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Imagine a juddering collision between William Golding's Lord of the Flies and Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, and you get the gist of Alejandro Landes's exceptional study of a group of child soldiers (the disposable "monkeys" of the title) espousing an unstated cause in an unnamed Latin American state. Here a ragtag outfit of teenagers with names like Wolf, Bigfoot, Rambo and Boom Boom is entrusted by adult commander Messenger with guarding a captured American engineer (Julianne Nicholson). It's evident from the way cinematographer Jasper Wolf frames them against the remote, mountainous jungle that they are out of their depth. The accidental death of their cow then plunges them into a downward spiral that is exacerbated by petty rivalries, their hostage's repeated escape attempts and the ruthlessness of their implacable enemy. Moisés Arias is imposingly compelling as the self-appointed leader gone rogue. But the juvenile ensemble is uniformly impressive, as Landes captures their naivety and cruelty in a soul-crushing saga that shifts between wrenching realism, terrifying lyricism and disarming surrealism with edgy control and uncompromising potency.

Cast & Crew

Rambo Sofia Buenaventura
Doctor Julianne Nicholson
Lobo, "Wolf" Julián Giraldo
Leidi, "Lady" Karen Quintero
Sueca, "Swede" Laura Castrillón
Pitufo, "Smurf" Deibi Rueda
Perro, "Dog" Paul Cubides
Bum Bum, "Boom Boom" Sneider Castro
Patagrande, "Bigfoot" Moises Arias
Messenger Wilson Salazar
Director Alejandro Landes
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Other Information

Language: English, Spanish +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: PicturehouseGuidance: Violence, swearing, sex scenes, drug abuseReleased on: 25 Oct 2019