Unlike Terri, the latest, most commercial venture from his friend and AFI schoolmate Azazel Jacobs, Miss Bala doesn't sublimate Gerardo Naranjo's strengths into a commercially viable package.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
| Original Score: C
Clumsy symbolism undermines a tenacious performance from Sigman.
| Original Score: 2/5
[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+
[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.
Sloppy writing and storytelling make the near two hour film seem far longer.
| Original Score: C-
"Miss Bala" can't quite engage. It fires at the target. It makes a lot of noise. But it never quite hits the bull's eye.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
...an audacious yet hopelessly uninvolving art-house thriller that peters out significantly in the buildup to its anticlimactic finale.
Naranjo's tense, taunt and turbulent tale shrouded in beauty has a compellingly dangerous edge.
| Original Score: 4/5
It's a gripping story told in the style of a very un-Hollywood thriller, with the action and suspense stemming from a disturbingly realistic portrayal of violence.
"Miss Bala" is a portrait of a young woman who is at once terribly vulnerable and improbably brave. It's equally a vision of a vulnerable society on the road to anarchy.
Provides a discomfortingly intimate glimpse into the complexities of the Mexican-U.S. drug trade. "Miss Bala" shouldn't be written off by adventurous moviegoers.
| Original Score: B-
Miss Bala is one of the highlights of the year so far for me, a powerful experience, and Naranjo is, without a doubt, a born filmmaker.
| Original Score: A+
Sigman's performance is, literally, the film.
There is a larger message to be found here, but it never derails the taut vintage thriller that's been constructed.
Miss Bala is a work of impressionistic reportage, built out of artfully crammed widescreen compositions and bravura long tracking shots.
It's an adventure story that could be called a contemporary picaresque if it weren't so deadly serious, and might be called fantastical if it weren't loosely based on a true story of a former Miss Hispanic America.
This strange and eerie noir is more a collection of knockout scenes than a fully realized story.
Naranjo is unflinching in his determination not to serve up mindless entertainment.
| Original Score: 3/4