Kernel Rating (out of 5):
MPAA Rating: PG-13 Length: 103 minutes
Age Appropriate For: 16+. Theoretically, this film’s PG-13 rating makes sense, but its intense moments may be too intense for younger teens. Focused on the immigration issues running along the border between the U.S. and Mexico, the film includes cursing and derogatory slang; the attempted murder of immigrants illegally journeying into the U.S., a woman’s death, and other violent scenes like a home break-in; and the rape of a woman. The inclusion of an implied rape scene in a PG-13 film is fairly surprising.
‘Frontera’ wants to be an Issues movie, covering everything from American/Mexican relations to the illegal-immigration problem to the sexual objectification of underprivileged women. It’s a lot and the film often overreaches itself, even though the performances are solid.
By Roxana Hadadi
When a film swings big and misses, how much do you fault it? Director and co-writer Michael Berry clearly wants “Frontera” to be a big-time Issues movie along the lines of Oscar-winner “Crash,” but the interweaving narrative feels more repetitive than revelatory. Although the performances from Ed Harris and Michael Pena are solid and there are moments of quiet power here, the film is largely uneven otherwise.