Maria Full of Grace Reviews

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Derek Elley
Variety
February 23, 2012
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
January 11, 2007
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Time Out
June 24, 2006
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Houston Chronicle
July 21, 2005
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
September 3, 2004
Marston's compact, personal film doesn't judge his Maria, it merely observes her, explains her and humanizes a dark corner of a dirty business.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
August 26, 2004
The fact that [Moreno's] Maria is so believable, so compelling, rests entirely on what she brings to the part, not what the part brings to her. Her face is the kind that can carry a movie on the strength of sheer screen presence.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Tom Long
Detroit News
August 6, 2004
One of those films that finds strength in its directness, that passes up the fireworks and cheap tricks and just goes straight for the starkness of a powerful situation.
| Original Score: B
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 6, 2004
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David Denby
New Yorker
August 1, 2004
One of the emblematic migration stories of our time.
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
July 30, 2004
A stunner of a film.
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
July 30, 2004
A gripping, deeply moving film.
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Susan Walker
Toronto Star
July 30, 2004
One of the most viscerally felt films of the year.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
July 30, 2004
With its sharp eye for telling details Maria Full of Grace often has the feel of the very best documentaries.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
July 30, 2004
Shot in the style of a documentary, which lends the movie an aura of utter realism, Maria Full of Grace derives an unsettling power from the clinical details of Maria's ordeal.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
July 30, 2004
This American-directed, Spanish-language movie metes out the dramatic and authentic with a measured, believable grace.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
July 30, 2004
Maria Full of Grace has a power that doesn't announce itself until it's over: You leave not wanting to give up on life, just resentful of the world we live in.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
July 30, 2004
A keenly observed and compelling movie that will open your eyes to a world of trouble and sorrow.
| Original Score: B+
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
July 30, 2004
Maria Full of Grace is an extraordinary experience for many reasons, including, oddly, its willingness to be ordinary.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Leah McLaren
Globe and Mail
July 30, 2004
Provides a moving critique of the heroin trade as well as a powerful portrait of an unjust global economy in which the lives of the poor are exploited and often discarded for the recreational purposes of the rich.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
July 29, 2004
A tense, immediate, no-frills drama about desperate choices made under desperate circumstances, and the consequences of those choices.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
July 29, 2004
[An] unpretentious and straightforward film.
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
July 29, 2004
A remarkable picture, full of suspense and discovery.
| Original Score: 4/4
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
July 29, 2004
It is the most amazing first film I have seen in a long time.
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
July 29, 2004
We don't endorse anything Maria does, but we have to applaud her courage. And we applaud Marston's courage for telling it like it is.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Robert K. Elder
Chicago Tribune
July 29, 2004
Takes a simple story and molds it into something eloquent and menacing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
July 19, 2004
... one of the best movies of the year.
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
July 16, 2004
It has a respect for the cultures it observes, and a nice sense of place. But it has no compelling character. It might have in real life. But on the screen she's as diluted as the drugs she helps to sell.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Megan Lehmann
New York Post
July 16, 2004
By ensuring that the focus remains on the captivating Moreno, Marston gives life to a pawn in an ugly game.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
July 16, 2004
It breathes life into a small story that has larger ramifications. It also shows that America, as represented by Jackson Heights, is still the promised land for people about whom movies are rarely made.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
July 15, 2004
Women like Maria definitely exist, and Marston's fascinating cautionary tale rings terrifyingly true.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
July 15, 2004
Both artistically and spiritually itself full of grace.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
July 15, 2004
Sustains a documentary authenticity that is as astonishing as it is offhand. Even when you're on the edge of your seat, it never sacrifices a calm, clear-sighted humanity for the sake of melodrama or cheap moralizing.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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John Anderson
Newsday
July 15, 2004
The unalloyed earnestness with which Marston tells his story, the frankness of that story and the insistently powerful performance of Catalina Sandino Moreno make Maria one of the more noteworthy debuts in recent filmmaking.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
July 15, 2004
Marston builds incredible tension. But it's the human drama etched on Moreno's young, weary face that gives Maria its potent punch.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
July 15, 2004
Thrillingly subjective, teeming with the fullness of everyday proletarian life that one finds in the work of the directors who most influenced Marston in the making of this movie: Hector Babenco and the Brazilian realists, Ken Loach and Mike Leigh.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
July 14, 2004
Unfolds with a simplicity that's as breathtaking as its inevitability is harrowing.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Mark Holcomb
Village Voice
July 13, 2004
It's a remarkably assured and humane feature debut.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
July 13, 2004
It's a brilliant motion picture, not only because of the meticulous detail used in presenting the process from start to finish, but because of the clarity with which Marston develops the characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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David Rooney
Variety
July 7, 2004
Marston's strikingly confident debut maintains an unblinking focus and sustains an almost unbearable level of tension.
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Duane Byrge
Hollywood Reporter
January 27, 2004
Throughout, we're constantly rooting for Maria, aware of her underlying decency and protective of her missteps.