A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Explores the importance of Latin American independence and how other countries' revolutions helped inspire Bolivar and his cohorts to rebel against their royal oppressors. Bolivar's mentor preaches the idea that men with means should help lead the charge for all people, not just align themselves with other people with land and money.
Positive Role Models
Bolivar could have easily lived in great comfort and luxury but instead chose to help lead a revolution to liberate the Latin American colonies. He believed in the people of Latin America, not just the oligarchs installed by the Spanish aristocracy. His circle of close advisers stood by his side and believed in the cause of Latin American independence.
Violence & Scariness
Several war scenes of people being killed, executed, hanged, burned with their homes, etc. Sugar plantation slaves are shown being mistreated. Some characters die of sickness, leaving Bolivar virtually without a family.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A few sex scenes include a topless woman and a shirtless man. Bolivar, a young widower, is depicted as having a way with the ladies. He has love scenes with his wife, and later, after she dies, with a courtesan and a lover who helped save his life.
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Language is occasionally strong in both English and Spanish (the movie is mostly subtitled). Words include the Spanish equivalent of "s--t," "f--k," "screw," etc.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink (some characters are shown carousing and carrying on) in a few meal/pub scenes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Liberator is a biographical drama about Latin America's legendary 19th-century revolutionary, Simon Bolivar. Starring Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramirez as Bolivar, the movie (which is mostly in subtitled Spanish but occasionally features English dialogue) is educational but also violent, and it doesn't shy away from Bolivar's romantic relationships (there are a few partially nude love scenes). The violence includes war sequences of charging soldiers who kill one another; a group of civilians, including children, being hanged to death; slaves being mistreated and hurt; and various characters being assassinated. History buffs will learn about the revered freedom fighter and the epic struggle for Latin American independence, but some of the discoveries may be inappropriate for young viewers. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
There are some impressive aspects of The Liberator. Ramirez, for one, is the ideal actor to play Bolivar, particularly because he himself is Venezuelan, and that sort of personal connection to a role rarely occurs in Hollywood productions (we can only imagine which British actor might have played the role, had the movie been made by a major studio). A gifted actor (watch the mini-series Carlos for further proof), Ramirez is appropriately swashbuckling and dashing to play Bolivar, and he certainly makes it believable that the continent's great liberator was also quite the Casanova.
The war sequences are well staged and handled, as are the set pieces involving gorgeous Venezuelan, Colombian, or Spanish castles, forts, caves, and plantations. Unfortunately, the plot's pace and lack of more personal details bog the story down, making it seem longer than two hours. So much happens, but the audience doesn't find out enough about Bolivar's motivations or his relationship with Manuela Saenz (Julia Acosta), whom Bolivar called "the liberator of the liberator." It's worth seeing, if only for Ramirez, who deserves more leading roles. But don't expect a definitive or comprehensive view on either the man or his cause; a mini-series would be a better way to fully appreciate what Bolivar accomplished in South America.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.