6.5/10
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Miss Bala (2011)

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

Director:

Gerardo Naranjo
3 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Mexico | USA

Language:

Spanish | English

Release Date:

9 September 2011 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Kursun Kraliçesi See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mexico's official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 84th Academy Awards 2012. See more »

Connections

Remade as Miss Bala (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Batalla
Written by Emilio Kauderer
See more »

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User Reviews

 
going along for the ride
26 November 2011 | by CountZero313See all my reviews

There is one sequence in Miss Bala, where beauty queen wannabee Laura is taken from a torrid gun battle seamlessly into the beauty pageant where she changes and, still in shock, appears on stage with the other contestants. It is a moment of surreal genius. The film is a polemic, indicting the corruption and lack of moral fibre that infects Mexico's battle with drug gangs. Much has been made about the authenticity of the film's representation of that situation. Anyone looking to inform themselves of the socio-political situation with regard to Mexico and drugs should start somewhere other than a film. A film's first priority is to provide gripping narrative. Miss Bala has great moments, like the one described above, but at its heart it is the story of a woman caught up inadvertently in a dangerous, absurd situation. She is a victim from start to finish. Personally, I like the protagonist of a film to do something, rather than be continually done to. Laura is taken on a ride, and it is a helluva ride. But she is a passenger, and I wanted her to take the wheel at some point.

And for that reason, the film is visually inventive, occasionally comic and sometimes sad, but on the whole emotionally flat.


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