6.5/10
7,919
43 user 137 critic

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

Taglines:

Don't mess with Family.

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:

Miss Bala 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

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 »

Connections

Remade as Miss Bala (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Ave Maria
Written by Franz Schubert
Performed by Mario Lanza
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Powerful Exploration of Mexican Border Violence
18 April 2012 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

The story of a young woman (Stephanie Sigman) clinging on to her dream to become a beauty contest queen in a Mexico dominated by organized crime.

Living in Wisconsin, I know precious little about the Mexican border. But I have written articles on foreign policy and how America's decisions have affected the gangs of Mexico. This film showcases some of that, focusing on the darkest possible angle.

Actress Stephanie Sigman is incredible, having to be a very visual actress in this film: we see her silently cringing or running from gunfire more than she speaks. But I think that this may be harder than just delivering dialogue: her character is kidnapped by gangsters, forced to commit criminal acts, constantly being faced with the possibility of death.

While the gangsters here are ruthless, and rightfully so, there was a political point being made that did not escape me: the presence of DEA agents in Mexico. Whether or not you support the war on drugs, there is good reason to question how American police can patrol the streets of Mexico. Do Mexican federales drive around El Paso? I think not. Their presence does not justify the violence from the gangs, but it does raise the question of why a foreign power is facing a domestic problem.


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