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56

Mixed or average reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: A young Mexican immigrant, Pedro, journeys to New York City in search of the successful father he's never met, only to have his belongings and identity stolen by a conniving thief, Juan. As Pedro is left alone and unable to communicate in a country foreign to him, Juan cons his way into theA young Mexican immigrant, Pedro, journeys to New York City in search of the successful father he's never met, only to have his belongings and identity stolen by a conniving thief, Juan. As Pedro is left alone and unable to communicate in a country foreign to him, Juan cons his way into the home of Pedro's father, Diego, finding a man just as flawed as he is. While Juan attempts to reinvent himself, Pedro's only hope lies with a mysteriously complex prostitute, Magda, as he frantically searches for his identity. (IFC First Take) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. 75
    Zalla constructs a suspenseful movie with no intention of sugarcoating the daily hardships of New York's underclass.
  2. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    75
    The acting is impeccable, with Hernandez radiating an air of sleazy charm and Ochoa doing terrific work as a bitter man who's just lonely enough to have chinks in his well-developed armor.
  3. 75
    The film is built around two relationships, both touching, both emotionally true.
  4. 60
    The result is contrived, but compelling--as is the movie's high-powered humanism.
  5. 58
    The film seems even more one-note when compared to the recent indie feature "Chop Shop," which also follows young immigrant hustlers in NYC, yet takes the time to provide a fuller picture of the city and its opportunities. Zalla prefers to wallow in the dead-end, an approach that's initially powerful, then numbing.
  6. Zalla, a graduate of Columbia's film school, is talented and single-minded. He needs to lighten up, literally. He frames his characters to bring out all their sweaty desperation, and his palette is dark with splashes of muddy brown; even the street scenes look as if they were shot in a dungeon.
  7. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    40
    Ochoa is such a masterful actor that he makes things fairly interesting despite the script, with Hernandez and Espindola well-cast as two young men operating by different moral compasses.

See all 12 Critic Reviews

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