Al otro lado Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: An aspiring corrido composer from the drug capital of Mexico faces two choices to better his life: to traffic drugs or to cross the border illegally into the United States. From Sinaloa, Mexico, to the streets of South Central and East L.A., Al Otro Lado explores the world of drug smuggling, illegal immigration and the corrido music that chronicles it all. (Altamura Film) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Almada steadfastly reserves judgment, which means we don't learn if there are members of the Mexican community who disapprove of corrido's hard-edged lyrics. But she makes a pretty good case for its passionate fans. Like them, we're left unable to get the music - and the musicians - out of our heads.
  2. 75
    The film's heart is Magdiel and the modest dreams that get him through the day but may also be the death of him.
  3. 75
    Serves as a primer on a musical style that may be unfamiliar to many, while putting a human face on the problem of illegal immigrants.
  4. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    Viewers unaware of the music --hugely popular among Mexicans -- and the often intensely nationalist sentiments behind it, may blanch at the open chauvinism and celebration of outlaw lifestyles. But part of the pic's strength is its presenting the cultural strain as it is, without comment.
  5. Reviewed by: Nathan Lee
    This infectious little movie enriches understanding of the immigrant experience insofar as it translates one of its main forms of expression. Where the movie goes wrong, albeit down a forgivable path, is in the attempt to personalize its subject by means of biographical focus on an aspiring corrido composer.
  6. A competent, earnest ethnographic video doc that never quite rises above its own best intentions.
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