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Two affluent suburban girls clash with the Latino gang culture of East L.A.



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4,524 ( 654)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jose L. Vasquez ...
Manuel (as Johnny Vasquez)
Mr. Rubin


A pair of naive young girls learn that even the most insignificant actions can have lasting consequences. Influenced by the hip-hop thug lifestyle and seeking to explore life outside of their insulated, culturally homogenized suburb, pretty young teenagers Allison and Emily set their sights on East L.A. to experience the "gangsta" lifestyle firsthand. By the time the pair meet a ruthless Mexican drug dealer named Hector, some true-life Latino gang-bangers, and realize just how far out of their element they really are, it may already be too late to turn back. Written by Giancarlos Calderon

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Some lines aren't meant to be crossed... See more »


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, pervasive language, violence, drug and alcohol use - all involving teens | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

16 October 2005 (Armenia)  »

Also Known As:

The Powers That Be  »

Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (unrated)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The original writer, Jessica Kaplan, died at age 24 in a small plane crash over Los Angeles' Fairfax district (6 June 2003), just before filming started. The plane was piloted by her uncle. The film is dedicated to her. See more »


When the girls go back to East LA and see the man receiving oral sex on the sidewalk, the mirror in the shot is clearly not the correct mirror for the SUV they are riding in. See more »


Chino: Que haces con esta pinche gabacha?
Hector: Hey hey, cool it. she's with me.
Chino: [quietly] She didn't fuck you before you think she'll fuck you now?
Hector: Hey, no chingas she will.
[Chino leaves]
Allison: I don't think he likes me.
See more »


References Primetime: Episode dated 4 December 2002 (2002) See more »


Grown Folks
Written by Russell Howard and Tanya White
Performed by Freckles
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Hollywood rebels without a cause -- where are you James Dean?
4 May 2006 | by (New Jersey, USA) – See all my reviews

Negative comments about this film need to be tempered by the sad story surrounding its making. The script was written by a 17-year old girl named Jessica Kaplan. No, It's not Citizen Kane, but it is an extraordinary piece of work for a teenager. And most sadly, she perished in an airplane crash at the age of 21. The film is dedicated to her memory.

As to the film's merits, it is by my count the 1,464th variation of Rebel Without A Cause, which I think said all that needed to be said on the subject. Did you know that adolescents often find society empty and pointless? And that they do stupid things by way of rebelling against it, in hopes of dispelling their angst and finding something more meaningful? Yes, it's true. In this version of that old chestnut, the rebels are a particularly spoiled group of high school students living in Hollywood. To find something they consider "real", they form youth gangs in imitation of the poor folk in East L.A. And then they actually go there, at first to buy drugs; but then rich girls Anne Hatahway and Bijou Phillips try to get involved in the local Hispanic gang scene. Some pretty modest mayhem ensues.

The East L.A. people are awfully sanitized and not very believable. Nobody is addicted to anything. Nobody is desperate. Nobody appears to be poor. These are basically solid middle class folk, devoted to family, who have a few surface quirks and who happen to sell crack cocaine instead of, say, life insurance.

Is it my imagination or does the gorgeous Bijou Phillips always play exactly the same role -- a sexually eager girl who gets in over her head, discovering the hard way that yes, she has limits? That's the role she plays here, and she is fine (as is lead Anne Hatahway). But I wonder whether that is her entire repertoire. Perhaps she will branch out someday.

Somewhere on this planet, there must be some group of people more deserving of sympathy than affluent Hollywood teenagers. So I found myself wondering why this film had been made. The young scriptwriter should not be held accountable, but you would think older people would know better.

27 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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