Miss Bala Review

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Aspiring young model Laura (Sigman) enters a beauty pageant dreaming of a future far away from her grim life in Tijuana. Instead she finds herself caught up in a nightclub massacre and kidnapped by cartel gunmen. Just when things couldn't get bleaker, she finds out what drug Lino (Noe Hernandez) has planned for her.


A beauty queen gets mixed up with the mob in this grittier-than-it-sounds Mexican drama. Cash-strapped Laura (Stephanie Sigman) dreams of winning a pageant but is snatched from the cops after witnessing mass murder. Forced to run errands for the drug-running culprits, she experiences the corruption that’s rife in the police and the pageant business itself. Sigman is an engaging, beautiful action heroine who’s continually thrown into clock-ticking moments. It’s a shame, then, that the final act meanders towards an unlikely conclusion, knocking off a star and possibly Mexico’s Best-Foreign-Language Oscar hopes. Still, it’s a cut above your average thriller and a fascinating glimpse into the Mexican underworld.

That innocuous title disguises a Mexican thriller with genuine bite, though the hokey ending doesn't quite live up to the edgy plotting and Sigman's classy turn as a tough heroine in an impossible situation.