Miss Bala

Miss Bala

DVD - 2011 | Spanish
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An aspiring beauty queen finds herself in the wrong place at the worst possible time in this explosive crime thriller set amid Mexico's increasingly violent drug war. After witnessing a shooting in a nightclub, the young woman is kidnapped and forced to work for ruthless gangsters in order the keep her dreams - and her family - alive.

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j
jimg2000
Apr 20, 2019

An innocent young woman is caught and forced to be a pawn in the middle of a bloody war between a drug gang and the authorities. Other than some slow moving scenes, a good thriller of a nightmarish ordeal in drug trade and trafficking in Mexico.

From Wiki: Miss Bala is loosely based on a real incident, in which 2008's Miss Sinaloa, Laura Zúñiga, was arrested with suspected gang members in a truck filled with munitions outside Guadalajara, Jalisco. ... director Gerardo Naranjo said that he had met Zúñiga, but that "I really didn’t want to go into their psyches. I guess the film has a very strong point-of-view, and we refuse to get into the minds of these guys, because I think that’s what every other movie does… I wanted to live the experience from the point-of-view of an innocent person."

n
Nursebob
Dec 31, 2014

Shortly into this overwrought mess you begin to suspect that director Gerardo Naranjo couldn’t decide whether he wanted to produce a bona fide indictment against his country’s illicit drug trade or a lurid telenovela about a beauty queen gone wrong. He fails on both counts. Sweetly innocent Laura Guerrero, twenty-three years old, leaves her father and brother behind and travels to the big city with dreams of being crowned the next Miss Baja California. Her dreams are derailed however when she witnesses a gangland slaying and before you can say “¡Ay Caramba!” she’s being forced to run unlawful errands for the evil drug lord Lido and his band of hairy men. But despite being forced to transport dead bodies and fly laundered money across the border she still manages to get back to the studio in time for the swimsuit competition and final judging. Unfortunately, her final assignment goes terribly awry when she’s sent to seduce a government bigwig targeted for assassination and the resulting hail of bullets threatens to blow the tiara right off her head. In the title role Stephanie Sigman exhibits the emotional range of a head of lettuce while everyone else either leers and scowls or wanders about in a clueless daze. Lastly, a final series of ironic twists do little more than elicit more laughter. Miss Bala couldn’t have been any more camp if they had hired a cast of drag queens.

l
lukasevansherman
Oct 16, 2014

Harrowing story of an aspiring beauty queen who gets caught up in Baja's violent drug war. Also see "Sin Nombre" and "Amores Perros."

n
neonkc
Dec 31, 2012

very good

m
mistical
Jul 13, 2012

i liked the flow, it had the slow moments of an indie film, but when things moved, they did so steadily. otherwise it was a slightly unremarkable look at border crime.

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j
jimg2000
Apr 21, 2019

The on screen text at the end:

THE MEXICAN DRUG WAR HAS CAUSED THE DEATHS OF OVER 36,000 PEOPLE BETWEEN 2006 AND 2011 IN MEXICO ALONE ...
===
The facts from CNN article:

https://www.cnn.com/2013/09/02/world/americas/mexico-drug-war-fast-facts/index.html

2006 - In the first few weeks of the government crackdown on drug trafficking, 62 people are killed. (Mexican government, April 2010) Newly elected Mexican President Felipe Calderon deploys more than 6,500 Mexican soldiers to the state of Michoacán to battle drug traffickers.

January 2011 - The Mexican government says that 34,612 citizens have been killed during the four-year drug war.

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