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- Summary: A powerful, stunning examination of a Latino crime lord, set against a backdrop of prejudice and hopelessness. Santana, a youth from the streets of East Los Angeles, becomes the leader of the Mexican Mafia behind the gates of Folsom Prison. With his two childhood friends, Santana rules the prison with an iron fist, continuing a vicious cycle from which there is no escape. (Universal Studios)… Expand
- Director: Edward James Olmos
- Genre(s): Biography, Drama, Romance, Crime
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88The movie was mostly shot on two difficult locations: The streets of East L.A., and inside Folsom Prison. It knows these worlds. The language, the clothes, the attitudes, are all shown with the understated conviction of a director who is sure of his material.
80In American Me, Edward James Olmos has achieved several important goals, but one outweighs the rest: he has made a film that will scare the hell out of any inner-city youth not already lost to the hopelessness of gangs, drugs and prison. [9 Mar 1992]
60But Mr. Olmos's direction, from a screenplay by Floyd Mutrux and Desmond Nakano, is dark, slow and solemn, so much so that it diverts energy from the film's fundamental frankness. Violent as it is, American Me is seldom dramatic enough to bring its material to life.
38American Me is a graphic and honest effort that, unfortunately, becomes a catalogue of other films on similar subjects. Its depiction of prison life is much too slow, too long, too repetitive and too familiar. [13 Mar 1992, p. C3]