Amexicano (2007)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

A man with little positive to say about illegal immigrants finds himself working with one in this comedy drama from director Matthew Bonifacio. Bruno (Carmine Famiglietti) is an Italian-American guy who lives in Queens, NY, and has lost his job. While Bruno has been looking for work, a steady job has been hard to find, and with his unemployment running out, he needs to start making some money. Someone arranges for Bruno to do some temporary work in landscaping and household construction, and he finds himself working alongside some of the Hispanic day laborers who wait every morning on Northern Boulevard looking for work. Bruno is not the most open-minded guy on Earth and initially bristles at the prospect of sharing the workspace with illegal aliens, but after a few days working with Ignacio (Raúl Castillo), the two strike up a rapport, even though Bruno can't speak Spanish and Ignacio knows no English. Bruno develops a genuine respect and admiration for Ignacio and his wife, Gabriela (Jennifer Peña), through their hard work and determination to improve their lives, but their legal status ensures their story will not end well. Amexicano was screened as part of the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.
PG-13 (for language and some violence)
Art House & International , Comedy , Drama
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Jennifer Peña
as Gabriela
Raul Castillo
as Ignacio
Burton Perez
as Willie
Manny Perez
as Diego
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Critic Reviews for Amexicano

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (5)

[An] assured new feature from director Matthew Bonifacio.

Full Review… | September 19, 2008
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Realistic performances and genuine emotions make Matthew Bonifacio's quiet charmer Amexicano much more than just another preachy treatise on illegal immigration.

September 18, 2008
New York Times
Top Critic

This low-key tale of an improbable friendship between an out-of-work Italian-American and a young Mexican illegal alien in Queens maintains an engaging, even keel through bumpy tonal shifts that would derail most indie outings.

Full Review… | September 17, 2008
Top Critic

the biggest hazard the characters face is not the migra or the desert, but inept writing and, with the exception of Castillo's tender and earnest Ignacio, the cast's flat, amateurish performances.

Full Review… | September 17, 2008
Time Out
Top Critic

Culminates in a tableau that seems to sigh in rumination upon a lost America, land of immigrants.

Full Review… | September 17, 2008
Village Voice
Top Critic

The title suggests shotgun cross-culturalism and, indeed, the movie's different modes and moods don't cohere naturally.

Full Review… | October 17, 2008
Boxoffice Magazine

Audience Reviews for Amexicano


I didn't know what to expect from this movie, but ended up quite impressed. It reminded me of other low-budget but very good films like Smoke Signals. Though the script and production was not up to the quality of, say, Spanglish, the movie is very real and true. The only thing that surprised me, and not in a very good way, was the ending. It seemed to be a feel-good movie in which representatives of two different and often at-odds cultures meet and overcome the barriers so that friendship and mutual supportiveness can grow. But it ends up being tragic. I don't regret the end, though, because it is realistic. This movie doesn't let the viewer off the hook. By not providing a feel-good ending, the film can leave a sensitive person feeling haunted by our cruelty to the people who put together our swimming pools, pick our strawberries, clean our houses. Now that, thanks to our walls, police, harsh laws, and general animosity towards foreigners, the immigration from Mexico to the U.S. is 0%, we might start to see what life is like when we don't have them helping us out for wages few gringos would ever accept as pay.

Erica Boulange
Erica Boulange

"Amexicano" is just as confused as its title. Everything is awkward, from the cheesy interactions between its two main characters as they become unlikely friends to the ironing board-tattoo-stabbing scene (don't ask). It is a strange entity, as the first half of the film doesn't go anywhere, and then the second half of the film takes so many random twists that by the end of the story, it is tough to believe that you are watching the same film. There are so many eye-rolling scenes, my favorite of which is the main character sitting in front of the computer, looking up phrases in Spanish and practicing them using different inflections. How could you forget when they invite him to play soccer. Sorry, futbol. They invite him to play futbol, he stands there like a big oaf until the ball comes to him, flails about, then somehow scores a goal. And then they celebrate. Sigh. Speaking of celebrations, they even invited him to a fiesta... with balloons and an awkward guitar player in the background... This film is guilty of failing to identify with true Mexican culture, and instead presenting every stereotype that they can think of, from the aforementioned things to day laborers on the corner. Which is the OPPOSITE of the message that this film is trying to get across! And all of this is under the guise of this obviously being a low-budget independent film. Let's not forget that one of the lines is "Sounds corny but it's true." Only the corniest movies would have this line included in their script. At least Gabriela (played by Jennifer Peña) is hott. But then they awkwardly turn this into a love story with several different guys... and the iron... From start to finish, I can't figure out what this movie is supposed to be. It seems like it's trying to deliver a message about biggotry but instead becomes the stereotype that it fights against. This one is good for a few laughs (even though it's not supposed to be) but doesn't offer any sort of quality, from its opening lines about not abusing the Unemployment System to it's dumb ending that feels like a different film.

Jonny Priano
Jonny Priano

I really liked Amexicano from the start & I guess I was hoping for some feel good type movie & thats the way it started but I didnt get the ending I was hoping for.It is a feel good movie but there's some sadness in there as well.I loved the movie & I would've rated it higher but the ending screwed it for me.I just wished the ending would have turned out the way I wanted it to

Brody Manson
Brody Manson

Super Reviewer

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