A cat-and-mouse thriller gets a contemporary sociopolitical spin, which would have been even more effective if spun out more fully. Co-writer/director Jonás Cuarón (son of Alfonso) begins his story as a broken-down truck forces a group of Mexican immigrants to attempt their illegal border crossing on foot—and when one self-appointed American border guardian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) begins killing them, immigrant Moises (Gael García Bernal) tries to get the survivors to safety. Cuarón and co-writer Mateo Garcia do little to flesh out the characters beyond broad hero/villain types, making it difficult for the story to hit home as more than rudimentary morality play. But it still works as a simple genre tale, stripped down to 87 minutes of hunter vs. hunted. The two leads keep things rolling with committed intensity, even when the script isn’t committed enough to making them more human.
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