Miss Bala Synopsis
A young woman dreams of becoming a beauty contest queen in Mexico.
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Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings

80
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100

Entertainment Weekly

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Loosely based on real events, this harrowing, superbly made drama by fast-rising filmmaker Gerardo Naranjo (I'm Gonna Explode) is Mexico's...
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80

Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
No beauty contest has ever been more bizarre than the one in Gerardo Naranjo's shockingly powerful thriller.
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80

The Hollywood Reporter

Fast and dangerous, Miss Bala is a hair-raising actioner.
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75

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
Naranjo, a graduate of the American Film Institute, has a gift for staging action that defines character. The film is a harrowing...
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75

San Francisco Chronicle

By Walter Addiego
Bala, by the way, means "bullet." Laura Zúñiga, the real-life beauty queen on whom the film is loosely based, was called "Miss Narco" in...
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75

Movieline

By Stephanie Zacharek
Naranjo keeps the action tense but understated; instead of allowing explosions and shootouts to pile up, he rations them in taut doses.
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75

Boston Globe

By Loren King
Miss Bala signals the rise of a director to watch, as Naranjo offers a grim subject with neither flash nor sentiment. It is a sober film...
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75

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Steven Rea
There are no good guys in Miss Bala, just bad guys of different stripes.
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63

New York Post

By Kyle Smith
This strange and eerie noir is more a collection of knockout scenes than a fully realized story.
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60

New York Daily News

By Elizabeth Weitzman
While Sigman conveys a credible state of tense disbelief throughout, it's increasingly frustrating to watch Laura so passively accept her...
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The emotional pull is enough to dismiss subtitles

By ska-triumph
SImply put, like the filmmaker's fellow countryman - Alfonso Cuaron, who's proven himself and concretized his aesthetic with each successive project (e.g. Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, HARRY POTTER 3 (AZKABAN),...

Just okay

By ChazToTheMax
I felt this movie was okay, a bit slow at certain points. Story line dragged on at times, on a visual scale from 1-10, I would rate 5. I was a little disappointed at the end, left up in the air...

Chilling story of Mexican corruption.

By dbetteo
The story clearly shows the corruption that permeates life in Mexico at all levels. The subject matter was well handled and well exposed. Visually, Naranjo could have done a better job. Editing was...

Miss Bala

By cathyweiss
This was a highly suspense filled movie, which I prefer if it was called a "docu-drama" so my expectations would have been better managed. I can deal with poor quality filming if I know the primary...

just not worth it

By jorgemlg
I like supporting Mexican movies, but this is just a bad movie. Poorly acted, poorly directed, poorly written. The story is hard to buy (not because the events depicted there don't happen all the time...

Miss Bala

By Thomas_Drysdale
Very smart and touching. The lead performance is so understated and compelling. Much is left to viewer's imagination, resulting in a high level of engagement. I'm still thinking about it the morning...

By TheChefCookie
...

maybe with some editing

By anabtc
The story is good, but it feels long and repetitive. Some sound editing and cutting of scenes would have just gotten the point across without boring people....

By figman5000
...

Deadly Beauty Pageant

By Gonzalo_Chicago
A journey unlike any you have seen, Miss Bala gives you a vivd glimpse at the drug wars in Mexico through the experiences of a young lady aiming to become a Beauty Pageant winner. Shocking. Moving....

More Info

Rated R | For Some brutal violence, language and sexuality