Written March 03, 2012
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), CHILDREN OF GOD) - the long, winding takes balanced with the spare score just keeps you pulled in and engaged. Almost always having Laura leading the way, plot-wise and emotionally, the film makes you experience her innocence/ignorance slip away in the most bizarre reality. Subtle acting matched the violent flashes; what happens off-camera is sometimes worse than in front.
Written January 30, 2012
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 somewhat,
Written February 07, 2012
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 fine, but the look of the film was washed out, and I don't think it was intentional. The story and the theme would have gained if it would have looked grittier and higher contrast. It felt a bit slow at times, and that could have been corrected with high energy editing, and higher visual rhythm. Overall I found it interesting, subject matter was handled well, and acting was above average. I do recommend it.
Written February 25, 2012
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 after the night before! Manages to convey circumstantial moral fatigue without preaching.
Written February 11, 2012
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 goal is to show us something, in this case the drug world of Mexico. SEveral times the camera made a point of showing something like a necklace being placed on the beauty queens head but never a visual of what it was or meant to be for. Just more open ended suspense. Twice the sceen went blank (completely black) for at least 15 or 20 seconds. The director could not think of a better way to cut to morning, or show the darkness the characters needed? It seemed hokey to me. Just suspense is not enough for me; I was a bit more story line and character definition. But I still would recommend seeing it.