Immigrant Border Films 101+

by LlllPppp | created - 14 Oct 2011 | updated - 1 week ago | Public

All genres; in no particular order...

Most relate to Mexico-US border, but some Canada-US border related as well.

Not available here for this list is "The Border Film Project" [please do an internet search]; provides dynamic pictorial perspectives...

Also consider searching for "Animas Perdidas", or "Lost Souls", depicting two brothers, both U.S. military veterans, raised in the U.S. since childhood, whom are deported from the only country they knew, and subsequently abandoned by their country, and their former brothers-in-arms, only to suffer tragic consequences...

Also missing:

'La Ciudad' [1998, David Riker] [UPDATE:no longer missing]

'The 800 Mile Wall' [2009]

'Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness' [2009?]

'One Border, One Body' [?]

'Strangers No Longer' [?]

'The Invisible Chapel' [?]

'Frontier Youth' [?]

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1. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)

R | 121 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama

77 Metascore

Ranch hand Pete Perkins looks to fulfill the promise to his recently deceased best friend by burying him in his hometown in Mexico.

Director: Tommy Lee Jones | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Barry Pepper, Dwight Yoakam, January Jones

Votes: 36,458 | Gross: $5.02M

2. Lone Star (1996)

R | 135 min | Drama, Mystery

78 Metascore

When the skeleton of his murdered predecessor is found, Sheriff Sam Deeds unearths many other long-buried secrets in his Texas border town.

Director: John Sayles | Stars: Chris Cooper, Elizabeth Peña, Stephen Mendillo, Stephen J. Lang

Votes: 25,585 | Gross: $13.27M

3. Una vida mejor (2008)

74 min | Crime, Drama

Welcome to America. The U.S. government has mandated the construction of a 2,000-mile long wall along the U.S./Mexico border and many Americans sport bumper stickers on their vehicles with ... See full summary »

Director: Andrew James | Stars: Brenda Acosta, Guy Adams, Merced Arcei, Lupe Barrera

Votes: 56

4. Under the Same Moon (2007)

PG-13 | 106 min | Adventure, Drama

59 Metascore

A young Mexican boy illegally travels to the U.S. to find his mother (who is illegally in the U.S.) after his grandmother passes away.

Director: Patricia Riggen | Stars: Eugenio Derbez, Kate del Castillo, Adrian Alonso, Maya Zapata

Votes: 6,086 | Gross: $12.59M

5. Santitos (1999)

R | 105 min | Comedy, Drama

68 Metascore

When St. Jude appears to her to tell her that her daughter is still alive, Esperanza goes on a search to find her daughter.

Director: Alejandro Springall | Stars: Dolores Heredia, Demián Bichir, Alberto Estrella, Pedro Altamirano

Votes: 492 | Gross: $0.01M

6. La Ciudad (The City) (1998)

88 min | Drama

76 Metascore

The stories of four Hispanic immigrants living in New York City.

Director: David Riker | Stars: Anthony Rivera, Joseph Rigano, Miguel Maldonado, Ricardo Cuevas

Votes: 344 | Gross: $0.24M

7. Al otro lado (2004)

90 min | Drama

Three separate stories of children from different places seeking to find their missing fathers.

Director: Gustavo Loza | Stars: Carmen Maura, Héctor Suárez, Vanessa Bauche, Susana González

Votes: 365

8. Sangre de mi sangre (2007)

TV-MA | 110 min | Drama, Thriller

56 Metascore

A Mexican boy smuggles himself to Brooklyn to meet his long-lost father - only to have his identity stolen upon arrival by an impostor who seeks to steal the fathers' fortune.

Director: Christopher Zalla | Stars: Jesús Ochoa, Armando Hernández, Jorge Adrián Espíndola, Paola Mendoza

Votes: 1,029 | Gross: $0.05M

9. El Norte (1983)

R | 141 min | Drama

67 Metascore

Peasants escaping mindless labor and a murderous Guatemalan government head to America in hopes for something better.

Director: Gregory Nava | Stars: Zaide Silvia Gutiérrez, David Villalpando, Ernesto Gómez Cruz, Alicia del Lago

Votes: 4,316

10. El Traspatio (2009)

122 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

The true story of the border town of Juarez, Mexico where since the mid-1990s thousands of women have gone missing or turned up as sun-burnt corpses in the desert. Can new police captain Blanca Bravo stop the savagery?

Director: Carlos Carrera | Stars: Ana de la Reguera, Asur Zagada, Marco Pérez, Ivan Cortes

Votes: 1,339

11. Return to Sender (II) (2008)

10 min | Documentary, Short

Imagine, three thousand boats, filled with 125,000 people, sailing over a small 90-mile patch of sea that might as well have spanned thousands of miles. On this sea, refugees sailed between... See full summary »

Directors: Emma Bailin, Sarah Bailin

Votes: 8

12. Los jornaleros (2003)

88 min | Drama

Los Jornaleros presents the interwoven stories of three young Hispanic men who come to this country to pursue te American dream and instead end up struggling as day-laborers.

Director: Lane Shefter Bishop | Stars: Shawn Bernal, Marc Bossley, James C. Burns, Jose Caro

Votes: 149

13. The Mexican Dream (2003)

28 min | Short, Comedy

The Mexican Dream, is a Tragic comedy about the longings and delusions that lure so many illegal immigrants to this country. It's a fractured story about a naive, impulsive, but above all ... See full summary »

Director: Gustavo Hernández Pérez | Stars: Jesus Perez, Martin Morales, Jeff LeBeau, Leonard Rodriguez

Votes: 359

14. Maria Del Norte (2012)

80 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

An ironic story that takes a Border Patrol Agent, Angela Rubio through many obstacles and challenges to avoid Immigration. Angela gets hit on the head by a couple of drug smugglers and and ... See full summary »

Director: Luis Antonio Rodriguez | Stars: Moses Archer, Gonzalo Diaz, Cintia Flores, Viridiana Garza

15. Illegal (2010)

R | 107 min | Drama

Tells the stories of a group of people in Ciudad de Juarez with one thing in common: they are all looking for a better life for them and their families. For many, that better life waits just a short walk away in the United States.

Director: Ric Dupont | Stars: Shirley Rumierk, Luis Bordonada, Omar Leyva, Art LaFleur

Votes: 64

16. Coyote (2007)

Not Rated | 94 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

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

Director: Brian Petersen | Stars: Brian Petersen, Brett Hernandez Spackman, Carley Adams, Marina Valle

Votes: 132

18. Sugar (I) (2008)

R | 114 min | Drama, Sport

82 Metascore

Dominican baseball star Miguel "Sugar" Santos is recruited to play in the U.S. minor-leagues.

Directors: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck | Stars: Algenis Perez Soto, Jose Rijo, Walki Cuevas, Santo Silvestre

Votes: 4,344 | Gross: $1.08M

Latino athlete in Iowa...

19. Historias y testigos: ¡Ni una muerta mas! (2004 TV Movie)

120 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

As a young reporter, Valentina (Fabiola Campomanes) finds out that one of her childhood friends has been killed, her investigation leads to the unsolved murders of more than 300 women in the city of Juarez, Mexico.

Director: René Cardona III | Stars: Fabiola Campomanes, José Luis Franco, Patricio Castillo, Roberto Mateos

Votes: 8

20. Salt of the Earth (1954)

Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, History

Mexican workers at a Zinc mine call a general strike. It is only through the solidarity of the workers, and importantly the indomitable resolve of their wives, mothers and daughters, that they eventually triumph.

Director: Herbert J. Biberman | Stars: Juan Chacón, Rosaura Revueltas, Will Geer, David Wolfe

Votes: 2,563

"The Only Blacklisted American Film"...

21. Sin Nombre (2009)

R | 96 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama

77 Metascore

A Honduran young girl and a Mexican gangster are united in a journey across the American border.

Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga | Stars: Paulina Gaitan, Marco Antonio Aguirre, Leonardo Alonso, Karla Cecilia Alvarado

Votes: 28,952 | Gross: $2.53M

22. America 101 (2005)

Not Rated | 86 min | Comedy

Two Mexican brothers get smuggled over the border to try and find their "America Dream".

Director: Mark A. Russell | Stars: Miguel Castro, Richard Azurdia, Christine Carlo, Gerald Brodin

Votes: 229


23. Northless (2009)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama

Andres reaches the Mexican border to cross into the United Sates. There between each attempt, he discovers that Tijuana is a troubled city. As he waits there, Andres is not only confronted ... See full summary »

Director: Rigoberto Pérezcano | Stars: Harold Torres, Alicia Laguna, Sonia Couoh, Luis Cárdenas

Votes: 297

24. Bread and Roses (2000)

R | 110 min | Drama

57 Metascore

Two Latina sisters work as cleaners in a downtown office building, and fight for the right to unionize.

Director: Ken Loach | Stars: Pilar Padilla, Adrien Brody, Elpidia Carrillo, Jack McGee

Votes: 4,940 | Gross: $0.53M

25. Walking the Line (2005)

57 min | Documentary

Walking the Line offers a harrowing view of the chaos along the U.S.-Mexico border through private citizens who are taking the law into their own hands. Following a growing movement of ... See full summary »

Directors: Jeremy S. Levine, Landon Van Soest

Votes: 63

26. Those Who Remain (2008)

96 min | Documentary

An intimate and discerning depiction of the impact of migration on families and villages left behind by loved ones who have traveled North for work.

Directors: Carlos Hagerman, Juan Carlos Rulfo | Stars: Julio Cesar Castillo, Luis Castillo, Maricela Dzul, Adrian Esparza

Votes: 90

27. Born in East L.A. (1987)

R | 85 min | Comedy

When a native-born American citizen of Mexican descent is mistakenly deported to Mexico, he has to risk everything to get back home.

Director: Cheech Marin | Stars: Cheech Marin, Daniel Stern, Paul Rodriguez, Kamala Lopez

Votes: 4,866 | Gross: $17.36M

28. A Day Without a Mexican (2004)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

30 Metascore

When a mysterious fog surrounds the boundaries of California, there is a communication breakdown and all the Mexicans disappear, affecting the economy and the state stops working missing the Mexican workers and dwellers.

Director: Sergio Arau | Stars: Caroline Aaron, Tony Abatemarco, Melinda Allen, Frankie J. Allison

Votes: 2,939 | Gross: $4.18M

29. One Man's Hero (1999)

R | 121 min | Action, Drama, History

24 Metascore

"One Man's Hero" tells the little-known story of the "St. Patrick's Battalion" or "San Patricios," a group of mostly Irish, and other immigrants of the Catholic religion, who deserted to ... See full summary »

Director: Lance Hool | Stars: Tom Berenger, Joaquim de Almeida, Daniela Romo, Mark Moses

Votes: 996 | Gross: $0.23M

Unique historical look at border immigration and the "San Patricios" during the The War of 1847...highly recommended!

30. Escuadrón 201 (1945)

107 min | Drama, War

Fictional story about the Escuadron 201 de Caza (201st Mexican Fighter Squadron), which participated in military campaigns in the Phillipines during WWII. It focuses primarily on two ... See full synopsis »

Director: Jaime Salvador | Stars: Sara García, Domingo Soler, Ángel Garasa, Gloria Aguiar

Votes: 13

WWII film depicting lives of Mexican Air Force mustering, training in Texas, serving and and fighting in the Pacific theatre of war; potential remake has been rumored... Highly recommended!

32. El infierno (2010)

NC-17 | 145 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

Benjamin Garcia, Benny, is deported from the United States. Back home and against a bleak picture, Benny gets involved in the narco business, in which has for the first time in his life, an... See full summary »

Director: Luis Estrada | Stars: Damián Alcázar, Joaquín Cosio, Ernesto Gómez Cruz, María Rojo

Votes: 6,976

33. A tiro de piedra (2010)

97 min | Adventure

A shepherd leaves behind his life in Mexico after coming across a mysterious key chain. Will the key chain lead him to his own paradise or will the journey be all for nothing?

Director: Sebastián Hiriart | Stars: Gabino Rodríguez, Rogelio Medina, Alejandra España, Julián Silva

Votes: 82

34. Airlift (2016)

Not Rated | 130 min | Drama, History

When Iraq invades Kuwait in August, 1990, a callous Indian businessman becomes the spokesperson for more than 170,000 stranded countrymen.

Director: Raja Menon | Stars: Akshay Kumar, Nimrat Kaur, Kumud Mishra, Prakash Belawadi

Votes: 46,122

35. Pepe & Santo vs. America (2009)

Not Rated | 95 min | Comedy

Pepe travels to America with Santo (The Patron Saint of Immigrants) in search of his grandmother's dying wish..."The Mexican Dream."

Director: Javier Chapa | Stars: Adam Jacobo, Rafael Amaya, Karyme Lozano, Jimmy Gonzales

Votes: 53

36. Bordertown (2016)

TV-14 | 21 min | Animation, Comedy

Follow two families living in a Southwest desert town on the United States-Mexico border and how these two families inevitably cross and are bound by friendship and conflict.

Stars: Hank Azaria, Nicholas Gonzalez, Judah Friedlander, Missi Pyle

Votes: 2,457

37. Spanglish (2004)

PG-13 | 131 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

48 Metascore

A woman and her daughter emigrate from Mexico for a better life in America, where they start working for a family where the patriarch is a newly celebrated chef with an insecure wife.

Director: James L. Brooks | Stars: Adam Sandler, Téa Leoni, Paz Vega, Cloris Leachman

Votes: 72,425 | Gross: $42.04M

38. Under Strange Flags (1937)

Approved | 64 min | Action, History, Romance

In 1914 Mexico, the revolution, led by Pancho Villa, is preventing many Americans from getting their mined-in-Mexico silver across the American border. Tom Kenyon, American manager of the ... See full summary »

Director: Irvin Willat | Stars: Tom Keene, Luana Walters, Budd Buster, Maurice Black

Votes: 15

39. Como agua para chocolate (1992)

R | 105 min | Drama, Romance

86 Metascore

When tradition prevents her from marrying the man she loves, a young woman discovers she has a unique talent for cooking.

Director: Alfonso Arau | Stars: Marco Leonardi, Lumi Cavazos, Regina Torné, Mario Iván Martínez

Votes: 15,371 | Gross: $21.67M

40. The Girl (I) (2012)

PG-13 | 95 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

54 Metascore

A young Texan mother who loses her child to foster care begins smuggling Mexicans across the border.

Director: David Riker | Stars: Abbie Cornish, Geoffrey Rivas, Austin West, Annalee Jefferies

Votes: 1,113

41. BorderLine (2012)

90 min | Documentary, History

BorderLine explores the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks as experienced by ordinary people living and working along the Canada-U.S. border. The film follows award-winning documentary... See full summary »

Director: Daniel Sekulich | Star: Daniel Sekulich

Votes: 11

42. In America (2002)

PG-13 | 105 min | Drama

76 Metascore

A family of Irish immigrants adjust to life on the mean streets of Hell's Kitchen while also grieving the death of a child.

Director: Jim Sheridan | Stars: Paddy Considine, Samantha Morton, Djimon Hounsou, Sarah Bolger

Votes: 38,613 | Gross: $15.54M

43. La linea (2009)

R | 95 min | Action, Crime, Drama

The unstable new kingpin of a Tijuana drug cartel is targeted by an assassin for elimination.

Director: James Cotten | Stars: Ray Liotta, Andy Garcia, Esai Morales, Armand Assante

Votes: 3,356

44. Border Wars (2007 Video)

85 min | Drama

A marine just back from the Middle East, reunites with two high school buddies to form a de facto militia and travel to the U.S./Mexico border in Arizona to attempt to "guard" the country from the "invaders" from the south.

Director: Ryan Noble | Stars: Dustin Chittum, Andrew Wade Culp, Christina Jo'Leigh, Michael Ochoa

Votes: 39

46. Dying to Get In: Undocumented Immigration at the U.S. Mexican Border (2005)

40 min | Documentary, Short, News

Dying to Get In provides an intimate perspective of border crossing and the people who cross. The U.S./Mexican border, dubbed a "gauntlet of death" by documentarian Brett Tolley, is ... See full summary »

Director: Brett Tolley

47. Quinceañera (2006)

R | 90 min | Drama

72 Metascore

As Magdalena's 15th birthday approaches, her simple, blissful life is complicated by the discovery that she's pregnant. Kicked out of her house, she finds a new family with her great-granduncle and gay cousin.

Directors: Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland | Stars: Emily Rios, Jesse Garcia, Chalo González, Jesus Castanos

Votes: 3,878 | Gross: $1.69M

48. The Milagro Beanfield War (1988)

R | 117 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

In the tiny town of Milagro, New Mexico, where the local water is a premium resource, shady developer Ladd Devine has conceived a glitzy resort that will ultimately siphon off all the water... See full summary »

Director: Robert Redford | Stars: Rubén Blades, Richard Bradford, Sônia Braga, Julie Carmen

Votes: 5,452 | Gross: $13.83M

49. Border Patrol (1943)

Approved | 65 min | Western