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Maria Full of Grace (2004)

R | | Crime, Drama | 6 August 2004 (USA)
A pregnant Colombian teenager becomes a drug mule to make some desperately needed money for her family.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 40 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
María Álvarez
Virgina Ariza ...
Rodrigo Sánchez Borhorquez ...
Supervisor (as Rodrigo Sanchez Borhorquez)
Charles Albert Patiño ...
Wilson Guerrero ...
Johanna Andrea Mora ...
Diana Álvarez
Fabricio Suarez ...
Mateo Suarez ...
Evangelina Morales ...
Juana Guarderas ...
Female Pharmacist
John Álex Toro ...
Franklin (as Jhon Alex Toro)
Javier (as Jaime Osorio Gomez)
Lucy Díaz
Victor Macias ...
Pellet Maker


In a small village in Colombia, the pregnant seventeen years old Maria supports her family with her salary working in a floriculture. She is fired and with a total lack of perspective of finding a new job, she decides to accept the offer to work as a drug mule, flying to USA with sixty-two pellets of cocaine in her stomach. Once in New York, things do not happen as planned. Written by Stephen Bowen

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Basada en 1000 historias reales. (Based on 1,000 true stories) See more »


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |



Release Date:

6 August 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Maria Full of Grace  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$139,066 (USA) (16 July 2004)


$6,517,198 (USA) (5 November 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Catalina Sandino Moreno did not practice swallowing pellets during rehearsals. Since the character of Maria did not know how to swallow them, Moreno and Joshua Marston agreed that it would be more realistic for her to try swallowing them for the first time on-camera. The pellets were made of easily digestible substances but neither Moreno nor Marston will reveal what exactly they were made of. See more »


After Maria gives Don Fernando the money for Lucy's family, she takes her wallet out twice. See more »


Juan: [Maria's pregnant] Well, I'll marry you.
María Álvarez: And how long before you start seeing someone else?
See more »


Referenced in Eating Out: All You Can Eat (2009) See more »


El Preso
Written by Alvaro Velasquez Balcazar
Performed by Fruko y Sus Tesos
Courtesy of Discos Fuentes
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User Reviews

It's not grace she's full of...
7 August 2006 | by (Sweden) – See all my reviews


Small film about a big business.

Poverty, desperation and bravery spiral into a mess and culminate in pregnant 17-year-old Maria sitting in a room, trying to swallow 60 plastic capsules full of narcotics to smuggle for money. When she later on needs to swallow two more, it is a scene so painful that it is almost unbearable to watch. Maria: Full of Grace (2004) is a clear-eyed and relevant portrayal of a young girl in Columbia being exploited by the drug industry - in spite of its dark material, it projects a lot of heart and spirit.

They say that reality is often more frightening than fiction - and this is true for this film; it is so realistic and down-to-earth that it becomes harrowing in almost every scene. Catalina Sandino Moreno is fantastic as the dignified, brave Maria whose high-spirited nature propels the otherwise dark film. She is a girl who speaks little, but says so much. She knows what she needs to do, and she does it like she means business.

The above is also true for Joshua Marston's Maria: Full of Grace (2004)

  • it does not preach about morals; there is no melodrama, politics,

sugar-coating romances or effects, but an understated yet brutal depiction of a young girl's journey in learning to cope and be responsible. Extremely well-crafted and important film that does not claim to be important, and that is endlessly refreshing.


22 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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