Miss Bala - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Miss Bala Reviews

Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
February 2, 2012
Naranjo is unflinching in his determination not to serve up mindless entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Gary Thompson
Philadelphia Inquirer
January 27, 2012
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic

New York Times
January 27, 2012
Top Critic
Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle
January 26, 2012
Maybe the film doesn't add up to quite as much as its talented director, Gerardo Naranjo, seems to have hoped, but it is tense and propulsive.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
January 26, 2012
Miss Bala is full of virtuoso single-take tracking shots and over-the-shoulder perspectives that effectively convey a sense of menace and momentum.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Loren King
Boston Globe
January 26, 2012
Naranjo offers a grim subject with neither flash nor sentiment. It is a sober film done with style.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
January 20, 2012
This strange and eerie noir is more a collection of knockout scenes than a fully realized story.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
January 20, 2012
"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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
January 19, 2012
There is a larger message to be found here, but it never derails the taut vintage thriller that's been constructed.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
January 19, 2012
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
January 19, 2012
"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.
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
January 19, 2012
An urgent dispatch from the sidelines of the drug war that consumes our southern neighbor.
Top Critic
January 19, 2012
While it may not tell the whole story of Mexican life, it clearly captures a truth nobody can deny.
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
January 19, 2012
[A] well-shot, bluntly propulsive thriller...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
January 19, 2012
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.
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
January 18, 2012
Mexico's 2012 submission for Best Foreign Language Film - rightfully so.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
January 18, 2012
Gerardo Naranjo may have made the least-glamorous movie ever about a pageant queen with "Miss Bala."
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Karina Longworth
Village Voice
January 17, 2012
Miss Bala is a work of impressionistic reportage, built out of artfully crammed widescreen compositions and bravura long tracking shots.
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
January 17, 2012
There's a wild, Miami Blues-like dreaminess to the movie that's addictive.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
James Rocchi
MSN Movies
January 15, 2012
Sigman's performance is, literally, the film.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
January 13, 2012
Miss Bala is a terrifying tale of a beauty contest that ends in horror... The film is a harrowing experience. It cuts deep.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Peter Debruge
Variety
January 9, 2012
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.
Top Critic
Deborah Young
Hollywood Reporter
January 9, 2012
The film's pace races through events in a chain of escalating violence, tension, smoke and gunfire.
Top Critic
David Jenkins
Time Out
October 25, 2011
All the more disarming for the fact that it takes place in a society where politics appears redundant and money and power are gained through violent, minutely orchestrated coups.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
September 10, 2011
Though it toes a delicate line between exploitation movie and movie about exploitation, that's part of what gives the film its charge.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
September 8, 2011
An always violent, often surreal ride through the thickets of widespread corruption, with the audience sometimes left as confused and disoriented as the poor girl.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4