An urgent dispatch from the sidelines of the drug war that consumes our southern neighbor.
While it may not tell the whole story of Mexican life, it clearly captures a truth nobody can deny.
[A] well-shot, bluntly propulsive thriller...
| Original Score: 3/5
The Mexican film, inexplicably left off the short list for the foreign-language Oscar, is a high-speed action tale, told through the eyes of a helpless victim
In the vision of this ruthless and abundantly talented young director, life in Tijuana isn't merely as bad as you think. It's worse.
Mexico's 2012 submission for Best Foreign Language Film - rightfully so.
| Original Score: A
Gerardo Naranjo may have made the least-glamorous movie ever about a pageant queen with "Miss Bala."
| Original Score: 3/4
Miss Bala is a work of impressionistic reportage, built out of artfully crammed widescreen compositions and bravura long tracking shots.
There's a wild, Miami Blues-like dreaminess to the movie that's addictive.
| Original Score: 4/5
Announcing the arrival of a new directorial talent, Miss Bala is a powerfully haunting crime-thriller, which could be taken realistically as well as allegorically.
| Original Score: B+
Sigman's performance is, literally, the film.
Miss Bala is a terrifying tale of a beauty contest that ends in horror... The film is a harrowing experience. It cuts deep.
[VIDEO] Treating dramatic convention like it was industrial garbage director/co-writer Gerardo Naranjo's attempt at agitprop cinema is a frustrating mess.
| Original Score: D+
With the blistering firecracker that is Miss Bala, next-gen Mexican director and AFI grad Gerardo Naranjo delivers on the promise of such well-respected early pics as Drama/Mex and I'm Gonna Explode.
The film's pace races through events in a chain of escalating violence, tension, smoke and gunfire.
Mexico's official Oscar entry for best foreign-language film presents startling iconography with its star, Stephanie Sigman, emblematic of the country's current problems of drug cartels and weapons trafficking.
[T}here is a whole lotta frustration to be found in a movie about... a woman forced to play men's games who doesn't fight back... not even a little.
Sigman's turn is committed and the set-pieces harrowing, but sympathy soon gives way to shellshock.
This terrifying thriller immerses you from beginning to end...
Naranjo's tense, taunt and turbulent tale shrouded in beauty has a compellingly dangerous edge.