The Crimes That Bind

Movie review by
Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media
The Crimes That Bind Movie Poster Image
Family drama has mature themes, rape, drugs.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 99 minutes

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

People are not always who they seem to be. Sometimes love can blind us to the misdeeds of our loved ones.


Positive Role Models & Representations

Alicia is a loyal mother, somewhat blinded by love. Ignacio is a realist who believes the time has come to take a stand. Daniel is a troubled man who doesn't take responsibility for his actions.



A man is accused of raping his ex-wife and other domestic abuse. A woman describes being hit and stabbed by her ex-husband, as well as fearing for the safety of their young son. A woman is seen wearing bloody clothes. A bloody bathroom is shown. The body of a newborn is described. There's a suggestion that a father had sex with his daughter.



A woman becomes pregnant twice and says she hasn't been "dating." A pregnant woman doesn't know she is pregnant.



"S--t," "hell," "semen," and "whore."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Two adults describe themselves as either drug abusers or addicts. Nothing is seen on screen, but cocaine, crack, and alcohol are mentioned. Adults smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Crimes that Bind is a 2020 Argentinian film (with English subtitles) depicting the slow recognition by an older, upper middle-class mother of the truth about a family situation she has refused to face before. Themes that make this appropriate only for older teens include domestic violence, rape, an unexpected birth, and drug abuse and addiction, all offscreen. Language includes "s--t" and "hell," and "whore." A woman is seen wearing bloody clothes. A bloody bathroom is shown.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byYolanda bcool November 15, 2020

"Ties that bind"

I honestly think this is a family facing a Hardship with there son along with secrets.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

Telling the story depicted in THE CRIMES THAT BIND requires revealing numerous important plot developments. Alicia (Celicia Roth) and her husband Ignacio (Miguel Angel Sola) enjoy a comfortable upper middle-class life in Buenos Aires, with yoga classes in their living room, fashionable clothes, and a pleasant social life. Alicia is raising her live-in maid Gladys' (Yanina Avila) small child. Gladys, uneducated and an abuse victim since childhood, works hard and says little. One day, Alicia's 30-year-old son Daniel (Benjamin Amadeo) calls collect to announce he's been arrested, with charges related to his difficult relationship with an ex-wife (Sofia Gala Castiglione) who won't let him see his son, complicated by his history of drug abuse and bankruptcies. Although Daniel's troubles aren't new and his misdeeds have put a strain on his parents' marriage, they loyally spend their savings to distribute bribes that will get charges dropped and evidence "disappeared." In the midst of this crisis, Gladys gets into a situation that lands her in jail. Eventually, the stories are tied together, leading to life changes for all involved.

Is it any good?

This movingly reveals the slow awakening of a devoted mother who comes to realize that the son she has always loved and protected may not deserve her devotion. She, like every other character in the story, must open her eyes to life-altering truths. Director Sebastian Schindel tells a story of ultimate responsibility, in which some characters have hidden their crimes, others have lived blissfully in denial, and other are guilty only of turning a blind eye to reality. Each character is eventually forced to wake up and pay a price, some for being too kind, or too silent, or too naïve. Sometimes projecting the tension of a family drama and at other times unreeling mysteriously like something in the horror genre, The Crimes that Bind skillfully demonstrates that our first impressions aren't necessarily correct.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about denial. Why is it easier not to see the truth sometimes?


  • The movie suggests that sometimes the most helpful act is to stop helping. Can you think of situations in which that might be true?


  • How does this compare to other family dramas you've seen?


Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love family tales

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate