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User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3

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  1. Aug 27, 2014
    9
    A powerful Mexican drama that, although very well made, is not particularly likeable entertainment. It tells of an impoverished Mexican family unwittingly drawn into the region's drug wars due to the sister's involvement with a young and naïve police cadet. The film captures the milieu of poverty drugs and corruption unerringly well and has no problem registering strong responses andA powerful Mexican drama that, although very well made, is not particularly likeable entertainment. It tells of an impoverished Mexican family unwittingly drawn into the region's drug wars due to the sister's involvement with a young and naïve police cadet. The film captures the milieu of poverty drugs and corruption unerringly well and has no problem registering strong responses and emotions. It also has a clinical matter of fact approach to violence which is demonstrated in two or three scenes that are shocking in there casualness. Ultimately, this is one hell of a cautionary tale directed with assured confidence that underlines just how suddenly lives can spiral out of control, in this case, due to the actions of others. Expand
  2. Jul 3, 2014
    8
    An independent Mexican crime-drama. It was chosen to represent the country in the 86th academy awards. The story of a brother and sister. The responsibility of the brother was showcased when his family was torn by outraged men belong to the drug trafficking. Just another side story of the movie 'Trade' between a family, law and brutal world.

    In a small desert town, Heli, in his 20s
    An independent Mexican crime-drama. It was chosen to represent the country in the 86th academy awards. The story of a brother and sister. The responsibility of the brother was showcased when his family was torn by outraged men belong to the drug trafficking. Just another side story of the movie 'Trade' between a family, law and brutal world.

    In a small desert town, Heli, in his 20s lives with his dad and a teen sister Estela. He's married and has a little baby. He and his dad work for the same automobile factory while his sister is at school. An army camp is held for nearby their village. Estela's secret relationship and army's raid on drug dealers, all these lead to get involved in an affair for this little family. The corrupted law is not an option to rely so Heli must stand his own and fight. The world he's after is not for a person like him, he had left no choice other than going for it.

    It was a good movie in the aspect of exhibiting the contests. The synopsis says, it is a heroic movie. Heli won't just go into the underworld and smack everyone down. The presentation was in realistic approach. A very well told story with limited characters and dialogues. Yes the movie talks less and displays more, but not completely. Leaves many unsolved mysteries, though it makes you sure you understand without showing the other side of the narration. It's better as now than revealing everything because it could have been lots of violence. A couple of scenes were raw and violent. A bit disturbing as well.

    The problem with this movie was the rest of the world received it well, but the natives did not. The reason is the country was portrayed in the bad shade. Like the one we always see in the Hollywood movies which denoted how dangerous is their neighbor. The flaw and the misuse in the law enforcement, especially people from isolated place had to face their problem by themselves. So Mexico's not the only one to have issues like this, but many other parts of the world do. The filmmaker hailed from there so he did this. Remember this movie is better compared to 'Trade' which was more disturbing. In the end, both these movies were not neglectable, because of the plot it showcase was one of the actual crimes that happens everywhere.
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Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: Randy Cordova
    Jul 11, 2014
    50
    Writer-director Amat Escalante was named best director at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival for this project, and although it obviously is made with some skill, it also is unrelentingly dire.
  2. Reviewed by: Ben Kenigsberg
    Jun 18, 2014
    67
    The movie maintains a relentless grip all the same. Unlike the junior kingpins who bear witness to the film’s big blaze, audiences won’t watch in a passive state.
  3. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Jun 12, 2014
    50
    Heli, which won the directing prize in Cannes last year, is at once extreme and unspectacular, a grisly and lurid slice-of-life drama.