Tagline: Every Family Has a Secret
Synopsis: Fresh faced and naïve, 17-year-old Bennie arrives in Buenos Aires to search for his older brother who has been missing for more than a decade. The family had emigrated from Italy to Argentina, but with the great musical success of their father Carlo, an acclaimed symphony conductor, the family moved from Argentina to New York. When Bennie finds his brother, the volatile and melancholy poet Tetro, he is not at all what he expected. In the course of staying with Tetro and his girlfriend Miranda, the two brothers grapple with the haunting experiences of their shared past.
Round-up: "Neither complete misfire nor triumphant return to form, Francis Ford Coppola’s 'Tetro' works as a competent family drama right up until the messy final act," Eric Kohn wrote for indieWIREi>. "If a first-time filmmaker had directed this stylish black-and-white-and-sometimes-color melodrama, it might gain some notice for suggesting great things to come. Instead, on its own terms, the movie is only a mildly interesting entry in Coppola’s thirty-plus years of work." Similarly mixed, Screen's Lee Marshall writes that although the film "feels at times like a vanity project, some strong performances – most notably by Spanish actress Maribel Verdu, but also Vincent Gallo in the title role and newcomer Alden Ehrenreich – save all but 'Tetro'’s most cringeworthy lines." While Variety's Todd McCarthy calls the film of "modest ambition and appeal," continuing: "The angst-ridden treatment of Oedipal issues makes the picture play out like a passably talented imitation of O'Neill, Williams, Miller and Inge, and thus it feels like the pale product of an over-tilled field." The Hollywood Reporter's Kirk Honeycutt, however, is considerably more kind,offering nearly a rave: "Once so dazzling in his ambition and audacity, Coppola was forced by financial woes to make other people's movies for so many years that when he returned to indie filmmaking with 2007's 'Youth Without Youth,' the result was a confusing, pretentious work that found favor with few. 'Tetro' erases that memory. It has style to burn, eye-catching acting by an international cast and a story that harkens back to many literary classic with its themes of a family torn apart, brothers in conflict and a son's rivalry with a towering father figure."