Undocumented - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Undocumented Reviews

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LorenzoVonMatterhorn
Super Reviewer
October 13, 2011
"Whatever you think is going on here, this is worse."

A documentary crew accompany a group of illegal immigrants crossing the Border, but their plans run afoul when they are captured by a gang of sadistic radicals in New Mexico.

REVIEW
'Undocumented' follows a documentary crew who is attached to a group of Mexican immigrants who have paid enormous sums of money to a coyote (not the cat-snatching mongrel, rather a smuggler of people) to get into the United States. Illegally, in case you weren't getting the point. The irony is that legal entrance to the United States is cheaper and safer, if safety is part of the calculation - but that's politics, and a hard topic to rationally discuss in Texas, California, or Arizona. Incredibly the creators of 'Undocumented' use blood and abject terror to drive the discourse in a way that TV's Border Wars simply cannot. And no matter what side you sit on the political spectrum, you will think about the subject matter.

The cast does exceptional and memorable work: Liz, the high-minded liberal producer (Alona Tal, of lots o' TV and voice-overs since 2003); her erstwhile boyfriend and the project's journo-opportunistic director, Travis (Scott Mechlowicz, of 'Eurotrip'); the Mexican émigré cousin, Alberto (the more-than-credible Yancey Arias) of one of the crew, Davie (Greg Serano, with a solid TV CV); and drug-using sound guy smart ass, Jim (Alias' Kevin Weisman). Even the narratively expendable characters turn negligible "raw meat" roles into loss. The tragic chorus of ill-fated illegal aliens are authentic and utterly haunting, as if director Chris Peckover actually captured and tortured them. (He didn't. Right?)

The film treads the kind of suggested territory that franchise torture porn such as Hostel and Saw is awkwardly compelled to throw at the audience in explicit, anatomically-correct splatter. The argument that such franchises are simply satire is lost: 'Undocumented' is pure and sophisticated satire that teases the sensibilities of the viewer without abusing them into disaffection. You care. And stranger still, your perspective - your "side" - is apt to vacillate. It's a "hard" movie. I could go on and on: I can't stop thinking about this film. I was on the edge of my seat early on, and gripped until the very end. It's a brilliant effort that touches nerves you may not even know you have. The closing shot and speech, the first reveal of the masked radicals, the enigmatic "Z" and the breadth of the cabal is unforgettable - cinema gold.
Super Reviewer
½ March 16, 2014
This film really surprised me, because I usually hate these found footage films. Aside from the nausea, caused by the constant movement of the camera, I find that these films not only lack a budget, but also a decent story and cast. Undocumented was different though, as it was a novel idea with some fairly stable camera work. The story focuses on a group of college kids, making a documentary about illegal aliens, and how they cross into the United States. The group join a coyote for a run across the boarder when they are unexpectedly capture. Unfortunately for them, their captors aren't the police, but rather a group of self-proclaimed patriots, who abuse the illegal immigrants for their sick pleasure. We see a lot of films about how and why people cross the boarder and even a lot about what the police and government are doing about it, but I can't ever remember seeing a film about these vigilante groups, that do exist, and pray on illegals. Prison Break's Pete Stormare stars as Z, the leader of the rebel group and he basically makes the movie. This guy usually plays a gangster or inmate in the background of some random film or TV show, but he's never really the star, and it's a shame because he makes this movie. Z is such a deep character, who is brilliant yet deranged at the same time, a man who is as compassionate as he is brutal, it was really something to see. He's paired with a young cast of teen actors, who have been around for years, and who do a terrific job in support of his performance. This film isn't listed as a horror film, but it is pretty brutal and bloody, meaning you shouldn't watch it if you have a weak stomach. For me, it was an interesting take on an aspect of immigration that is rarely seen or talked about. The performances were impressive, the characters were deep, and the film never stops moving. I enjoyed the fact that this unique film really didn't have any big named stars in it and even though it had a shoe-string budget, the producers really made it work.
October 11, 2011
The best IFC Midnight movie ever. Brutal and sure to stir up lots of controversy. A must see if you like horror.
½ April 29, 2012
An intelligent usage of the found-footage format, Undocumented concerns a group of documentary filmmakers (of course) who decide to document illegal immigrants crossing the border into the United States. Upon crossing the border, they immediately run afoul of a militarized group who captures and tortures illegal immigrants in an attempt to stop them from coming into the country. They decide to keep the documentary film crew alive to document the proceedings as a propaganda film. and thus the rest of the film unfolds. Part found-footage, part torture-porn, Undocumented is a brutal look at the xenophobia and nationalist zealotry that resides in the extreme opponents of immigration reform. A film about xenophobia, racism, prejudice, and petty-minded conservatism, Undocumented makes a brutal but valid statement about many Americans' "let-em'die" attitude towards the rest of the world.
½ April 4, 2012
Solid enough acting and a pretty cool premise, but it just kind of stayed at the same level the entire time. A couple very suspenseful moments, but also a lot of frustrated viewing. I also think it might have been more effective as a found footage movie and it would have been so easy for it to be one.
March 31, 2012
Take your pick on the directors views of this situation that America is dealing with. Intense, and great acting as well.
September 30, 2011
This is not for the people with weak stomachs . Some torture horror is far fetched but this one seems like it is something that someone or group would attempt to do . You never turn your head after the action starts in this film and you become rooting for the captives this all together was a very good film . I highly suggest to fans of this type of movie
½ September 23, 2011
An interesting and brutal film about illegally getting into America by the Mexican border, then getting captured by sadistic weirdos, as film being narrated by a captured American film crew trying to document this 'trespassing.' Pretty depressing.
May 10, 2016
Wow. How is this movie not better rated? Maybe it was too ahead of its time. In 2011 it predicted what the political climate would be in 2016 with Trump's patriotic racism and fear mongering. This movie would hit such a brutal nerve of it came out today.
Super Reviewer
½ March 16, 2014
This film really surprised me, because I usually hate these found footage films. Aside from the nausea, caused by the constant movement of the camera, I find that these films not only lack a budget, but also a decent story and cast. Undocumented was different though, as it was a novel idea with some fairly stable camera work. The story focuses on a group of college kids, making a documentary about illegal aliens, and how they cross into the United States. The group join a coyote for a run across the boarder when they are unexpectedly capture. Unfortunately for them, their captors aren't the police, but rather a group of self-proclaimed patriots, who abuse the illegal immigrants for their sick pleasure. We see a lot of films about how and why people cross the boarder and even a lot about what the police and government are doing about it, but I can't ever remember seeing a film about these vigilante groups, that do exist, and pray on illegals. Prison Break's Pete Stormare stars as Z, the leader of the rebel group and he basically makes the movie. This guy usually plays a gangster or inmate in the background of some random film or TV show, but he's never really the star, and it's a shame because he makes this movie. Z is such a deep character, who is brilliant yet deranged at the same time, a man who is as compassionate as he is brutal, it was really something to see. He's paired with a young cast of teen actors, who have been around for years, and who do a terrific job in support of his performance. This film isn't listed as a horror film, but it is pretty brutal and bloody, meaning you shouldn't watch it if you have a weak stomach. For me, it was an interesting take on an aspect of immigration that is rarely seen or talked about. The performances were impressive, the characters were deep, and the film never stops moving. I enjoyed the fact that this unique film really didn't have any big named stars in it and even though it had a shoe-string budget, the producers really made it work.
March 10, 2014
"What in the world....What is wrong with people...OMG....Are you kidding me....WTH...This is crazy....Why..." These are some of the things I said throughout this entire movie over and over again!
½ October 20, 2013
Great performance by Stormare, hot topic. "'Give me your tired, your poor,
your huddled masses yearning to breathe free' and we'll give them back to you. In pieces."
May 13, 2013
Really loved this movie. My favorite sub-genre (trapped, tortured, etc.) - well done, really stylish directing too.
April 1, 2013
This was disappointing. Wish I had never saw it.
March 31, 2013
A propaganda film designed to discredit people who oppose illegal immigration.
½ March 1, 2013
Interesante pseudo-documental que a pesar de sus limitantes y fallas muestra de manera cruda el falso "patriotismo" que envuelve a la sociedad americana.
April 8, 2012
oh my this movie is so fucked up! worse than hostel!!!
½ May 26, 2012
this is one of those movies that scare me only because of the fact that it might happen. it would offend most people and to some like me become scared, its still worth the watch.some of these scenes are a bit ridiculous, ans other than the the three US filmmakers and the Mexican immigrants you don't really care about the others.however its the Radicals that keeps you a bit more interested.
August 2, 2012
Mediocre. The antagonist was pretty evil and all but he just didn't seem real... You don't really get too deep into his role. Also, some pretty lukewarm acting by some of the protagonists.
July 23, 2012
definitely uncomfortable to watch.
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