Alexis Lum

Written by Alexis Lum

Modified & Updated: 20 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Welcome to the fascinating world of “Nine Queens,” a critically acclaimed Argentine crime thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Released in 2000 and directed by Fabián Bielinsky, this film follows the gripping tale of two con artists as they dive into a world of deception, deceit, and unexpected twists.

In this article, we will dive deep into the movie’s intriguing plot, stellar cast, and the behind-the-scenes magic that brought it to life. Get ready to be captivated by the intricate web of cons, the exceptional performances, and the thought-provoking themes explored in “Nine Queens.” So grab some popcorn, settle in, and let’s explore 42 fascinating facts about this gripping cinematic masterpiece.

Key Takeaways:

  • Nine Queens is a thrilling Argentine heist movie with a twist-laden plot, stellar performances, and a captivating storyline that keeps viewers guessing until the very end.
  • The film explores themes of loyalty, trust, and the art of deception, while showcasing the talent of Argentine cinema and leaving a lasting impact on the world of heist movies.
Table of Contents

The Origins of the Title

Ever wondered why the movie is called Nine Queens? The title refers to a rare set of nine stamps depicting Queen Isabella II of Spain. These stamps play a significant role in the film’s intricate storyline.

Argentine Cinematic Brilliance

Nine Queens is a shining example of the exceptional talent in Argentine cinema. It garnered critical acclaim not only in Argentina but also internationally, including nominations at the Independent Spirit Awards and the Goya Awards.

A Stellar Cast

The film features an outstanding ensemble cast, including Ricardo Darín, Gastón Pauls, Leticia Brédice, and Graciela Tenenbaum. Their performances bring depth and authenticity to the characters they portray.

A Twist-Laden Plot

Nine Queens keeps viewers on the edge of their seats with its intricate and twist-laden storyline. The film follows two con artists who come together to carry out a high-stakes scam involving a rare set of stamps.

Inspired by Classic Heist Films

Director Fabián Bielinsky drew inspiration from classic heist films such as David Mamet’s House of Games and Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing. He masterfully blended elements from these films to create a unique and gripping narrative.

Shot on a Shoestring Budget

Despite its high production value and polished look, Nine Queens was made on a relatively modest budget of $1.5 million. The film’s success is a testament to the creativity and resourcefulness of the cast and crew.

A Commercial and Critical Success

Upon its release, Nine Queens became an instant hit, both commercially and critically. It became the highest-grossing Argentine film of 2000 and received rave reviews for its gripping storytelling and stellar performances.

Multiple Awards and Nominations

The film’s exceptional quality did not go unnoticed. Nine Queens received numerous awards and nominations, including the Silver Condor Award for Best Film and the FIPRESCI Prize at the San Sebastián International Film Festival.

A Remake for American Audiences

Such was the impact of Nine Queens that Hollywood took notice and produced an American remake in 2004 titled Criminal. The remake starred John C. Reilly, Diego Luna, and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

A Study in Confidence Games

Nine Queens delves deep into the world of confidence games, exploring the psychology behind these intricate scams. It sheds light on the art of persuasion and manipulation employed by skilled con artists.

Achieving International Recognition

With its captivating storyline and brilliant execution, Nine Queens gained international recognition, showcasing the talent and creativity of Argentine cinema to a global audience.

The Director’s Debut

Nine Queens marked Fabián Bielinsky’s directorial debut. It was an impressive entry into the world of filmmaking, and his talent and vision were evident throughout the movie.

Realism in Acting

The cast of Nine Queens underwent extensive research and training to bring authenticity to their roles. They shadowed real-life con artists and observed their techniques to ensure realistic portrayals on screen.

The Power of Coincidences

Throughout Nine Queens, coincidences play a significant role in advancing the plot. These unexpected twists and turns keep the audience guessing and add to the suspenseful nature of the film.

A Cinematic Puzzle

Nine Queens is like a complex puzzle, with each scene and interaction fitting together seamlessly. The meticulous attention to detail by the director makes the film a joy to unravel piece by piece.

A Lesson in Loyalty

The movie explores the theme of loyalty and trust among the characters. It delves into the complexities of human relationships and how loyalty can sometimes be tested in the face of temptation.

Showcasing Buenos Aires

Nine Queens is set in the vibrant city of Buenos Aires, allowing viewers to get a glimpse of the city’s lively streets and iconic landmarks. The city itself becomes a character in the story.

An Unforgettable Opening Sequence

The film starts with a mesmerizing long take of Juan inadvertently being caught in a pharmacy scam. This opening sequence immediately immerses the audience into the world of deceit and sets the tone for the entire movie.

The Influence of Film Noir

Nine Queens pays homage to the classic film noir genre with its atmospheric visuals and morally ambiguous characters. It captures the essence of the genre while adding its own unique twist.

A Brilliant Screenplay

The screenplay for Nine Queens is a masterpiece in itself. It was meticulously crafted to keep the audience guessing, with every interaction and dialogue revealing new layers to the story.

Attention to Detail

Every element in Nine Queens is meticulously thought out, from the set design to the costume choices. These details enhance the realism of the film and immerse the audience in its world.

The Art of Misdirection

Nine Queens is filled with moments of misdirection, leading the audience down one path only to surprise them with unexpected twists and turns. It plays with expectations and keeps viewers on their toes.

The Soundtrack’s Impact

The film’s haunting and atmospheric soundtrack adds an extra layer of tension and mystery to the narrative. The music perfectly complements the visuals and further immerses the audience in the world of Nine Queens.

Hailed as a Modern Classic

Over the years, Nine Queens has gained a reputation as a modern classic in the heist genre. It continues to be celebrated for its superb storytelling and its ability to keep viewers guessing until the very end.

A Commentary on Society

Beyond its thrilling plot, Nine Queens offers subtle social commentary. It questions the values of a society where deception and greed can thrive, leaving audiences with much to ponder after the credits roll.

Keeping it Real

The film’s authenticity is a testament to the director’s dedication to realism. From the performances to the dialogue, everything feels genuine and believable, adding to the film’s overall impact.

A Masterclass in Acting

Ricardo Darín delivers a powerhouse performance as Juan, one of the main protagonists. His portrayal of a experienced con artist is so convincing that it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role.

A Battle of Wits

Nine Queens is a constant battle of wits and cunning between the characters. It showcases the intellectual prowess of both the con artists and the unsuspecting targets they seek to deceive.

The Significance of Body Language

Body language plays a crucial role in the film, as the characters use subtle gestures and expressions to communicate their intentions. It adds another layer of depth to the performances and enhances the overall viewing experience.

Unpredictable Plot Twists

Throughout Nine Queens, the audience is kept on its toes with unexpected plot twists and turns. The film constantly challenges viewers’ expectations, making it impossible to predict the outcome.

A Study in Morality

Nine Queens examines the blurred lines between right and wrong, exploring the morality of the characters’ actions. It raises thought-provoking questions about the nature of deception and the choices we make.

Exposing Human Vulnerability

The film offers insights into the vulnerability of human nature, showing how easily people can be swayed and deceived. It serves as a reminder to always stay vigilant and question our own judgment.

A Comedic Undertone

While primarily a thriller, Nine Queens also incorporates moments of comedy, providing much-needed relief from the intense suspense. The film strikes a perfect balance between the two genres.

A Lesson in Trust

Nine Queens examines the theme of trust and how it can be shattered within an instant. It explores the consequences of misplaced trust and the impact it has on relationships.

Cultural Significance

Nine Queens holds cultural significance for Argentine audiences, as it showcases the country’s talent and creativity in the international film industry. It represents a source of national pride.

The Importance of Coin Collecting

The rare set of stamps at the center of the film highlights the fascinating world of coin collecting. These items hold significant value for collectors, making them valuable commodities in the story.

A Thought-Provoking Ending

The conclusion of Nine Queens leaves viewers pondering the intricacies of the characters’ choices and the repercussions of their actions. It prompts reflection on themes of trust, morality, and human nature.

The Impact of Camaraderie

Nine Queens explores the dynamics of camaraderie and how shared experiences can forge unlikely alliances. It showcases the power of teamwork in pulling off elaborate cons.

A Showcase of Talent

Nine Queens displays the incredible acting talent of the Argentine cast. Each actor brings their A-game, resulting in a captivating and unforgettable ensemble performance.

A Rollercoaster of Emotions

The film takes audiences on an emotional rollercoaster, from suspense and tension to moments of humor and surprise. It’s a gripping experience from start to finish.

The Power of Perspective

Nine Queens challenges viewers to question their own perspectives and assumptions. It teaches us that things are not always as they seem and encourages us to dig deeper beneath the surface.

The Enduring Legacy

Nine Queens has left a lasting impact on the world of cinema. With its brilliant storytelling, exceptional performances, and thought-provoking themes, it continues to thrill and captivate audiences around the globe.


Nine Queens is a captivating and suspenseful movie that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats from start to finish. With its intricate plot, brilliant performances, and unexpected twists, it has earned its place as a classic in the world of cinema. The movie explores themes of deception, morality, and the complexity of human nature, leaving audiences questioning the very nature of truth and trust. Whether you are a fan of suspenseful thrillers or simply appreciate a well-crafted story, Nine Queens is a must-watch film that delivers an unforgettable cinematic experience.


Q: Is Nine Queens based on a true story?

A: No, Nine Queens is a fictional movie. However, it is inspired by real-life cases of fraud and deception.

Q: What is the main plotline of Nine Queens?

A: The main plot revolves around two con artists who team up to pull off a major scam involving a valuable set of stamps known as “The Nine Queens.

Q: Are there any remakes or adaptations of Nine Queens?

A: Yes, Nine Queens has been remade in various languages, including the English language remake “Criminal” released in 2004.

Q: Who are the main actors in Nine Queens?

A: The movie features performances by Ricardo Darín, Gastón Pauls, and Leticia Brédice, among others.

Q: What genre does Nine Queens belong to?

A: Nine Queens falls under the genre of crime thriller.

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