Miss Bala - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Miss Bala Reviews

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October 18, 2012
Raw depiction of the criminal activity rampant in Baja California and how it permeates all spheres of society. A beauty pageant is the backdrop showing the seeping of violence through the main character's life, a young woman who finds herself involved against her will in serious crimes, including murders.
October 13, 2012
The movie's plot develops around the main character's point of view (angle), which turns out to be very interesting for the viewer because you're always guessing what's going on... It's intense and real... I hope this kind of movies help change things so one day the narco-violence and horror stops.
October 5, 2012
Amazing movie that reminded me of a Cormac Mcarthy novel. Check it out on Netflix. Was the Mexican entry for the 2011 Oscars.
October 1, 2012
I seem to remember this one causing a bit of an initial stir when it came out but it soon died down and the film came and went (as they do) without all that much of a fanfare. Enough noise was made for it to be added to my famous ‚~To See‚(TM) list and its time duly came around today. An interesting film with some nice touches, but one that I felt was lacking a little something. I had better warn those that fear the subtitle that yes, they are in abundance here (it is a Mexican film after all)‚¶ Here‚(TM)s a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.

Laura Guerrero dreams of taking part in a beauty pageant and, along with her friend, Azucena ‚~Suzu‚(TM) Ramos, she is about to realise that dream. Well that‚(TM)s the plan anyway. They turn up for registration and are accepted but things are about to go wrong for Laura in the worst possible way. Suzu is picked up by a boyfriend who takes her to a club. Laura wants to go shopping and so she follows her there to try and persuade her to come with her. Whilst there, a gang of criminals break into the club and begin shooting. Laura gets out but can‚(TM)t find Suzu anywhere. Eventually she finds a policeman who agrees to help her but she soon finds herself in the hands of the criminals who were at the club. They get her to drive a car and park it at a certain location. It later transpires that the car contained the bodies of two DEA agents who were killed at the club. Laura is now in the control of the gang; in particular their leader, Lino Valdez, and things are about to get much worse‚¶ I‚(TM)ll leave it there or the Spoiler Police (Bala Division) will be selling me out to the gangs (again).

A very well made film with some rough edges to it that give it a sense of realism. One scene in particular in a car with a gunfight going on outside really appears quite realistic. Good performances all round, although it‚(TM)s hard to judge in a foreign language, I did feel that Stephanie Sigman as Laura Guerrero was particularly good. The action focuses mostly on Laura and the gang leader; Lino Valdez, played by No√ (C) Hern√°ndez, who was also very good. I will give honourable mentions to; Juan Carlos Galv√°n as Arturo Guerrer, Irene Azuela as Jessica Berlanga, Javier Zaragoza as Ram√≥n Guerrero and Lakshmi Picazo as Azucena ‚~Suzu‚(TM) Ramos.

A damning indictment on the drugs trade in Mexico, this film highlights the plight of many that fall into the clutches of these gangs. I did enjoy the rough and ready style of filming; you really felt you were right in the heart of the action‚¶ maybe a little too close at times! Although I enjoyed it I did feel it was lacking a certain something. I think it was a sense of menace from the gang leader, Lino; he just didn‚(TM)t seem to have enough malice about him to make Laura fear him so much. Maybe I‚(TM)m wrong but that‚(TM)s how I saw it. Over all though a film that‚(TM)s well worth a look (if you can do battle with the subtitles).

SteelMonster‚(TM)s verdict: RECOMMENDED

My score: 6.9/10
September 29, 2012
I continued to watch. I was not care about accuracy. Interesting to use young woman's hopes as the bait. Ms Sigman was believable in her stupidity.
September 29, 2012
Such strange noir that gives formidable realism in the Mexican drug mule issues... Reminds me of "Maria Full of Grace", a film from Colombia which is facing the same social problem.
September 24, 2012
You feel the movie's authenticity, throughout the ordeal that leaves Laura brutalized, terrified, confused, abandoned, with nowhere to turn. It was a decent film but i didn't think it was great,I say RENT IT!!!
September 4, 2012
Leaves you wondering what the point was...in that sense I suppose it mirrors the senseless violence that holds much of Mexico hostage.
September 2, 2012
If Miss Bala is in any way representative of the Mexican film industry, I'll be watching more Mexican movies. This super-realistic (based loosely on a true story) film is told from the point of view of a 23-year-old Tijuana woman who enters a Miss Baja beauty contest and then, by being in the wrong nightclub at the wrong time, is abducted by members of a violent criminal cartel. You as the viewer don't know any more than she does; you're pulled along with her from scene to scene, first as she tries to escape only to be turned back over to the cartel by corrupt police, then as she's forced to be a mule in a cross-border money for ammunition deal, then as she's forced to participate in an attempted assassination. Everything has the feel of truth. I was frightened all through the movie and am still, hours later, jumping at sudden noises. There isn't a bit of flash or Hollywood unreality here; everything is so real you can taste and feel it. One of the most impressive movies I've seen in a long time, worth every subtitle.
½ September 2, 2012
Mexican cartels' iron grip is made scarily clear in claustrophobic tale of a young (and understandably passive) woman caged.
September 1, 2012
Extremely realistic movie..
August 31, 2012
One of the best action films of the year, this story of a beautiful Tijuana thrills you from beginning to end.
August 26, 2012
The film lack continuity, for moments the cinematography was bad and it fail to punctuate its purpose... Other that remark corruption in the war against the organized crime, that all of Mexico its at war and that the cartels are winning and have the fire power to confront the Mexican army and federal police and the Mexican marines with not more that a few AK 47s and some grenades, if that was the purpose of the film then it is accomplished, but that is not the reality. total disappointment.

In the other hand if the film is trying to clean up the original miss Sinaloa that was captured a couple of years ago with members of the Juarez cartel, then I would say that they did a good job in that regard.
½ August 24, 2012
A really fantastic effort, good storyline, done with style....
½ August 21, 2012
I'm at a bit of a loss as to what all the fuss is about with this. The kidnapping of a wannabe beauty queen contestant and her coercion into trafficking is obviously the product of a country rife with such problems on a large scale, but this story is told in such a rote manner. Its prosaic style is no doubt what some critics are going nuts over, but for most of us, this is exactly what prevents it from becoming dramatic cinema. Its a powerful story, but with a more robust telling, it could've been a lot more gut-wrenching.
August 20, 2012
Poor script, poor story line. The main character looks like a bad version of The Stranger by Camus: zero will or character , for that matter. The idea behind the movie is an interesting effort in showing that strange intersection between drug kingpins and beauty contests better explored in some Colombian books (Jaque a la Reina) or even soap operar like Sin Tetas no hay Paraiso (the original one).
½ August 11, 2012
Well acted and tensely paced. At times its opaque plot -- probably structured so to mirror the disorientation Laura feels -- keeps it from being as powerful as it could be.
August 9, 2012
One of those film that nobody talked about, but is actually good. The cinematography is amazing!
½ August 8, 2012
A shockingly realistic journey into the lives of mexican druglords and those they enslave. Amazing acting and directing.
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