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on Oct 24, 2012

Nacho Vigalondo’s sophomore feature Extraterrestrial may disguise itself as a science fiction thriller about an alien invasion, but beneath the surface lurks an intelligent comedy with both heart and humor in abundance.  When Julio (played with real pathos by Julián Villagrán) awakes after a long night of drinking in the apartment of the beautiful Julia (Michelle Jenner), he thinks he has met the girl of his dreams.  Any plans to further court her are quickly interrupted, however, in the wake of a nationwide alien invasion that has emptied the streets, shut down all digital communication and brought ominous looking spaceships hovering just blocks from the apartment where the majority of the film’s action takes place. Things are further complicated upon the arrival of Carlos (Raúl Cimas), Julia’s well-meaning but naïve boyfriend, and Angel (Carlos Areces), a jealous neighbor who learns of Julia’s affair with Julio and expends an unhealthy amount of effort trying to disrupt this already unbalanced love triangle.  The science fiction premise provides the impetus for the action and many of the laughs, but it is the intimate exploration of honesty, trust and their role in relationships that lends the film surprising gravitas. (Sam Eisen)

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