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Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Downbeat war drama is intelligent but violent.

Movie R 2011 128 minutes
Amigo Poster Image

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Legendary indie filmmaker John Sayles (Eight Men Out, The Secret of Roan Inish) delivers an uncommonly intelligent war-themed movie in AMIGO, and on a much smaller scale than usual. He burrows into individual characters, rather than battles; there are no clear "good guys" or "bad guys." Eventually the characters begin to discover one another's humanity, and war becomes an unfortunate side effect rather than the main point.

Movies this intelligent and aware of so many different points of view should be celebrated, so kudos to Sayles for pulling it off, time and again, in his multi-decade career. If there's a quibble here, it's that in focusing so heavily on the head, he sometimes forgets the heart. Amigo has been made with great care and sympathy, but it's a bit difficult to get enthusiastic over it, especially given the movie's downbeat tone and the difficult lessons it imparts.

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