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Spain · 2006
Rated R · 2h 1m
Director Pedro Almodóvar
Starring Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas, Blanca Portillo
Genre Comedy, Drama, Romance

Raimunda and Sole, adult sisters living near each other, remain close several years after the death of their parents. An old neighbor reports a sighting of their mother's ghost, and both women are skeptical. However, they both encounter their mother's spirit after another family tragedy as they try to cope with trauma and loss.

Stream Volver

What are people saying?

Hannah Eliot Profile picture for Hannah Eliot

This film is the greatest example of how Almódovar likes to create this liminal space between life and death in his films, often to explore subjects like intergenerational trauma. He does it so gently and earnestly, too, that it feels uniquely moving.

What are critics saying?


Village Voice by

Almodóvar isn't what he used to be (who is?), but he's a master of the medium nevertheless, deploying color and light and shadow not merely to express emotions but to tap into ours, directing the blood flow of the audience as much as he directs the movie.


Newsweek by David Ansen

The great Spanish director's fourth triumph in a row--following "All About My Mother," "Talk to Her" and "Bad Education"--Volver (which means "coming back") flows effortlessly between peril and poignancy, the real and the surreal, even life and death.


Variety by Jonathan Holland

Peopled with superbly drawn, attractive characters smoothly integrated into a well-turned, low-tricks plotline, Volver may rep Almodovar's most conventional piece to date, but it is also his most reflective, a subdued, sometimes intense and often comic homecoming that celebrates the pueblo and people that shaped his imagination.


Entertainment Weekly by Owen Gleiberman

The movie opens as borderline Hitchcock, echoing the tone of the filmmaker's bravura "Bad Education" (2004), and then turns into a kind of overly conceptualized Tennessee Williams.


L.A. Weekly by Scott Foundas

The movie is enjoyable, but not passionately engaging in the way we've come to expect from Almodóvar, and it leaves you somewhat cold in spite of the warmth of Cruz's galvanic performance.


Salon by Stephanie Zacharek

Part noir-comedy, part ghost story, but it's mostly a potent reflection on how where we come from shapes us, in ways we can't understand until we've been away for a long, long while.

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