Illegal Tender Reviews

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Mark Holcomb
Time Out
November 17, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
December 12, 2007
An entertaining genre piece boasting a terrifically sinewy lead performance from Wanda De Jesus.
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
December 3, 2007
More care seems to have been taken with the cut of Gonzalez's sideburns than with the shape of the story, and the hyperbolic soundtrack does most of the work of the mise en scene.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
August 27, 2007
What in God's name was going on with this movie?
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
August 25, 2007
For a film about growing up, Illegal Tender loses itself in a lot of silly juvenilia.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 25, 2007
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Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle
August 24, 2007
Plenty of movies have combined a blazing-guns revenge story with a family dynamics drama, but Illegal Tender never gets the mixture right, lurching between bullet-happy shootouts and overwrought domestic content.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
August 24, 2007
Illegal Tender isn't quite the mess you expect this time of year, a film that achieves a certain level of originality by reversing gender roles.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
August 24, 2007
The real mystery here is why this slapdash semi-effort didn't go straight to video.
Full Review | Original Score: 0/4
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
August 24, 2007
While Illegal Tender has misguided pretensions towards Serious Filmmaking, it's surprisingly likeable if you see it instead as a cheesy thriller good for a lazy Friday night.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Peter Debruge
Miami Herald
August 24, 2007
It wants to be Scarface but makes The Pacifier look plausible by comparison. (Do real bodyguards hold their guns sideways?)
| Original Score: 1/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
August 24, 2007
There's supposed to be an underlying message here about the value of family and giving up the bad life for respectability, but writer-director Franc Reyes is really just using it as an excuse for a standard (at best) gangland shoot-'em-up.
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
August 24, 2007
A cohesive story is an afterthought in yet another gangster movie that pretends to denounce violence and materialism while so obviously reveling in it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Tasha Robinson
Chicago Tribune
August 24, 2007
Potentially compelling questions of ethnicity, privilege and societal inequities lurk in the background, but instead of addressing them, the film flounders in melodrama.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
August 24, 2007
Illegal Tender has the potential to be a better film than it is.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
August 24, 2007
It's helpful if you walk in with the expectation that it is a genre picture -- not a parody, not camp, but a loving homage to gangster movies of the 1980s like Scarface.
| Original Score: C+
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
August 24, 2007
A solid meat-and-potatoes B-movie with enough personality to spin it in unexpected directions.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
August 23, 2007
A throwback to 1970s blaxploitation flicks, with a Latin accent, Illegal Tender would be a brassy, sassy guilty pleasure if it were more, well, pleasurable.
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
August 23, 2007
This second-rate action drama features a mostly Latino but mostly wasted cast.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Joe Leydon
Variety
August 22, 2007
Pic is too muted to have much lasting impact, and remains modestly diverting only on a scene-to-scene basis.
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Marc Bernardin
Entertainment Weekly
August 22, 2007
For a second, the movie has the snap of a truly surprising thriller... But then we go back to following the kid, who manages to both mope and strut along the path to manhood.
Full Review | Original Score: C+