Critic Reviews

40

Metascore

Based on 18 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
70
The Hollywood Reporter
Quite an entertaining genre piece boasting a terrifically sinewy lead performance from Wanda De Jesus.
63
As it is, Illegal Tender works as a melodrama, and it benefits enormously from the performance of Wanda DeJesus.
63
The movie's a genuine oddity: a Latino action drama with one foot in bullet-spitting genre flicks -- '70s blaxploitation and '80s coke-kingpin films are the primary reference points -- and the other in raggedly personal family melodrama.
58
For a second, the movie has the snap of a truly surprising thriller -- like a Hispanic "Kill Bill" -- about an aging lioness willing to kill to protect her cub.
50
Never gets the mixture right, lurching between bullet-happy shootouts and overwrought domestic content.
50
What kind of movie is misdirected, poorly acted, preposterously written--and still wholly entertaining? A B-movie, of course. While Illegal Tender has misguided pretensions towards Serious Filmmaking, it's surprisingly likeable if you see it instead as a cheesy thriller good for a lazy Friday night.
50
This tale of crime and punishment is wrapped in a veneer of flashy attitude but founders on mundane details.
40
Never transcends its clichés.
38
Chicago Tribune
Illegal Tender echoes "A History of Violence," another gritty film that explores escaping a criminal past. But the vast vapidity behind Illegal Tender's ill-conceived story line is far harder to overcome.
25
Miami Herald
Illegal Tender is the sort of crime movie in which nothing, not one detail, has been observed from real life; it's composed entirely of fantasies and falsehoods lifted from bad movies and hip-hop videos.
0
The real mystery here is why this slapdash semi-effort didn't go straight to video.

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