Buybust – Movie Review


Buybust is a 2018 action thriller film directed by Erik Matti, starring Anne Curtis as Nina Manigan. It hauled all four 2019 Gawad Urian awards for best picture, best cinematography, best music, and best production design. It is a true-to-life story of drug operations in Manila. Nina Manigan is the only one who survived in her team during the failed drug raid. After that, she was moved to another team. And that brings a lot more eagerness for her to be involved in drug raids.

Cast and Crews Review


Erik Matti – He is a Filipino filmmaker or director and a writer that achieved many awards especially the Gawad Urian Awards. He had directed successful films such as Gagamboy, Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles, and Seklusyon.


Neil Derick Bion – Bion is a cinematographer and an actor. He is known for his success in MNL 143, and The Entity. He also received the Gawad Urian Awards for Best Cinematography 2019.

Check out the movie review of another award-winning film: Through Night And Day here.


Anne Curtis as Nina Manigan, the only survivor from the previous drug raid handled by her team. I could say that Anne Curtis has undergone a lot of preparation for this film, but the character that was given to her doesn’t fit her at all. Buybust protagonist Nina Manigan is a PDEA agent that is so brave and eager to do whatever it takes, just to catch those drug users, pushers and dealers. For me, there are a lot of better actresses that are more fitted to play Nina’s role, such as Maja Salvador or Angel Locsin.

anne curtis

Brandon Vera as Rico Yatco, Nina’s teammate. Obviously, Vera definitely fits his role as a PDEA agent. His masculine body plus his movements as a mixed martial art artist was impressive. Brandon Vera is first known as a ONE Championship, UFC, and WEC competitor. Tho’ he isn’t an artist type of guy, he is more likely to be a stuntman.

brandon vera

Victor Neri as Bernie Lacson, the team leader. Victor Neri’s authoritative ambiance always satisfies the audience in terms of action films. His versatility in any of his shows such as Beautiful Justice is great. His “kontrabida” looks, added more thrill, because it’ll make you wander whether he is an ally or an enemy.

victor neri

Arjo Atayde as Biggie Chen, the head of drug dealers in Manila. Arjo Atayde’s kontrabida look from some of his shows such as FPJ’S Ang Probinsyano and MMK, made him more fitted for this role. But he just looks so young to portray a notorious drug lord role. Also, he doesn’t show off very often in this movie since no one sees him yet until the drug operation of Nina’s team ended.

arjo atayde

Other Buybust Supporting Characters

Levi Ignacio as Chongki
Alex Calleja as Teban
Lao Rodriguez as Rudy Dela Cruz
Joross Gamboa as Cocky
Ricky Pascua as Solomon
Nonie Buencamino as Director Alvarez
Sheenly Gener as Alda Lacson
AJ Muhlach as Gelo Elia
Mara Lopez as Loren Santos
Tarek El Tayech as Iggy Hizon
Maddie Martinez as Dora

Buybust Plot Review

Extreme and breath-taking action movie!

In Buybust, you won’t be disappointed in seeking for action and thrill. The atmosphere or the ambiance of the setting is accurate, since it was a true-to-life story. The choice of shooting location was obviously well-chosen, given the crowd in Tondo, Manila. There are also a lot of police and drug dealers encounter. Yet too much of it makes it as mundane as other films. One of the loop holes that I’ve notice is that the whole film doesn’t tell a story at all. It focuses more on confrontation between PDEA and the netizens. It is indeed a breath-taking film yet it’s quite boring because of the flow or sequence of every scene.

Before watching this film, I’ve heard good comments about this movie. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I am not too impress. I recommend Buybust for those who love action thriller films. But do not expect a lot with its story, because you might be disappointed in it. Also, the plot twist added is too common in any films, so I could say that it missed its goal to shock the viewers.

Buybust Original Sound Track (OST)

“Oras na” by Coritha

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