(La isla mínima)

Life, death, redemption.

Moody mystery set in the Spanish Deep South, 1980. Two detectives, ideologically miles apart, investigate the brutal murder of two young woman in a forgotten rural town. Winner of 10 Goya Awards (Spanish Oscars), including Best Film, Director, Actor, Actress and Screenplay.... More

"Alberto Rodríguez (Grupo 7) returns to film noir with this thriller... Two cops, ideologically miles apart, are reprimanded and sent as punishment to a remote town in the swamps to investigate the disappearance of two teenagers. There they will measure their wits against a savage killer in a community anchored to the past." (San Sebastian Film Festival)Hide

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Flicks Review

This certainly isn’t the first review to liken Marshland to True Detective but the comparison between this Spanish thriller and IMHO the best television drama of 2014 is damn hard to avoid. Elements of what makes True Detective so good are wonderfully here too. Two detectives who don’t particularly get on but complement each other investigate a string of murders in an eerie, swampy landscape. There are long drives along picturesque waterways and a sense of ominous beauty masterfully crafted by the filmmakers in both.... More

Marshland and True Detective also share a distinctly male point of view. The men are saviours and baddies - sometimes both round into one. Women are secondary and less complex; pretty (possibly slutty) young victims and concerned, powerless wives. (Don’t let that put you off, ladies. The baby blues of Spanish heartthrob Jesus Castro are worth the ticket price alone.)

While True Detective takes place in a bleak, disrupted world post-Hurricane Katrina, Marshland goes back further to 1980 when Spain was transitioning from dictatorship to democracy. The tense political setting allows for some good gnarled character stuff with the senior cop Juan (an excellent Javier Gutierrez) from the fascist era of bullying and boozing contrasting with the idealistic earnest rookie Pedro (Raul Arevalo).

Police work was so much more cinematic before wifi when tapping a phone meant physically connecting a recorder to a wire and photographs come from darkrooms. The search for the murderer is laden with too many cop flick clichés, but director Alberto Rodriguez’s command of visual language is atmospheric filmmaking at its finest.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 36 ratings, 33 reviews
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Hidden amongst the dross of school holiday movies is a great little Spanish flick - "Marshland". Anyone who enjoys a good cop flick or TV show (think especially "True Detective" 1) will enjoy this film. Beautifully photographed it captures its time and place extremely well. The setting is Andalusia, Spain at the beginning of the 1980s as Spain was emerging from the Franco years. 2 young girls have gone missing and 2 very different homicide detectives arrive from the big smoke to investigate....... More 4 stars.Hide

BY KTurner superstar

I managed to score a free pass to see this a few weeks before it hit NZ screens. I left the cinema with the thought that it wouldn't be making my top 100. However over the last few weeks I've done some more thinking on this film and trying figure out what all the rave is about. I still can't figure it out and so it remains out of my top 100. I found the movie moved at a fairly slow pace, didn't really have a major shock factor at the end when you discover 'whodunnit'. I didn't think it was a... More particularly clever film however I can admit that the scene is set well. A friend who I went with said that the cinematography was done well so after googling cinematography to double check it was what I suspected it meant (oh dear) I fully agree. 2 stars from me and not a top 100 film.Hide

BY ememmama superstar

Was a bit skeptical with it being a foreign film having to read subtitles throughout however it was such an interesting thriller / mystery drama that I didn't even realise I was reading the dialogue throughout. Really enjoyed this and would recommend to those who love a good film with twists and turns, this film is full of surprises and you won't be disapointed!

Great aerial shots, intreging, had me immersed in the movie the whole time.
I really enjoyed this movie and have recommended to my friends.
I'm not usually into watching movies like this, but Marshland had me watching right until the end.

There is a great balance between suspense, mystery, drama and the everyday in this Spanish thriller. The two detectives remain endearing amongst all the horror. The film is beautifully shot, with some lovely drone footage that is a sign of what is to come from this new technique. Thoroughly recommend!

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The Press Reviews

  • Brings together all the elements with great skill, revealing information on a need to know basis and continually keeping us hungry for information. Full Review

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