El Norte Reviews

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Christopher Long
Movie Metropolis
July 26, 2009

Good intentions arent enough to compensate for bad editing, acting and writing.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/10
Matt Noller
Slant Magazine
January 23, 2009

In El Norte's defense, it does not, unlike those contemporary films, filter its view of an ethnic subculture through the eyes of a white protagonist.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
January 1, 2000

Though his subject is a serious one and his intentions are apparently noble, Nava has made a film that is essentially indistinguishable from Love Story.

Roger Ebert
RogerEbert.com
Top Critic
September 19, 2014

From the very first moments of El Norte, we know that we are in the hands of a great movie.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Robert Levin
Critic's Notebook
May 2, 2009

| Original Score: 4/5
Variety Staff
Variety
Top Critic
September 19, 2014

It is beautifully lensed and comes across as a kind of giant Renaissance canvas.

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
July 23, 2003

Charts the harsh odyssey of two Guatemalan Indians as they struggle to make a new life for themselves in America as illegal immigrants

Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews
January 15, 2009

On the surface El Norte is the essence of simplicity. But in 1983, the simple story was both news to many and history to many others finally seeing their story depicted on screen on their terms. [Blu-ray]

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Jay Antani
Filmcritic.com
January 12, 2009

the definitive portrait of the experience of undocumented Latin-American workers in the United States

Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Chuck O'Leary
FulvueDrive-in.com
May 7, 2007

| Original Score: 4/5
Brian J. Arthurs
Beach Reporter (Southern California)
December 19, 2002

| Original Score: 4/5
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
September 19, 2014

Splendid on nearly every level.

Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor
September 19, 2014

It's heartening to see this non-Hollywood production finding a solid niche in the commercial movie circuit.

Vincent Canby
New York Times
Top Critic
August 23, 2004

El Norte is not exactly a great film, but it's a very good one that, through the devices of fiction, manages to provoke a number of healthily contradictory feelings about the world we all inhabit at the moment.

Emanuel Levy
EmanuelLevy.Com
June 22, 2006

The subject of illegal immigration is honorable and relevant, but the film also shows Nava's weaknesses as a filmmaker, specifically his penchant for overwrought narratives and melodramatic (borderline soap opera) style.

Full Review | Original Score: B+
David Parkinson
Radio Times
September 19, 2014

A sobering glimpse of reality, that's also an irresistibly involving drama.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5

TV Guide's Movie Guide
July 30, 2003

The film has a political message, but it is a subtle and compelling one that allows situations and characters to speak for themselves.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4

Film4
August 24, 2004

A tale of adventure and courage.


People Magazine
September 19, 2014

The result is a disturbing movie about hope and disappointment.

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