Maria Full of Grace

Critics Consensus

In a striking debut, Moreno carries the movie and puts a human face on the drug trade.



Reviews Counted: 144

liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 39,707


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.8/5

You may have noticed some of the recent changes we have made. To read more about what we’ve been working on behind the scenes, please check out our new RT Product Blog here.

Want to See

Add Rating
My Rating    

Maria Full of Grace Photos

Movie Info

A bright, spirited 17-year old, Maria Alvarez, lives with three generations of her family in a cramped house in rural Colombia and works stripping thorns from flowers in a rose plantation. The offer of a lucrative job involving travel--in fact, becoming a drug "mule"--changes the course of her life. Far from the uneventful trip she is promised, Maria is transported into the risky and ruthless world of international drug trafficking. Her mission becomes one of determination and survival and she finally emerges with the grace that will carry her forward into a new life.


Critic Reviews for Maria Full of Grace

All Critics (144) | Top Critics (36)

  • The movie puts us in Maria's shoes, taking us step by suspenseful step through her physical and spiritual ordeal.

    Mar 13, 2018 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Top Critic
  • Marston's compact, personal film doesn't judge his Maria, it merely observes her, explains her and humanizes a dark corner of a dirty business.

    Sep 3, 2004 | Rating: 4/5
  • The fact that [Moreno's] Maria is so believable, so compelling, rests entirely on what she brings to the part, not what the part brings to her. Her face is the kind that can carry a movie on the strength of sheer screen presence.

    Aug 26, 2004 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • One of those films that finds strength in its directness, that passes up the fireworks and cheap tricks and just goes straight for the starkness of a powerful situation.

    Aug 6, 2004 | Rating: B

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • One of the emblematic migration stories of our time.

    Aug 1, 2004

    David Denby

    New Yorker
    Top Critic
  • A stunner of a film.

    Jul 30, 2004 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Maria Full of Grace

This was quite a story to see portrayed on film. Not to be missed.

Wildaly M
Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

An original take on the drug trade, dealing with a seventeen year old girl (Catalina Sandino Moreno) who, pressured to find a job, agrees to become a drug mule, since the pay is good and it sounds like she will be taken care of. You don't know what to expect really after she agrees to take the job, and neither does she. An overall incredible film with a powerful performance from Moreno (she got nominated for Best Actress). Although it loses a little steam in it's last half, this is a mostly excellent movie that feels authentic all the way through.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

An impressive film which shows a realistic story based around drug muelling. Great performances all around, but particularly from Catalina Sandino Moreno who played the lead character. A Drama which really pulls you in and see the circumstances from different viewpoints. Definitely a recommendation ? an instant favourite for me.

Lady D'arbanville
Lady D'arbanville

Super Reviewer

A beautiful Colombian teenager discovers that 'easy money' isn't always so easy when she gets lured into the harsh, dangerous world of drug trafficking. In order for a so-called 'message film' to work there has to be at least one character that an audience can really care about, Maria Full of Grace has an abundance of them. A talented cast and no-nonsense scripting elevate this somewhat predictable storyline to something meaningful and moving. Four Stars.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Maria Full of Grace Quotes

News & Features