After their Mexican friend gets deported, two young Americans decide to begin smuggling illegal immigrants into Arizona for profit.

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, (as Brett Spackman)
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Credited cast:
...
Steve
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J. (as Brett Spackman)
...
Katie
...
Mariana
Oswaldo Hernández ...
Sr. Juarez
David C. Thompson ...
Danny Boy
Genesis Curiel ...
Pablo
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Juan Jose Aguirre ...
Mexican DHS Agent
Devin Colvin ...
Border Patrol Van Driver
P.J. Green ...
Van Salesman
Chaz Hales ...
Jules
Robb Hanks ...
Murdock
Vince Heflin ...
AZ Highway Patrolman
Steve McKee ...
Golfer #2
Chad Peters ...
Lawrence

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Storyline

After their Mexican friend gets deported, two young Americans decide to begin smuggling illegal immigrants into Arizona for profit.

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Kinder, Gentler People Smugglers See more »

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Comedy | Crime | Drama

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27 September 2007 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Trivia

Several Mexican children playing on the beach watched in stunned silence as Brian Petersen walked right through the fence and into the US at the Baja California ocean border. They were equally surprised when he returned. See more »

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Two guys form a business that smuggles Mexicans into America
6 June 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Coyote" is quite a good film. Brian Petersen wrote it, directed it and stars in it, and he is also one of four executive producers. His co-star, Brett Spackman, also was an executive producer and did the film editing. It's a mild comedy thriller.

I'll try to pinpoint what I think this capable team and the others in it can do to make their productions even better. Constructive criticism, which they may already be aware of. First, a brief summary.

The story is original and quite suspenseful, which carries it along. Two guys have a Mexican acquaintance and friend who has long lived in Arizona deported. They devise a way to smuggle him back into Arizona which succeeds. They then decide to turn this into an honest service business that gives value for the money and doesn't leave people stranded in the desert or worse. They face and overcome various problems before running into a bigger problem which is a Mexican gang of smugglers who do not want them horning in.

The story has ample twists, complications and novelty. It has good themes too, as it shows the pressured position of the Mexicans who lack opportunities in Mexico and have some relatives in Arizona, and who have to go into the low-quality underground economy and take their chances with gangsters smuggling them across, plus face the Minutemen and U.S. operatives patrolling the border. The story couldn't make up its mind whether it was going to be droll or serious. It's never really laugh out loud comic. It's more a somewhat forced humor, or a tone of humor. Then it becomes serious. The movie carries us along, but really one might question that two men who are so careful about creating the business would underestimate the risks of the competition and being caught, especially when they handle it so out in the open with brochures. The money they make has to be what draws them to it.

The story is good at integrating the domestic and personal lives of the smugglers with their business. Petersen is about to be married and his bride-to-be has many problems with his business. Spackman finds a love in Mexico.

The main element that harms the picture is that it uneasily mixes standard acting with a looser, more improvisatory kind of scene that reminds me of a Cassavetes film. When you watch an improvised scene, it seems more real, more like you're watching ordinary people talk. It lacks acting devices or artifices or heightened effects due to camera shots and editing. This doesn't mix well with the standard methods. It comes across as "bad" acting when it really is a different form of presentation altogether. Spackman and most of his scenes don't betray this uneasiness, but Petersen in a good many scenes does. Actors who direct are notoriously bad at directing themselves, and that's the case here in some scenes. Too many scenes have that "home movie" quality that makes it too obvious that you are watching a movie and breaks the absorption of the viewer into the film.

A movie really is an art, and there really is a difference between an amateur and a real artist. This movie straddles both. It is polished in some respects and amateurish in others. This team, if it goes on to other work, has a lot of promise, and already has produced pretty good entertainment on what is probably a low budget. Let's see its members go on to even better results.


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