Under the Same Moon - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Under the Same Moon Reviews

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ScoopOnline
Super Reviewer
December 19, 2009
The Love Between a Mother and Son Knows No Boundaries
Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2008
Heartfelt, well acted drama. Adrian Alonso is a gifted young actor.
Super Reviewer
March 17, 2008
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...
Cinema-Maniac
Super Reviewer
June 6, 2012
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.
Super Reviewer
February 5, 2009
Highly emotional story about a young boy, Carlitos (Adrian Alonso), left behind in Mexico in the care of his grandmother while his mom, Rosario (Kate del Castillo), works as an illegal alien domestic in LA. The story involves Caritos journey over the border in an attempt to reunite with his mom. Along the way, Carlitos charms his way into the hearts of everyone he meets and one cannot help but hope that his dream can be realized. No matter which side of the political argument you come down on, this film highlights the immigration issue in such a way as to give both sides ammunition. One of the most powerfully evocative endings this viewer has experienced in recent memory. The only comlaint had to do with the quality of the subtitles. One could only choose between none, or subtiltes for everything, including the English dialogue. Somewhat annoying, but more than made up for by the power of the story and the quality of the acting. America Ferrera has a small, but important, role, but only a heart of stone would be unmoved by the connection between the two main characters. The same moon looks down on them both and provides the tenuous thread the boy follows to reunite with his mother. Forget the politics and allow the universality of the story to overwhelm. It will.
Super Reviewer
July 14, 2008
It's so aggrivating! The very end he was SOOO close and then his friend had to go and insult the policeman. I hate movies where they're looking for each other and keep missing each other. Otherwise, it was pretty good.
Super Reviewer
April 2, 2008
Just when you expect something to happen, the film turns the other way. It is a very heartfelt story with delightful feel-good moments. Fine performances put on by the cast, especially the mother-son duo of del Castillo and Alonso. You come to understand the emotions and motivation driving their actions, and sense their vulnerability of their positions. The last scene, so simplistically sentimental, achieved in leaving strong bonds unstated but deeply felt.
Super Reviewer
½ April 30, 2011
a heartwarming journey that will charm everyone with the strong love between a boy and his mom. B+
Super Reviewer
½ April 4, 2008
It's like An American Tail, but with a scrappy little Mexican boy instead of a mouse.
Dracula787
Super Reviewer
½ June 29, 2008
The trailer for Patricia Riggen?s Under the Same Moon boldly proclaims that ?not since Cinema Paradiso has a film captured the hearts of audiences around the world [as much as Under the Same Moon].? Given that the movie swiftly came and went in theaters it can safely be said that that proclamation was, at best, wishful thinking on the part of Fox Searchlight and the Weinstein Company. Still it makes one wonder why foreign movies are having such a hard time breaking into the mainstream as of late. Pan?s Labyrinth came real close to breaking through two years ago, but never quite became a sensation along the line of Ill Postino or Crouching Tiger. My personal conspiracy theory on this is that the studios are deliberately sabotaging their releases so they can more easily do Hollywood remakes. But that?s a rant for a different day, because no one is going to want to remake this thing, and nor should they. The only reason this was largely ignored is that it?s sappy and manipulative.

The film follows dual stories of a Mexican boy named Carlito (Adrian Alonso) and his mother Rosario (Kate del Castillo) who?s working illegally on the other side of the border in Los Angeles. Rosario has been gone for four years and Carlito?s father has been out of the picture for even longer. Carlito?s only contact with his mother ocurrs when she calls him every Sunday, but after one fateful Sunday call he finds his grandmother dead. With this in mind, Carlito decides to travel alone from his town in Mexico to his mother in L.A. and wants to get there before the next Sunday call is made so his mother won?t worry. After the local coyote refuses to help him Carlito must rely on the kindness of strangers in order to get across the border and reach his mother.

Believability is probably the first o many problems this movie has. Over the years there have been a lot of precocious children on the screen, but it takes a special kind of precociousness for a nine year old to independently think that he can travel hundreds of miles across a foreign border, against all warnings from his elders, alone and on a very limited budget. Many adults are killed or arrested trying to do the same, yet this kid succeeds relatively unscathed. Every time the kid is about to get in trouble the film?s script has him coincidentally run into a random stranger willing to help him, usually at great expense to themselves.

Immigration was a huge issue for about a month last year, now it?s pretty well on the back burner but it remains a controversial subject. This film?s take on the subject is one-sided and simple: all illegal immigrants are saintly figures while everyone who isn?t an illegal immigrant is naïve, mean, or an obstacle. The only American citizens to be found here are nameless brutal cops, fascists with the gall to raid a sleazy tomatoes plantation who ?generously? decide to hire a nine year old for dangerous work. Also to found are a pair of Second generation Mexican immigrants who are inept college students incapable of the simplest smuggling actions. But the most offensively un-nuanced of the American characters is a thoroughly witch-like and seemingly senile old rich woman who coldly fires Carlito?s mother for the most minor of offences without even paying for work that?s been completed. Admittedly, the mother?s other boss seemed relatively normal, but one token non-sociopath American character is not enough to make up for this insanely manipulative look at a major issue.

I?m sure one can find many Americans who do act a lot like the above examples, but only selectively choosing those types as examples and juxtaposing them with the saintly illegal immigrants here is intellectually dishonest. If someone like Lou Dobbs decided to produce a movie that featured nothing but lazy, drug dealing, or diseased immigrants people would label it propagandistic or at the very least a gross simplification of a complex issue and rightly so, Under the Same Moon is exactly the same but from a different side.

The film does step off its soapbox and focus strictly on its saccharine story in the third act, but this doesn?t help either because when divorced from its sophomoric politics is still a lame, sappy story. The movie is just as manipulative emotionally as it is politically; its trivialization of human suffering and overbearing score make Frank Capra movies look downright subtle.

This is little more than the hallmark card version of the immigrant experience and it pales in comparison to other better movies on the subject like El Norte, In America, and Maria Full of Grace. The movie was mostly ignored in theaters and should also be avoided on DVD. Speaking of which, the subtitles on the DVD I watched were actually captions, which continued through the film?s English potions and forced the viewer to read through descriptions of sound effects. This annoyance was yet another reason to leave this thing on the DVD shelf.
iLeo
Super Reviewer
December 15, 2007
Absolutely fantastic!! Great story plot, very touching indeed! This is by far one of the best movies I have seen since "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada". This movie centralizes on the lives of Rosario and her son, who stays with his grandmother in Mexico (while Rosario works illegally in the U.S.). Their struggles to make ends meet, as they are apart also has them thinking about the separation as it is. This movie, like many others, details a vast 'human struggle to survive'. Whereas humanity deems that all should co-exist in nature, we as people should highly think and reflect upon our central priorities for it deems us for who we are, and what we are, thus details our identity. For one, it has me thinking about our own immigration policy and about those who wish to come into, and live within, our country (at any means necessary) and their struggles to live a good life as well. Who are we to deny basic human desires. Phenomenal movie!!! Great cast: Kate del Castillo, Maya Zapata, Eugenio Derbez, America Ferrera, and Jesse Garcia. Definitely a must see!
divinetrash
Super Reviewer
March 22, 2008
The best term for this film is 'nice'. It's not particularly good, but not awful either. It's just a nice movie, not overtly dramatic, well performed by Kate del Castillo, but no one else.
½ November 18, 2015
This semester, I have had to sit through a bunch of not-so-great films in my global road movie class. The not-so-great ones have consisted of cheaply made documentaries and films that have conveyed the essence of a journey with little to no effect on the characters. With Under the Same Moon, we get a story about a clear journey of a young boy, Carlitos, trying desperately to cross the border into the U.S. and finding his mother in L.A.

Some may find this unrealistic, but Carlitos is amazingly intelligent at the age of 9. He has a special way of connecting with adults and sometimes manipulating them in order to get what he wants. This is not to say there is a maniacal or evil motive behind what Carlitos wants from adults, but he is a natural at convincing others to help him, and he must be since he is limited due to his age.

On the reverse side, we see his mother living in L.A. in order to make money to support little Carlitos with not one, but two jobs as a maid. She is constantly questioning what will help her son in the long run, which is heartbreaking since Carlitos sometimes thinks that his mother abandoned him. What adds to the mother's struggle is the fact that she is an "illegal," so she must also decide what puts her in a better position to support her only child.

While the mother's story is more dramatic, Carlitos' journey is full of heart and many laughs, especially after he befriends a man named Enrique. Basically, Carlitos depends on this stranger, but Enrique is reluctant to help since the kid annoys him. It is a great love/hate relationship which has us hoping Enrique will come to his senses and do the right thing.

I love how the film combines aspects of the melodrama with the political issue of immigration which is tied to desperation for work. There is little to say about the film in a negative manner except that it may seem cheesy at certain points. Also, if you're looking for a film with complexity you may want to look elsewhere since the plot for this film is simple and straightforward, but it is a fun and touching story.

3.5/4.0
½ April 20, 2014
Maybe a film that stays alive with a heart and a brain, nonetheless, when it tries to illustrate a genuine human element, fails to some extent.
September 19, 2012
It's formulaic. And melodramatic. But it's enjoyable from start to finish for its fine performances, its humor, and its attention to the stories and struggles of undocument immigrants.
November 6, 2012
I usually don't rate sub-titled movies very high because of the fact that they go by so fast I have to watch a movie many times before I understand what's going on. But not with this movie and I loved the movie. I would watch it over and over although it's one of those happy movies that make you shed a tear or two.
½ August 11, 2012
Almost perfection I agree with another review the clichés were a tad much but excellent direction and writing love the suspense at the end of this film by simply using a crosswalk if it weren't for the jalapeño on a pop tart and the guy who went blind by the pesticide (I got it the first time"don't rub your eyes") this is a solid film
June 18, 2012
i slept throught the first act. but the rest that i saw was pretty good. enrique and carlitos's character relationship was very well developed.
March 13, 2012
Boring and predictable, yet penultimately uplifting, La Misma Luna is the type of film that makes you go, "Meh."
January 6, 2012
Excellent, moving, heart-warming, full of human emotions and warily made. Kudos to Riggen, and the entire cast of this production.
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