Parents' Guide to

El Cantante

By Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Another singer self-destructs, to a Latin beat.

Movie R 2007 116 minutes
El Cantante Poster Image

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EL CANTANTE brings the magic of salsa music to the screen; unfortunately, it also brings the audience another bleak story of a flameout singer bent on self-destruction. Director Leon Ichaso, faced with the difficult task of taking a story that's been told many times, partially succeeds in making the material special. The colorful music and dancing are wonderful; the movie transitions through time and place with grace and coherence. What's missing is motivation and an understanding of what made these charismatic and talented people self-destruct.

Hector was such a sweet young man; Puchi seemed innocent in spite of a young sophistication. Both Anthony and Lopez fully commit to their roles. He's terrific, and this is the most authentic that Lopez has ever been. As the framing structure for the movie, Ichaso uses an interview with Puchi conducted long after her husband's death. But it simply isn't enough to help the audience understand Lavoe's self-imposed downfall.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: August 3, 2007
  • On DVD or streaming: October 30, 2007
  • Cast: Christopher Becerra , Jennifer Lopez , Marc Anthony
  • Director: Leon Ichaso
  • Inclusion Information: Latino directors, Female actors, Latino actors
  • Studio: Picturehouse
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 116 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: language, drug use and sexuality.
  • Last updated: August 10, 2023

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