Crossing Over

  • Review Date: June 8, 2009
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 113 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Intense immigration drama doesn't live up to its intentions.
  • Review Date: June 8, 2009
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 113 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie is full of illegal and unethical acts (bribery, extorion, and much more), all of which have ramifications and consequences that weigh heavily on the minds of those committing them -- or result in their comeuppance.

Positive role models

Characters discuss terrorism, racism, and religious prejudice, and
families are forced to make difficult decisions. Small lies are told in
the service of the greater good. On the up side, law enforcement
officers choose to go above and beyond the call of duty in the name of
decency.

Violence

Extreme violence, including several graphic shooting deaths (two of the characters killed are a couple in bed after making love). There's also scuffling, some blood and gore, and intense shootouts. Dead bodies are seen.

Sex

Multiple sex scenes. Female nudity (chest and buttocks) and male nudity (buttocks). Discussions of adultery. An immigration official has an arrangement with an illegal immigrant: She's available to him sexually, and he gets her a Green Card. Some cleavage.

Language

Repeated strong language, including "f--k" and its variations, "Jesus," "Goddammit," "ass," "s--t," "bitch," "c--t," "piss," and more. Also racial epithets like "gook," "sand n----r," "wetback," and "raghead."

Consumerism

Brands that are visible or discussed include Budweiser, Froot Loops, Glock handguns, Photoshop, Crunch gyms, and more.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters smoke cigarettes and drink champagne, hard liquor, and wine. Two characters enjoy what is clearly a joint.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this mature drama isn't likely to be on most teens' must-see lists. In the same vein as Traffic and Crash, it attempts to capture the complex nature of immigration to America (both legal and illegal), with desperate characters doing desperate things. While the film presents a nuanced, complex look at the issue, it also contains scenes of blunt sexuality (including partial nudity) and brutal violence (intense shootouts and more). There's also lots of strong language ("f--k," racial epithets, and more), drinking, and smoking.

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
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What's the story?

Set in L.A., CROSSING OVER follows several characters through the process of immigration: two Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officers (Harrison Ford and Cliff Curtis), an immigration lawyer (Ashley Judd), a government worker (Ray Liotta), a Bangladeshi teen (Summer Bishil), an aspiring musician (Jim Sturgess), an Australian would-be actress (Alice Eve), a Mexican factory worker (Alice Braga), and a Korean-born teen (Justin Chon). As the characters' lives intersect, they make difficult choices -- such as whether to obey the law or break it in the name of the greater good and whether to stay in America by any means necessary or leave everything behind instead of suffering brutal injustice and indignity in the name of trying to stay.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Crossing Over serves as a great demonstration of how good intentions don't always mean good movie making -- and how having a broad group of characters in a film can often mean that the individual characters seem thin. Directed by Wayne Kramer -- best-known for violent diversions likeThe Cooler and Running Scared -- Crossing Over shoots for the same big, widescreen novelistic sweep as films like Traffic, Crash, and Fast Food Nation, but it lacks a certain gracefulness in its execution. For example, Bishil's teen is foolishly stupid-brave in a way that such an obviously smart kid wouldn't be -- but her foolhardiness does advance the plot toward its conclusion.

The film's plotlines intersect -- some naturally and some with a forced clumsiness -- and much of the movie's closure feels a touch too earnest. Ford is better than you'd think as an aging immigration officer who cares too much, but he's under-used and under-written. Ultimately, Crossing Over is a textbook example of what happens when a movie maker's reach exceeds his or her grasp.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's central issue of immigration. Why do you think this issue is a hot button in the media?

  • How do TV shows and movies typically address the issue of immigration? And why do you think

  • so many people break the law to live in America, risking their freedom

  • and/or their lives?

  • Do you think the immigration process is easier for

  • Caucasian, English-speaking immigrants than it is for people of color?

  • Why or why not? How hard -- and how necessary -- is it for immigrants

  • to adapt their cultural values to fit within the American mainstream?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 27, 2009
DVD release date:June 9, 2009
Cast:Ashley Judd, Harrison Ford, Ray Liotta
Director:Wayne Kramer
Studio:Weinstein Co.
Genre:Drama
Run time:113 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:pervasive language, some strong violence and sexuality/nudity

This review of Crossing Over was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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Parent of a 11, 13, and 16 year old Written bycorvettejack March 1, 2009
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

watch this

watch the movie
Parent of a 7 and 8 year old Written bycheer chick June 25, 2009
AGE
17
QUALITY
 
i am 40 and love harrison ford and these types of movies, but i am unable to enjoy it due to the language and would be appalled if my husband wanted to stay and see the whole movie, as it is inappropriate for him as well! so i think the age rating is absolutely wrong and should be adults only. and at that they should look at what they are putting into their minds and time.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing

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