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Miss Bala

also known as “Miss Bullet,” «Мис Бала»
MPA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPA) for sequences of gun violence, sexual and drug content, thematic material, and language.
Moral Rating: not reviewed
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: • Adults • Young-Adults
Genre: Action Thriller Drama Remake
Length: 1 hr. 44 min.
Year of Release: 2019
USA Release: February 1, 2019 (wide—2,203 theaters)
DVD: April 30, 2019
Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Picturesclick photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures
Relevant Issues

Mexican drug cartels

Kidnapping of women

Forcing kidnapped women to do illegal things

Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures

OVERCOMING FEAR—What does the Bible say? Answer

Courage / bravery

Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures
Featuring Gina RodriguezGloria
Anthony MackieDave
Ismael Cruz CordovaLino
Thomas DekkerJustin
Matt Lauria … Brian
Aislinn Derbez … Isabel
Cristina Rodlo … Suzu
Ricardo Abarca … Pollo
Daniela de la Fe … Edgy Girl
Omar Ayala … Omar
Sebastián Cano … Chava
Will Blagrove … (voice)
Director Catherine Hardwicke — “Thirteen” (2003), “The Nativity Story” (2006), “Twilight” (2008), “Red Riding Hood” (2011)
Producer Canana Films [Mexico]
Misher Films
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Distributor: Columbia Pictures. Trademark logo.
Columbia Pictures
, a division of Sony Pictures

“Who would you become to save your family?”

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “Gloria (Gina Rodriguez) who is a makeup artist from Los Angeles, visits her best friend Suzu in Tijuana, Mexico. But then Suzo suddenly disappears at a nightclub. In the course of her search and rescue for her, Gloria gets kidnapped and forced to smuggle laundered money for a drug cartel. She works her way into the good graces of its leader Lino as well as the DEA, which also takes part in this case. Gloria must turn the tables on everyone to escape and finds a power she never knew she had as she navigates a dangerous world of cross-border crime. Surviving will require all of her cunning, inventiveness, and strength.

Based on the Spanish-language film by Gerardo Naranjo of the same name.”

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Secular Movie Critics
…A real surprise. It seems to promise an exploitative genre movie, about gangsters and drug deals, and it delivers on that, but it’s something more. Director Catherine Hardwicke and screenwriter Gareth Dunnet-Alcocet have taken a Mexican thriller, with a female victim at its center, and have turned it into an intelligent feminist film. …
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
…kick-ass origin story for a new kind of action hero…
Peter Debruge, Variety
…Hardwicke is a talented director who brings an addictive verve and visual dynamism to this bombastic take, and Rodriguez has a charm so appealing it could be weaponized…
Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service
…What keeps it all watchable is Rodriguez’s magnetism. …
Brian Truitt, USA Today
…Gina Rodriguez makes the rote ‘Miss Bala’ mildly interesting… “Miss Bala” isn’t terrible… But you watch it wishing it were something else, and looking forward to seeing Gina Rodriguez shine in something better. …[2/4]
Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times
…Overall, Miss Bala is a misfire — but its leading lady is No. 1 with a bullet. …[2½/4]
Rob Bailey-Millado, New York Post
…misses hard, despite its talented star… It’s mostly left to Rodriguez to carry the absurdity on her shoulders, and the fact that she makes it so watchable is a real testament to her abilities. Next time, may the material rise at least halfway to meet her. …[C]
Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly
…There are times when it’s funny. There are also times when it beats you over the head with context clues. When the action ramps up, the over-the-top music score seems to stomp its foot and say, “Something is hap-pen-ing!” Certain plot points are overemphasized. It veers toward parody. But it’s also satisfying to see the outcome. …[2½/5]
Danielle White, The Austin Chronicle
…This version, in the dreariest Hollywood-remake tradition, turns a grim, morally ambiguous story into a fable of empowerment. That might be kind of fun if it didn’t feel so tired and timid. …
A.O. Scott, The New York Times
…loaded with action cliches… It’s a box-ticking exercise in female jeopardy, survival and empowerment, oppressively efficient in its relentless way but unrelieved by emotional resonance. …
Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal