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Under the Same Moon (2008)



Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 94
Fresh: 68 | Rotten: 26

If Under the Same Moon is often manipulative, it is also heartfelt, and features strong performances from its leads.


Average Rating: 6.4/10
Critic Reviews: 32
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 10

If Under the Same Moon is often manipulative, it is also heartfelt, and features strong performances from its leads.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 32,267

My Rating

Movie Info

The debut feature from director Patricia Riggen, this drama centers on a young boy's journey across the U.S./Mexico border to be reunited with his mother. Adrian Alonso stars as Carlitos, a Mexican adolescent living with his grandmother while his mother works as a maid in the U.S., hoping someday to send for her child. But when the grandmother dies unexpectedly, Carlitos must sneak across the border and seek out his mother. Featuring a supporting performance by America Ferrera of ABC's Ugly



Ligiah Villalobos

Jun 17, 2008


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All Critics (97) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (68) | Rotten (26) | DVD (2)

It's a bit of a guilty pleasure, with its formulas and its sap, but if it can get Lou Dobbs reaching for that Kleenex, it will have done its job.

April 13, 2008 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a warm drama that humanizes Americas current illegal immigration debate even as it sentimentally stacks the deck in favor of the undocumented.

April 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The performances -- and the movie's sideways glance at the culture of illegal immigrants, including a funny song about Superman ('He has no social security and no green card') -- give the movie its nicely controlled vitality.

April 4, 2008 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Under the Same Moon combines all the elements of an old-fashioned tear-jerker with the low-key, low-budget intelligence of a carefully crafted indie film.

April 4, 2008 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The strong final third counterbalances the weaknesses of the first half.

April 4, 2008 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An endearingly sweet fable about a hotly debated subject.

April 4, 2008
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Tiptoes the line between tragedy and hope and never loses its balance in its account of life and luck in the US-Mexican borderlands.

April 28, 2011 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

Story of seperated mother and child doesn't carry much emotional impact. Makes you wonder how much mi madre really cares. Turns into a road drama with the kid headed to Los Angeles. Just couldn't care for the characters. Paul Chambers, CNN.

December 30, 2009 Full Review Source: CNNRadio

Under the Same Moon puts a human face on illegal immigration. More than that, it gives it a human heart.

February 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Fayetteville Free Weekly
Fayetteville Free Weekly

Some plot twists and encounters go beyond broad brushstrokes for complex characterizations to make corny seem meaningful. Cast and music add richness beyond the predictable.

December 14, 2008 Full Review Source:

Its parallel stories of two lost souls seeking each other across geographical divides is never more than one small step away from mawkishness and cliché, and oftentimes less. But as a sociological study, it's fascinating.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Patricia Riggen's feature debut proves that the terms crowd-pleaser and social-issue movie can apply to the same film.

October 18, 2008
Palo Alto Weekly

The argument of Under the Same Moon isn't news to anyone living near the border, but it does present the migrants' problems well and poignantly.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

I did dab my eyes several times as I exited the theater.

September 10, 2008 Full Review Source: Pajiba

the type of facile representations offered by the film do little to address the real issues at hand.

July 30, 2008 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine

I could pick apart the simplicities and unlikelinesses and inconsistencies of the overall tale, but that will never trump the enormous lump in my throat I was left with by the film's end.

June 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

This is a sweet, charming movie.

June 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Sin Magazine
Sin Magazine

There are only three types of [legal] U.S. citizens in the film: cartoonish rich elitists, drug addicts, and whiny young Chicanos who've shunned their Mexican heritage.

June 4, 2008 Full Review Source: The Cinema Source | Comments (3)

It's a movie guaranteed to leave you at the end with tears in your eyes and a big smile on your face.

May 2, 2008

Thoroughly watchable with flashes of inspired filmmaking, and it has a sincerity that, even when wrong headed, cannot be denied.

April 30, 2008 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A beautifully rendered, unforgettable story of the invincible bond between a mother and son.

April 20, 2008 Full Review Source:

The film is a romanticized, effectively personal and emotionally heightened story.

April 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

What's stuck with me aren't the film's flaws but the success of its mission: It puts a real human face -- many human faces, in fact -- on a problem that many politicians would prefer to represent with a racist caricature.

April 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

If a few scenes are a bit stiff, some of the cast a little too telenovela photogenic, the leads' stubborn, yearning performances build just enough of a melodrama to soften the film's tough realism and earn a hopeful ending.

April 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

The critic in me found plenty of nits to pick with Under the Same Moon. The sentimentalist, though, was ready to blubber.

April 11, 2008
Kansas City Star

Audience Reviews for Under the Same Moon

The Love Between a Mother and Son Knows No Boundaries
December 19, 2009
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

Heartfelt, well acted drama. Adrian Alonso is a gifted young actor.
June 22, 2008

Super Reviewer

A surprise (for me anyway) cause i thought this would be total garbage (which it isn't) and I regret my initial comments about this film. The film could use some better writing and directing, and it's filled with clichés. Also, it depicts some aspects of Mexican culture in a wrong way (WTF with the pop-tart and jalapeños??!!) and the soundtrack is terrible. But, the performances totally save the film: Adrian Alonso and Kate del Castillo are REALLY good, and Ernesto D'Alessio did a nice job. Eugenio Derbez and Carmen Salinas were their usual selves (not a good thing) and America Ferrera's appearance was good, but definitely unnecessary. The ending is perfect and it (ALMOST) made me cry...
May 9, 2008
It feels like ages for me since I last saw a movie from South America since I mostly see Asian and North America releases a majority of the time. While the Under the Same Moon doesn't break any new ground it's still a sweat and heartfelt movie.

Under the Same Moon is about a Mexican boy crossing the Mexico/US Border to reunite with his mother. The story itself is not anything new, but it does it well sometime taking in our characters in a different direction and unfortunately in clichés territory. Sure the clichés could be annoying as we seen them time and time again, but the movie doesn't rely too heavily on them to avoid becoming predictable. This movie does switch between two characters, one being a boy looking for his mother and the other being a mother struggles in America. Both are well written and very believable. Though I will say the son side of the movie does have some filler and the mother side is not as interesting since she primarily an adult who's knows how to take care of herself while her son is not. While it certainly won't captivate everyone the same way, it's certainly a story with a lot of heart between the main characters.

The cast might be unknown to some us, but their performances help elevate the material from being average. Adrian Alonso is actually a good child actor whose performance does outshine most of the adults of the movie and he'll definitely grow on you like he did me. Kate Del Castillo stole the show from pretty much everyone in the movie; it's only unfortunate that her character side of the story wasn't as well written. The direction while it works could have been better, though it's worth complaining since it's still turned out good. If you listen to Spanish music you'll be happy with the selection of music in the movie and appearance by a popular band.

Under the Same Moon is a heartfelt story that's made better with the cast performances. It might not be anything new sure, but it's still worth a watch.
June 6, 2012
Caesar Mendez

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • La misma luna (DE)
  • Under the Same Moon (La misma luna) (UK)
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