La Zona


La Zona

Critics Consensus

A slick and smart Mexican thriller of middle-class panic and vigilantism, that is lean, mean and often shocking.



Total Count: 19


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,893
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La Zona Photos

Movie Info

At a time when the growing chasm between the rich and the poor appears to be slowly tearing Mexico - and many other Latin countries - apart, first time filmmaker Rodrigo Plá highlights just how isolationism breeds fear in many wealthy communities. Alejandro (Daniel Tovar) lives with his father Daniel (Daniel Giménez Cacho) and his mother Mariana Maribel Verdú) in an isolated community known as La Zona. La Zona is home to the most privileged citizens in Mexico, but with all of the gates and closed circuit cameras it feels more like a million dollar prison than a typical neighborhood. Eventually, a group of disadvantaged teenagers manage to break into La Zona. As the members of the community scramble to protect their families at any cost, one of the teenaged burglars, a frightened boy named Miguel (Alan Chávez), seeks cover in the basement of Alejandro's home as his friends scatter. Later, when Alejandro discovers the young fugitive, the privileged boy's growing empathy for the petty thief and murder suspect leads him to question the values imposed on him by his father as well as the many other isolationists who have taught him to fear his fellow countrymen.


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Critic Reviews for La Zona

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (7)

  • This slick, serious-minded tale of upper-crust vigilantes protecting their gated community at any cost is a nihilistic but thoughtful portrait of a country divided .

    Oct 17, 2008 | Rating: 4/6 | Full Review…

    Dave Calhoun

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The viral atmosphere of intimidation is alarming, and thick with resonant premonitions of a legion of dystopian urban tomorrows.

    Oct 17, 2008 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • A smart movie, dramatically lean and mean, exciting and often shocking.

    Oct 17, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • This is a well-made realist study of what happens when society is divided between rich and poor. But it is also so schematic that some of its power drains away.

    Oct 17, 2008 | Rating: 3/5
  • Some may sniff at director Rodrigo Plá's deliberately exaggerated style, but it makes no pretensions to authenticity. Indeed, it's just audacious enough to work -- like Crash reimagined by Rod Serling.

    Mar 24, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Signals another promising discovery in a film industry that is definitely coming into its own golden age.

    Sep 18, 2007

Audience Reviews for La Zona

  • Mar 06, 2011
    Efficient if unspectacular drama probing the ethics of gated communities. Benefits from its setting in Mexico but says little new that American films (and particularly German 'The Edukators' ) haven't explored adequately.
    Gordon A Super Reviewer
  • Jan 03, 2009
    It?s easy to get a little lost in the storyline early on here, the acting is of a good standard, but have to admit that I found odd moments boring at times, however the last 15 minutes or so totally make this film and has a very hard impact that insists you take notice.
    Lady D Super Reviewer
  • Oct 09, 2008
    Wow! That "Skimo" guy has more talent in him than I had given him credit before and does a great job as one of the few likeable characters. This film was a little depressing because even though some people claim to be a little too exaggerated, I thought it was still reaslitically portrayed, which was kinda depressing.
    Quinto W Super Reviewer
  • Mar 24, 2008
    This film was an excellent selection playing at this year's San Diego Latino Film Festival. I doubt if it will receive any sort of promotion or theatrical release in America, but it should. This is the story of a blocked-off community in the heart of Mexico City. The gated neighborhood is called La Zona and it is a sole entity in the eyes of the city. The residents of this zone have made a pact with the city to be left alone and live in peace. They abide by their own rules and have their own committee which mimics a sort of small-scale government. However, one night--a breach in security allows for three outsiders to intrude the zone and a manhunt is soon in place to find the men who pose a threat to the safety and security of their idealistic village. The film is magnificent in its message and social commentary. The performances of every member of the cast were brilliant and brought such gravitas to a project that had potential based on its story; but really needed good actors to carry it through. The film relies on world-events to make its point loud and clear. It evokes a plethora of emotions in the audience and makes for a really entertaining time--plus it brings a refreshing look at the way we see one another in the world--whether its people living across the street or across an ocean.
    Rico Z Super Reviewer

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