Miss Bala (2011)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  9 September 2011 (Mexico)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 6,722 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 37 user | 130 critic | 22 from Metacritic.com

After entering a beauty contest in Tijuana, a young woman witnesses drug-related murders and is forced to do the gang's bidding.


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3 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Laura Guerrero
Juan Carlos Galván ...
Arturo Guerrero
Noé Hernández ...
Lino Valdez
Irene Azuela ...
Jessica Verduzo
Javier Zaragoza ...
Ramón Guerrero
Lakshmi Picazo ...
Azucena 'Suzu' Ramos
Kike Cámara
Leonor Victorica ...
Luisa Janes
Gabriel Heads ...
Agent Bell
Hugo Márquez ...
Javi Fernández
Miguel Couturier ...
General Salomón Duarte
Eduardo Mendizábal ...
Sergio Gómez Padilla ...
Felipe Morales ...


At 23, Laura Guerro and her friend Suzu enter the Miss Baja pageant. Both qualify, and while Laura waits at a nightclub for Suzu to break away so they can go shopping, a heavily-armed drug gang murders drug enforcement officials there. Laura escapes unharmed but can't find Suzu, so the next day she looks for her; her dogged behavior brings her to the cartel's attention, and they force her to assist them as they menace her father and younger brother. Lino, the gang's leader, decides Laura should finish the pageant although her only interest is escape. Every day drags her deeper and corruption is pervasive. What alternative is there to death or prison? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some brutal violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:





Release Date:

9 September 2011 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Miss Bala: I vasilissa tis omorfias  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The character of Laura Guerrero was loosely based on Mexican model and beauty queen, Laura Zúñiga. On December 22, 2008, Laura Zúñiga along with seven men were arrested for narco-trafficking ties in Zapopan, Jalisco. See more »

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User Reviews

Slow paced but extremely realistic movie
1 October 2011 | by (Mexico) – See all my reviews

This is the story of a 23 year old girl from Tijuana named Laura who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and gets involved involuntarily with a drug lord who forces her to take part in his criminal activities for the following days.

There are two things that really surprised me while watching this film. The first is the directing style, quite unusual but with a purpose I must say: a lot of panning, traveling and sequence shots, to give a certain sense of a documentary type of film. In many scenes, the director lets the camera still with the main character while we only "hear" what's going on around her and also a slow paced direction to allow the viewer get a more personal approach to the main character and what she is going through (I believe). The second one is how realistic it all seems, the language, the characters, the locations and especially a shooting scene between cops and narcos that is just breathtaking.

Of course this wouldn't work so well if the acting wasn't first class, and it is indeed, Stephanie Sigman what a fantastic job, really makes us care for the character.

Like "El Infierno", it reflects a sad reality of what Mexico is currently going through with the fight against drug trafficking, and it isn't pretty at all. However I consider this little gem an essential viewing for movie fans and even film students. Highly recommended.

32 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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