A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie is, overall, about facing the consequences of your actions under any circumstances (including not letting others lie or cover up). It also tries (even though it may not fully succeed) to portray immigrants from Mexico in a positive light -- though the story is told by White men.
Positive Role Models
While Jackson seems like a good person (he's kind and loves his family) and tries very hard to pay the price for a terrible mistake he made, it's hard to argue that he's a positive role model, given that he should never have been in the situation in the first place. The film aims to portray Mexican immigrants in a positive light, but it doesn't fully succeed, and White men are the ones telling the story.
Violence & Scariness
Guns and shooting; characters killed and funeral shown. Switchblade drawn, character stabbed in shoulder. Bloody wounds. Someone beats up the main character, who fights back with rope. Villain hit in the head with a rock. Dead body (barely seen in darkness). A mother slaps her grown son. Cow's leg caught in barbed wire. Cactus barbs stuck in character's hand. Jump from high place, with injured ankle. Character dragged from car, slammed up against wall. Many painful bruises.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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A somewhat obscured use of "f--k," plus "s--t," "a--hole," "ass," "goddamn," "bitch," "damn," "hell," "douchebag," "puto," and "shut up." Also tThank God." "Son-of-a-..." is said but not completed.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Teens smoke in some scenes. Brief beer-drinking in bar. Tequila shots in bar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that No Man's Land is a modern-day Western drama about a White rancher's son in Texas who accidentally shoots and kills a young Mexican immigrant. It's about facing the consequences of your actions, and it's clearly trying to offer a positive portrayal of immigrants, but its good intentions outweigh its storytelling skills by quite a bit. Violence is the biggest concern, with guns and shooting, death (including that of a child) and dead bodies, bloody wounds, a knife and stabbing, rock-throwing, slapping, a cow getting stuck in barbed wire, and a jump from a high place that leads to injury. Language includes a (partly obscured) use of "f--k," plus "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," "goddamn," and more. A teen boy smokes, and characters drink beer and tequila in a bar. Sex isn't an issue, but mild flirting is implied. 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 earnest Western drama can't overcome characters who are thinly drawn (and not very smart) and the constantly shaking, headache-inducing camerawork. Star Allyn co-wrote the screenplay, while his brother Conor Allyn directed, and it seems that they had something very well-intentioned in mind: a portrayal of the immigrant experience told from the point of view of sympathetic White people. But that's not really who should be telling immigrants' stories, and it turns out quite awkwardly, from the overall approach to individual moments.
There's a strange chase scene featuring a truck following a horse and a moment in which Jackson drinks from a water hole that his horse refuses to touch (he should have known better). A would-be suspenseful sequence involving a drive-by shooting is rendered confusing by poor editing and too many close-ups, and there's even a montage sequence accompanied by a mournful song. A villainous character with shaved, dyed punk-rock hair and tattoos who keeps turning up to cause trouble is a one-dimensional annoyance, all fake swagger and threat. After nearly 115 minutes of No Man's Land, it becomes clear that even Jackson isn't much of a character. He's so single-minded that no gray areas are revealed to make him feel more human, not even a near-flirtation with the lovely Victoria (Esmeralda Pimentel), who's never seen again. It's a shame that the movie doesn't quite work, when the brothers seemed to try so hard.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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Our Editors Recommend
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