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The Devil's Backbone

  R HD Closed Captioning

Guillermo del Toro

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Plot Summary

His father killed in the brutal fighting of the Spanish Civil War, ten-year-old Carlos is sent to live at the desolate Santa Lucia School, now a makeshift shelter for war orphans. Soon after his arrival, Carlos has a series of seemingly supernatural encounters: strange shadows, voices and, most frightening of all, the apparition of a brutalized young boy. Turns out that Carlos is not alone in seeing these strange phenomena, many other children have experienced the "One Who Sighs," as the entity has come to be called. A classic ghost story, haunting as it is moving, "The Devil's Backbone" is also a subtle allegory for the war that rages on just beyond the school's walls.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 117
  • Fresh: 108
  • Rotten: 9
  • Average Rating: 7.6/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Though it fails in its final reels to capitalize on its early promise, pic is still stylish, accomplished and tremendously enjoyable fare. – Jonathan Holland, Variety, Oct 19, 2010

Fresh: Del Toro's elegant pacing and gothic touches imbue the proceedings with a cool mystery. – Bruce Diones, New Yorker, Oct 7, 2013

Fresh: A well-crafted, white-knuckle cinematic journey. – Robert K. Elder, Chicago Tribune, Oct 14, 2014

Fresh: Guillermo Del Toro's The Devil's Backbone is a really cool ghost story with an extraordinary human and political dimension. – Jami Bernard, New York Daily News, Oct 14, 2014

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


Great movie. I love his work. And who is complaining about subtitles?! Can you not read? One of my favorite movies, and the best looking ghost ever!! I love how santi has the blood floating around his head. Watch this movie!

Very Good

Good orginal ghost story, a great movie for horror fans.

Amazing story by GDT!

Love this movie. I couldn't find it anywhere. Thanks iTunes. Can u iTunes sell "Cronos" by GDT too!!!

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  • $12.99
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Released: 2002

Customer Ratings