American Me (1992)

R  |   |  Biography, Crime, Drama  |  13 March 1992 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 5,545 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 45 user | 18 critic | 11 from

A Mexican-American Mafia kingpin is released from prison, falls in love for the first time, and grows introspective about his gangster lifestyle.



(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Based on the true life experiences of poet Jimmy Santiago Baca, the film focuses on half-brothers Paco and Cruz, and their bi-racial cousin Miklo. It opens in 1972, as the three are members... See full summary »

Director: Taylor Hackford
Stars: Damian Chapa, Jesse Borrego, Benjamin Bratt
My Family (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

This epic film traces over three generations an immigrant family's trials, tribulations, tragedies and triumphs. Jose and Maria, the first generation, come to Los Angeles, meet, marry, face... See full summary »

Director: Gregory Nava
Stars: Jimmy Smits, Esai Morales, Edward James Olmos
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Kid brother Chuco (Danny De La Paz) is a sullen low-rider still caught up in the life. Despite their differences, their family bond is strong. But that bond is violently tested when rivals ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Pressman
Stars: Richard Yniguez, Danny De La Paz, Marta DuBois
Mi vida loca (1993)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Mousie and Sad Girl are childhood best friends in a contemporary Los Angeles poor Hispanic neighborhood. But when Sad Girl becomes pregnant by Mousie's boyfriend, a drug dealer named ... See full summary »

Director: Allison Anders
Stars: Angel Aviles, Seidy Lopez, Jacob Vargas
Colors (1988)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An experienced cop and his rookie partner patrol the streets of East Los Angeles while trying to keep the gang violence under control.

Director: Dennis Hopper
Stars: Sean Penn, Robert Duvall, Maria Conchita Alonso
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The story of Jaime Escalante, a high school teacher who successfully inspired his dropout prone students to learn calculus.

Director: Ramón Menéndez
Stars: Edward James Olmos, Estelle Harris, Mark Phelan
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young street hustler attempts to escape the rigors and temptations of the ghetto in a quest for a better life.

Directors: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes
Stars: Tyrin Turner, Larenz Tate, June Kyoto Lu
South Central (1992)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A man is sent to prison for 10 years. Coming out of prison he wants to live a normal life and stop crime but his son has now followed the criminal path of his father.

Director: Stephen Milburn Anderson
Stars: Byron Minns, Glenn Plummer, Lexie Bigham
Vatos Locos (Video 2011)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Chicano brothers on the streets of LA.

Director: Damian Chapa
Stars: Damian Chapa, Gabriel Tang, Ricco Chapa
New Jack City (1991)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A crime lord ascends to power and becomes megalomaniacal while a maverick police detective vows to stop him.

Director: Mario Van Peebles
Stars: Wesley Snipes, Ice-T, Allen Payne
Zoot Suit (1981)
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A kind of musical accompanying the story of the early 1940's and the effect that the "zoot suit" (a man's suit of long jacket and pegged pants, always worn with a long keychain that looped ... See full summary »

Director: Luis Valdez
Stars: Daniel Valdez, Edward James Olmos, Charles Aidman
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Director: Edward James Olmos
Stars: Edward James Olmos


Cast overview, first billed only:
Pedro Santana
Vira Montes ...
Esperanza Santana
Roberto Martín Márquez ...
Acha (as Robert Martin Marquez)
Joe Aubel ...
Tattoo Artist
Rob Garrett ...
Zoot Riot Bystander
Young Sailor
Cody Glenn ...
Older Sailor
Police Officer
Panchito Gómez ...
Young Montoya Santana (as Panchito Gomez)
Albert Joe Medina Jr. ...
Street Mechanic
Alex Solís ...
Street Mechanic (as Alex Solis)
Raymond Amezquita ...
Young JD
Young Mundo


This epic depiction of thirty years of Chicano gang life in Los Angeles focuses on a teen named Santana who, with his friends Mundo and the Caucasian-but-acting-Hispanic J.D., form their own gang and are soon arrested for a break-in. Santana gets into trouble again and goes straight from reform school to prison, spending eighteen year there, and becoming leader of a powerful gang, both inside and outside the prison, while there. When he is finally released, he tries to make sense of the violence in his life, in a world much changed from when last he was in it. Written by Gary Dickerson <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In prison they are the law. On the streets they are the power.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and sensuality, and for language and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 March 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sans rémission  »

Box Office


$16,000,000 (estimated)


$13,086,430 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the prison parts of the movie, Olmos managed to get on screen real-life gang members from the Bloods and Crips, Aryan Brotherhood, Nazi Lowriders, Hell's Angels, 18th Street, White Fence, La Colonia de Watts, Dogtown, East Side Clover and the infamous Black Guerilla Family. See more »


When the Mexican inmates are walking up with the mop and bucket to assassinate the African-American inmate, it shows the African-American inmate laying in just a t-shirt on his bed and in the next scene after hes caught on fire he's wearing his long sleeve button up. See more »


Montoya Santana: What we'd done in Compton was wrong. It was supposed to be business, but came out racial. We wanted to send a message to BGF about staying away from our business. And we sent a bunch of fucking cowboys in other people's home turf, talkin trash and shooting some guy in the dick.
J.D.: I don't know what's wrong with you. I don' know if it is that woman or what? But you're starting to show weakness and we both know that you can't do that.
See more »


Featured in Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003) See more »


Slippin' Into Darkness
Written by Thomas Allen (as Sylvester Allen), Harold R. Brown (as Harold Brown),
Morris D. Dickerson (as Morris Dickerson), Lonnie Jordan (as Leroy "Lonnie" Jordan),
, Charles Miller, Lee Oskar, Howard E. Scott (as Howard Scott)
Performed by War
Produced by Jerry Goldstein
Courtesy of Avenue Records/Far Out Productions
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

American Me. Thumbs up!
25 March 2005 | by (United Kingdom. Scotland. Edinburgh) – See all my reviews

I seen this film when it first came out, back in 92 on VHS. The film stuck in my mind since-there have not been many films like it to date.

Edward James Olmos is magnificent as actor and director. You may not have seen him in many films but he does have a quality about him that casts him perfectly in the principal role of gang leader / drug cartel.

If you like prison films this is one of the best. It hasn't got too many clichés and avoids being overtly pretentious.

William Forsythe is great as Edward James Olmos's buddy and as he-Forsythe-usually does when acting (doesn't try to overact or steal any scenes) he just does the business and blends in as his character engrossing you into the film giving it a more realistic depiction of the setting.

Many prison films usually fit the same formula, showing you the in's and out's, morals and stereotypes usually associated with prison films. American ME just gets right into it and takes you along without preaching those usual morals and overdone cliché characters. This film is on a par with BLOOD IN BLOOD OUT. Check it out!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
5 best gangster films dodgerfan5
What does 'Cabron' and 'Orale' mean? crouchingfork
Mexican Rappers. Daneckboy
Best Part Sparx1_69
South Park tahcamen
Discuss American Me (1992) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: