Maria Full of Grace - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Maria Full of Grace Reviews

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½ March 4, 2017
Maria Full of Grace's piercing and honest script along with Catalina Sandino Moreno's stunning debut combine to deliver a harrowing and deglamorized depiction of the underworld of drugs.
January 30, 2017
viewed on 26/10/04 (Tues)

The social commentary is similar to Lilja 4-ever on last Friday. It is about child prostitution and this one is about female 'mules', meaning smuggling drugs by swallowing the drug pellets.

There is a scene when the lead character accidentally allows two pellets to slip out of her body and she has to wash them clean before swallowing them back in. Another 'mule' has one of the pellets burst in her body and she eventually dies. Her body is brutally cut up and dumped away.

I like the movie. It is made with noble intention of letting us know the extremes people from very poor countries can go to get a better life. The urge to earn more money, most of the times for the sake of their families, can even drive them to do something that insane.

But do I really like it very much? Sadly no. I cannot really explain. The feminism touch and the feel-good ending. It is quite apparent that it is made with a wider audience appeal in mind. Maybe Hollywood tailor-made. Now compare this to Lilja 4-ever, I admire the latter's courage and angst.

Rating: B+
Expected Rating: B
½ October 23, 2016
Maria's not so good at making decisions. Seventeen, impulsive, but dazzlingly street smart, she's better at living in the moment, improving the moment, than looking further into the far more important unknowns of the future. But who can say they're much different at an age where almost everything is at a crossroads?
For most, a period of potentially severe, but mostly innocent, mistakes are made that alter a person's perception of themselves, maturing inevitably. But Maria makes two detrimental false moves in a row that change the course of her life forever. First, without thinking remotely about the consequences, she gets knocked up by her impetuous boyfriend. Then, after causing an inimical error at work, she promptly quits following her being humiliated by her boss (despite the fact that the income is vital in the supporting of her family).
Maybe she'd recover decently, if slowly, if finding an honest job were the first thing on her mind. Alas, en route to a nearby town to try to look for something to help in the bringing home of the bacon, she's approached by a drug trafficker who sees high possibility in her having success as a mule. Her pregnancy entails that customs agents cannot X-Ray her no matter how hard they'd like, and her desperation, combined with her youth, provides her with an enthusiastic vitality that reassures that backing out isn't an option.
Preferring to exclusively ponder the positives of the slimy occupation as opposed to the agonizingly long list of negatives, Maria throws caution to the wind and heads down a path traveled by many young women as despairing as she is. But because being in cahoots with ruthless real-life super villains is never much favorable in the grand scheme of living a long, healthy life, she might come to regret her decision almost immediately if she had much else on her mind besides making the most of dire circumstances.
How harrowing it is to watch as a vivacious young thing risks throwing her life away for a cash cow that could help her (albeit obsequiously), but since "Maria Full of Grace" makes for a convincingly harrowing viewing experience, the ride up to its unexpectedly bittersweet conclusion is more nail-bitingly thrilling than outrightly depressing. As Maria, the then twenty-three-year-old Caterina Sandino Moreno is so self-assured that we never have a second in which we doubt her, in which we're persuaded that she might turn out to be a tragic heroine after all. So commanding of the screen is she that we're wont to believe that the movie is going to act like a coming-of-age film titan, not a morality tale about tainted youth. The movie's too energetic, too alive, anyway, for us to decide that writer/director Joshua Marston is moving in the direction of cynicism and not in the direction of a winning portrayal of personal growth.
Not to suggest that "Maria Full of Grace" is an altogether glowingly inspiring feature. With one foot in realism's door and another cemented in a floor covered in flagrant hope, it makes for an authentic look into the goings-on that become the merciless drug trade. Like a documentary in its blatant disfavor for cinematic romanticism, it doesn't take any wrong turns in its characterization of the oftentimes savage business - that Maria survives her ordeal is a miracle.
With its promotional poster citing "Maria Full of Grace" as being inspired by countless other true stories very much the same at their centers, we're reminded that, while Maria is a leading character worth rooting for, undoubtable is the truth that countless other likable non-fictional protagonists perhaps went down the exact same path but ultimately came out with tragic results themselves. That ushers in emotional depth that gives the film an additional flavoring of urgency, and in effect does "Maria Full of Grace" become a wide-ranging, almost universal tale. A small-scale triumph.
½ June 11, 2016
Slight, fairly dull retread of poor girl taking extreme measures to make some money, with little to say about the moral choices she makes.
July 6, 2015
The first Columbian film I've seen and it's a cracker. You are drawn into the terrifying world of a drug mule and the dangers that come with it. I find such films a lot more gripping and exciting than your typical hollywood action films, it's a shame that not enough people see films like this. If they did, there would be more of them.
½ July 4, 2015
Maria full Of Grace Offers us the point of view of the mule often lost in our depiction of the drug trade through the eyes of Maria Alvarez. with a simple but yet realistic and human story Joshua Martson give us a woman story that is worth our time and our attention.Catalina Sandino Moreno deserves all the praise for making her character and the movie so engaging.
May 5, 2015
A gritty, authentic depiction of what can happen to people as casualties to the Drug Trade, indeed. However, it's NOT a "Good Time" feature. Is depressing as hell. As a curiosity to people who want to understand the underbelly of the Drug Trade & Third-World economics, it's a decent primer, but as a person in Law Enforcement, I thought it was bleak & unrewarding. Without any redemption value, the story was positively documentary as opposed to entertaining in the least.
May 4, 2015
A slowly devastating, realistic film that tells a tale of desperate people forced into horrific circumstances.
½ February 12, 2015
airplane sequence was tense as piss/hell. great raw story. makes you not even want to be a drug mule! :(
½ January 27, 2015
Really nice story, but I feel as if it was missing a lot of elements of a GREAT film.

I wasn't the biggest fan of the book ending... This movie didn't really deserve the happy ending it got... :-/

Regardless, I would recommend this film.
October 16, 2014
Para alejarse un poco del cliché de películas sobre drogas y su drama, se enfoca más en las decisiones de la protagonista. Muy buena.
½ July 20, 2014
A mule's view of geopolitics.
May 26, 2014
I enjoyed this movie. Some part I like that I thought they did a good job in doing was showing that a person could go through in being a drug mule. Two things I didn't like I thought they did a poor job in showing the different obstacles Maria would of gone through in being illegal in a country and as well as I don't think it would of been easy in her situation.
½ February 25, 2014
2014-02-25 excellent, although it was never clear why they took the drugs with them when they fled.
Super Reviewer
February 2, 2014
This was quite a story to see portrayed on film. Not to be missed.
January 25, 2014
Orgullo latino. Catalina Sandino Moreno es una de las mejores actrices latinoamericanas y me gustaría seguir viéndola en otras producciones con esa naturalidad envidiable.
½ January 13, 2014
This movie was very compelling and shows us how drug trafficking dehumanizes our own beliefs in the dark dangerous parts of our existence. The director brings Maria to the forefront of the movie to not overshadow the drug trafficking but to bring Maria to life on the screen. This flick is very captivating and definitely on the must see list.
December 31, 2013
Great film about Mexican mules coming to America transporting cocaine. Very well done this film feels more like a documentary than an actual movie, all for the better.
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