6.4/10
3,156
32 user 49 critic

Cesar Chavez (2014)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 28 March 2014 (USA)
Trailer
2:22 | Trailer
A biography of the civil-rights activist and labor organizer Cesar Chavez.

Director:

Diego Luna

Writers:

Timothy J. Sexton (screenplay by), Keir Pearson (story by) | 1 more credit »
5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kerry Ardra ... American Lady (as Kerry Adra)
Maynor Alvarado ... Chato Chavez
Yancey Arias ... Gilbert Padilla
Wes Bentley ... Jerry Cohen
Sara Banerjee ... Concerned Mother #1 (as Sarah Banerjee)
Liv Boughn Liv Boughn ... Concerned Mother #2
Darion Basco ... Larry Itlong
Lisa Brenner ... Jackie Stringer
Duncan Bridgeman Duncan Bridgeman ... Anchor
Aldo Ceceña Aldo Ceceña ... Chucho
Michael Cudlitz ... Sheriff Smith
Roger Cudney ... Grower
Rosario Dawson ... Dolores Huerta
America Ferrera ... Helen Chavez
Rodolfo Figueroa Rodolfo Figueroa ... Mexican Farmer
Learn more

More Like This 

Abel (2010)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

About a peculiar young boy who, as he blurs reality and fantasy, takes over the responsibilities of a family man in his father's absence.

Director: Diego Luna
Stars: Christopher Ruíz-Esparza, Karina Gidi, José María Yazpik
Sr. Pig (2016)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A beautiful road movie, and a chance to talk about love for Mexico through the eyes of an American.

Director: Diego Luna
Stars: Danny Glover, Maya Rudolph, José María Yazpik
J.C. Chávez (2007)
Documentary | Biography | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A documentary about the life and career Mexican boxer Julio César Chávez.

Director: Diego Luna
Stars: Bob Arum, Julio Cesar Chavez, Julio César Chávez Jr.
Drunkboat (2010)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Drunkboat tells the story of a young teenager, Abe, who manipulates his unsuspecting alcoholic uncle (Malkovich) into buying a boat from a conman (Goodman).

Director: Bob Meyer
Stars: John Malkovich, John Goodman, Jacob Zachar
Revolución (2010)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Made up of 10 short films, 'Revolucion' analyzes through the eyes of the directors what is the revolution today and what it means to the young minds of Mexico.

Directors: Mariana Chenillo, Fernando Eimbcke, and 8 more credits »
Stars: Yolanda Abbud L., Adriana Barraza, Mónica Bejarano
Nana V (2015)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Directed by acclaimed actor Diego Luna, "Nana" is an intimate portrait of nannies working in Mexico. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2015 as part of the Sundance... See full summary »

Director: Diego Luna
Stars: Jose Antonio Barrios, Norma Pablo, Diego Prado
Casanovagen (2018)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A person enters the frame dressed up as a bird. In a dressing room, John Malkovich sheds the costume of Casanova. A young woman's skirt is just as orange as the beak of a zebra finch ... See full summary »

Director: Luise Donschen
Stars: Wolfgang Forstmeier, John Malkovich, Elija Pott
Biography | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Two stories about the greatest seducer of all time, Giacomo Casanova.

Director: Michael Sturminger
Stars: John Malkovich, Veronica Ferres, Florian Boesch
Walkout (TV Movie 2006)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Based on a true story, student activist and Mexican-American Paula Crisostomo (Vega), tired of being treated unequally, decides to take action and stage a walkout at five East Los Angeles ... See full summary »

Director: Edward James Olmos
Stars: Alexa PenaVega, Michael Peña, Yancey Arias
BattleScar (2018)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

New York City, 1978: When Lupe, a Puerto Rican-American teen, meets fellow runaway Debbie, the Bowery's punk scene and the Lower East Side is their playground.

Directors: Martin Allais, Nico Casavecchia
Stars: Rosario Dawson
Lines of Wellington (TV Mini-Series 2012)
War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Stars: Miguel Borges, João Arrais, Nuno Lopes
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Four outlaws with a bounty on each head, set a date for a shootout in Langston, Oklahoma. The last man takes the collective bounty. Violence and mayhem ensue.

Director: Jeymes Samuel
Stars: Rosario Dawson, Giancarlo Esposito, Kelly Hu
Edit

Storyline

Chronicling the birth of a modern American movement, Cesar Chavez tells the story of the famed civil rights leader and labor organizer torn between his duties as a husband and father and his commitment to securing a living wage for farm workers. Passionate but soft-spoken, Chavez embraced non-violence as he battled greed and prejudice in his struggle to bring dignity to people. Chavez inspired millions of Americans from all walks of life who never worked on a farm to fight for social justice. His triumphant journey is a remarkable testament to the power of one individual's ability to change the world. Written by Pantelion Films

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

History is made one step at a time. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence and language | See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Reunites Michael Peña and Yancey Arias who co-starred in the TV movie Walkout (2006). See more »

Quotes

Sherriff Smith: Cesar, you got a permit for this march?
Cesar Chavez: It's not a march, Sheriff. It's a pilgrimage all the way to Sacramento. And our families are here just to say goodbye.
Sherriff Smith: [to policemen] You hear that? They don't like working for a day's wage, but they will walk over 300 miles for free.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #31.10 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Beale Street Blues
Performed by Jack Teagarden
Written by W.C. Handy
Courtesy of Soundies/ The Orchard
By Arrangement with Fine Gold Music
See more »

User Reviews

 
A Mexican-American in London
31 March 2014 | by ghost_dog86See all my reviews

Would it be weird to say that "Cesar Chavez" was a laugh riot? Well, for a film which depicts people being beaten and sprayed with pesticides, the script contained tons of laugh out loud lines of dialogue. OK, I'm not sure if that came off as completely insensitive or not, so I'll just move on:

An independent production directed by Mexican actor/filmmaker Diego Luna, "Cesar Chavez" is an educational partial biography of (you guessed it) Cesar Chavez which chronicles his participation in the California (and abroad) civil rights campaigns during the 1960's, which addressed fair wages and better working conditions for migrant farm workers, his infamous 25 day hunger strike and the UFWA (United Farm Workers of America) grape boycott.

While I did find myself really enjoying this movie, "Cesar Chavez" is yet another example of a PG-13 film which attempts to depict a rated-R snapshot of American history. On a technical level, Luna does display above average directorial chops and his film is overall more historically weighty than something like last year's "42" (a PG-13 movie which glossed over many of the more violent atrocities of racial intolerance in the 1940's) it is obvious that Luna does pulls some punches in an attempt to make the Cesar Chavez story accessible to a wider audience.

There are good biopics and there are bad biopics. The downfall of many biopics is that they take fascinating characters and simply tell their story, while failing to bring their world to life, failing to spark interest with an engaging back-story or failing to build an emotional connection with audiences. And while those types of biopics may be interesting to some, they usually alienate those who didn't live through the events or may not be familiar with said character. Luna and Michael Pena, who plays Chavez, seem to understand this, as they come together to depict a Chavez that is completely 3 dimensional and complex. That said, Luna does not escape my praise without scrutiny, as he and screenwriters Keir Pearson (Hotel Rwanda) and Timothy J. Sexton (Children of Men) fail to give Chavez much of a back-story; so much so that it feels as though "Cesar Chavez" is missing its entire first act (the story of how Chavez started down the civil rights road to begin with).

Pena's performance stands as one of the more surprisingly pleasant aspects of this production. He nails the Chavez look and mannerisms, and when he speaks he sounds like a civil rights leader. And during the fasting sequences, Pena looks like a man who hasn't eaten for a substantial amount of time. Although quite enjoyable in other movies such as "End of Watch" and "30 Minutes or Less", his role as Chavez is by far my favorite.

Final Thought: This shouldn't be a movie which only resonates with those who lived through the events, but if you have no idea who Chavez was going into this, for you the timeline may get a little choppy in the final act and questions may be raised about Rosario Dawson's purpose in this movie since Dolores Huerta (a woman who played a massive role in La Causa) is hardly referenced here. Then again, if you are a Californian and don't know who Cesar Chavez was, you should be ashamed of yourself to begin with. After recently sitting through a stretch of shockingly below average movies depicting the Mexican/Mexican-American/Chicano struggle (Filly Brown, For Greater Glory and A Better Life) I will say that I was quite entertained by this good, not great, biopic which salutes this important man and equally important moment in relatively recent California history.


4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 32 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

28 March 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cesar Chavez See more »

Filming Locations:

Sonora, Mexico See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,861,528, 30 March 2014

Gross USA:

$5,571,497

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,972,226
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Your Next Binge Watch Awaits

Looking for something to watch? Check out IMDb's "What to Watch" series to find out what's really worth watching.



Recently Viewed