- 1 hr 37 min
In the 2004 thriller movie Cronicas, John Leguizamo plays Manolo Bonilla, a Miami-based TV reporter who is known for his uncanny ability to seek out and sensationalize stories that people would rather not talk about. Manolo is sent to Ecuador to cover a murder spree that has been taking place in the country's remote villages. While on the job in Ecuador, Manolo crosses paths with the local police chief Vinicio Cepeda (Alfred Molina), who is investigating the murders. Vinicio is hesitant to talk to Manolo, but eventually gives him an exclusive interview in which he offers his own theories on the killer's motive. Manolo is thrilled to have such a great story on his hands, but soon his ego-driven pursuit of glory becomes dangerous.
One day, while Manolo is driving from one village to another, he hits a boy who runs into the street. The child is killed instantly, and Manolo flees the scene. But he's unable to shake off the guilt, and he makes the fateful decision to visit the boy's mother, Vinicio's sister-in-law Isaura (Leonor Watling), to offer his condolences.
But as Manolo spends more time with Isaura, he starts to hatch a sinister plan. He promises Isaura that he'll help her find the killer of her son, but only if she agrees to let him record everything on camera. Isaura, desperate for closure, agrees to the deal. As Manolo and his crew start to investigate the case, things quickly spiral out of control.
Cronicas is a gripping psychological thriller that charts the slow descent of Manolo into madness as he becomes increasingly obsessed with his own fame and the pursuit of the perfect story. John Leguizamo is fantastic in the lead role, giving a nuanced and layered performance that hints at the darker side of the media machine. Meanwhile, Alfred Molina is equally impressive as Vinicio, a man grappling with his own demons as he tries to solve the case.
But it's Leonor Watling who steals the show as Isaura, the grieving mother who unwittingly becomes Manolo's accomplice. With her haunting eyes and understated performance, Watling brings a quiet intensity to the role that's both captivating and tragic.
Director Sebastian Cordero does an excellent job of ratcheting up the tension as the story unfolds, using the bleak and barren landscape of rural Ecuador to create a palpable sense of unease. The score, too, is suitably eerie, heightening the sense of dread that permeates the film.
Cronicas is a cautionary tale about the dangers of journalism and the human cost of the pursuit of truth. It's a thoughtful and riveting thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.
Cronicas is a 2004 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 37 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8 and a MetaScore of 63.