Maria Full of Grace

Critics Consensus

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

97%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 146

87%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 39,729

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Movie Info

Seventeen-year-old Colombian Maria (Catalina Sandino Moreno) is desperate: pregnant and with a large family to care for, she's forced to leave a demanding job after an altercation with her boss. Needing work as soon as possible, she encounters charming Franklin (John Álex Toro), who offers her a dangerous job as a drug mule. With cocaine pellets in her stomach, Maria flies to New York for the drug drop-off, but finds her new line of work may be far riskier than it initially seemed.

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Critic Reviews for Maria Full of Grace

All Critics (146) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (141) | Rotten (5)

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

    March 13, 2018 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Newsweek
    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.

    September 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.

    August 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.

    August 6, 2004 | Rating: B

    Tom Long

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

    August 1, 2004

    David Denby

    New Yorker
    Top Critic
  • A stunner of a film.

    July 30, 2004 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Maria Full of Grace

  • Jan 16, 2012
    Heartbreaking when one thinks that this story is surely carried out on a weekly if not a daily basis. The drug mule carries the holy treasure within their own bodies with fear of being consumed by those drugs or facing legal penalties in the unexpecting importing country. A great tale.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 30, 2010
    Imagine facing a choice that could release you from the struggles of being poor. Would you take that risk if it meant ruining your life or the lives of family and friends around you? There are many people who are faced with that problem every day. The fact that people are willing to subject themselves to smuggle drugs in their own bodies for money really indicates the state of desperation in poor countries. This film gives us insight into the life of a 17 year-old girl, about the choices she's faced with. I think watching this film might give you a sympathetic understanding of the impoverished and a greater appreciation, it did for me. Catalino Sandino Moreno gives an outstanding performance. Maria Full of Grace is a serious but engaging film that shows the endless world struggle of the poor who want and try to get out of their desperate and imprisoning lives. Story: A Acting: A Direction: A Visuals: A Overall: A **** out of 4 stars
    Matthew R Super Reviewer
  • Sep 19, 2009
    Such a good movie. It was pretty sad, but it told a good story.
    Erin C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 04, 2009
    This is a gritty movie that should make you question America's drug policies, when you see their effects on the most powerless, the mules.
    Juli R Super Reviewer

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