Parents' Guide to

Miguel Wants to Fight

By Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Charming coming-of-age comedy has violence, language.

Movie NR 2023 75 minutes
Miguel Wants to Fight movie poster: 4 friends

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This unique, energetic, and charming film about a gang of scrappy best friends from the neighborhood is boosted by fast-moving dialogues, inventive action sequences, and four spirited performances. Miguel Wants to Fight is ultimately a film about friendship. The four adolescents, friends since early childhood and now on the cusp of young adulthood, share a surprisingly sweet and extraordinarily strong bond -- so much so that a late-film argument between two of them is intentionally hard to watch. We care about and root for these teens, as they do for each other. Their diverse backgrounds offer fodder in the script, from writers Shea Serrano and Jason Concepcion, for some cleverly funny heckling among local teens.

Behind their witty repartee, the characters are depicted as wholesome, a little nerdy, and charmingly childlike. Each of the four main actors embodies these traits in natural and likable ways, especially lead Flores, whose irrepressible smile and general air of nervousness are a welcome antidote to the toxic masculinity around him. Bolstering the humor are imagined action sequences of Miguel, a film buff, envisioning himself triumphing in a variety of fight scenarios, from fantastical Bruce Lee, Matrix, and Crouching Tiger-style skirmishes to anime-inspired battles, some set to Spanish rap and all brought by director Oz Rodriguez and crew to life with upbeat graphics.

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