Movie Review: When the Angels Sleep (2018)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2018 foreign thriller starring Julian Villagran and Ester Exposito.

Synopsis: After a business deal causes him to miss his daughter's birthday party, an insurance executive makes a 300-mile drive home late at night, despite being exhausted, to avoid causing even more problems with his wife. After ignoring the police officers who pulled him over and told him to get some rest, he falls asleep at the wheel and kills a pedestrian. He tries to do the right thing and get her to the hospital but, when the girl dies, her friend accuses him of being a murderer and threatens to ruin his life.


My wife and I spent the better part of the weekend watching a Doctor Who marathon on TV but, by yesterday evening was admittedly getting a little burned out (mostly because I had seen the episodes several times before) and decided to look for a movie instead. I came across the preview for this movie on Netflix and, while the dubbing for this foreign movie looked a little "off," I was somewhat intrigued by it. As it turns out, it was an interesting film.

I think the thing I enjoyed most about this movie was the way the movie didn't make the businessman (Villagran) into a bad guy like I thought it would. Yes, he made a pretty bad mistake, especially after he fell asleep at the wheel once already, was pulled over by the police and ordered to spend the night at a motel. But, once the accident did happen, he tried to do the right thing, at least until his hysterical passenger, Silvia (Exposito) puts him in a bad position by accusing him of murder.

The most entertaining part of this movie, at least in my opinion, was the way he continued to try to do the right thing, including trying to find Silvia (who, based on an earlier interaction with her parents, was obviously not quite stable to begin with) so he could get her to a hospital. It was the opposite of what I probably would do in that situation (I think I would have just let her run into the forest, gone to the authorities so I could give my side of the story first and let them find the girl and figure things out). But, that is the kind of thing that made this movie fun to watch.

Another thing I enjoyed about this movie was the ending. Since, as I said before, he wasn't necessarily a bad person, the ending wasn't nearly as predictable as I thought it would be. In fact, I half expected him to realize the errors he was making and turn himself in to the police. And, when that didn't happen, I fully expected him to get caught anyway. I was pleasantly surprised with the various twists at the end that managed to keep my on the edge of my seat and wondering if things would go even more wrong for him.

In fact, the only real complaint I had about the ending is it does gloss over some things, such as how he explained away the damage to the company car he borrowed and whether or not he told his wife (Alvarez) the truth about what happened after she found evidence he was lying to her. It wasn't anything that ruined the movie for me, but I never was a big fan of loose ends and it would have been nice to see some of them tied up before the film ended.

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Final Opinion

The poor dubbing is a little annoying at times. But, overall, I thought this was an entertaining movie that wasn't nearly as predictable as I thought it would be. I would recommend it.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 12/31/2018, StevenHelmer
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