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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Overall, a story of a hardworking, loving, and idealistic family. There are scenes of ethnic discrimination, as when authorities round up Mexicans (regardless of their citizenship), force them into trucks, and deport them as part of a Depression-era immigration sweep, or when a woman comments that Latina maids are "always getting pregnant."
Positive Role Models
Mostly the characters try to improve their lives. Two members get involved in criminal activities, including one that serves time in prison for armed robbery. He redeems himself later in the film.
Violence & Scariness
A character, on the run from police, is killed when officers shoot him in the head and the back. Two characters engage in a knife fight: one is fatally stabbed. Both of these scenes are fairly graphic and bloody. A woman threatens a man with a shotgun. Police strike a man with a nightstick. A few fights occur throughout the film. A graphic childbirth scene ends in a mother's death, her body shown briefly in the morgue. A mother makes a perilous journey across a river with her baby.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A husband and wife kiss passionately; they are then shown naked in bed; the wife's breast is briefly visible. A man and a woman make love in a field. They are clearly naked, although positioned strategically and shot from the waist up so that nothing is revealed.
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Characters curse frequently in both languages, with the worst being "f--k you" in English and "f--k your mother" in Spanish.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A character admits that he sells marijuana. A character drinks an alcoholic beverage. Cigarette smoking shown.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that My Family (Mi Familia) is about a hardworking and loving Mexican-American family has a lot of adult material. Characters are partially nude in passionate love scenes, and there are several violent moments including a bloody shooting, a knife fight that ends in a fatality, and a graphic childbirth scene that ends in a mother's death, her body shown briefly in the morgue. There's a lot of cursing in both English and Spanish; one character drinks and another sells marijuana. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This excellent movie explores the dynamics of Mexican-American families and culture in a way that's not often presented in mainstream cinema. It welcomes viewers inside this tight-knit clan with a mixture of drama and humor, tragedy and romance, and also examines issues familiar to immigrants and their families. (One recurring theme explores how José and Maria's first-generation children respond to the traditions, cultural values, and ideals of their parents.) Ultimately, however, it transcends its ethnicity and is simply a story about family.
Occasionally weighed down with melodrama, My Family (Mi Familia) is nonetheless moving and well-executed, with an epic, almost Godfatheresque feel. (Francis Ford Coppola had a hand in its production, and that influence shows, particularly in a wedding scene.) The eclectic soundtrack, which includes Mexican folk music, Los Lobos, and Pedro Infante, captures the film's spirit, and two key scenes use dancing to great effect: Chucho teaches a group of kids to mambo in a lively moment, and Isabel shows Jimmy how to dance in a scene that's unforgettable for its chemistry, its sheer joy, and the way Smits' character thaws before our eyes.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.