A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Built-in message about exclusion and discrimination, meant to mirror and somewhat parody real-life proposal and building of border wall between U.S. and Mexico. Those who have more than others, instead of sharing, lock everything up so that the less fortunate can't partake. Here it's the Mexican Americans who are doing the locking up, which is intended to put a spin on, and possibly satirize, real-life events.
Positive Role Models
It's encouraging to see a movie provide atypical roles for Latinx actors. But characters are basically placeholders just there to help get the movie's message across. None behave admirably, and many are flat-out dishonest or depraved.
Violence & Scariness
Guns shown. A man is tased. Shouting and arguing. Threats.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Graphic sex scene shows a man on top of a woman while another woman watches. Topless woman. Naked male bottom, thrusting. Brief shot of woman having sex; her back is to viewers, and she grinds on top of a man. One character licks wine out of another's mouth. Brief shot of book jacket with old-timey photo of naked women. Discussion about "sex tapes."
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Very strong language includes uses of "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," "ass," and "bitch." Middle-finger gestures. Racist remarks. Joke about a "rectal thermometer," other dirty jokes.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Heavy drinking at various parties. Extreme drunkenness. Cocaine snorting. Black cocaine shown. One character licks Champagne out of another's mouth. Characters drink bottles of sparkling wine. Hangovers. Regular cigarette smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Wall of Mexico is an interesting but uneven dramedy/political allegory about a wealthy Mexican American family that's trying to protect a well of much-coveted water. Content is mature: Graphic sex scenes show a topless woman, a man's naked bottom thrusting, a second woman watching, and more. There's also extremely heavy drinking/drunkenness and hangovers. Characters smoke cigarettes and snort cocaine, and "black cocaine" is shown. Strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," "bitch," and "ass," and there are middle-finger gestures and several dirty jokes, as well as racist remarks about Mexican Americans. Some guns are shown, a man is tased, and characters argue, shout, and threaten. 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 unusual political allegory comes off a little heavy-handed and obvious, but the lush, honeyed cinematography balances the mood, and it emerges as an interesting, somewhat timely curiosity. The Wall of Mexico is pretty clearly the reverse of the idea of the United States building a wall along the Mexican border to keep the "have nots" away from the "haves." But the movie seems to have a hard time staying focused. Whenever Don goes into town for supplies, he hears racist remarks about the Aristas, which may be mixed up with jealousy about their wealth. And Mariel Hemingway shows up as the mayor to protest the Aristas' actions, but these moments don't really provide an interesting counterpoint to the allegory.
The plotline about the daughters also seems to go nowhere, simply offering a few moments of debauchery here and there. But there are some things that make The Wall of Mexico worth a look. Lyn Moncrief's clever cinematography does wonders to help tie things together, creating a dreamy look and feel, as if all that Champagne that Tania and Ximena drink was affecting the movie itself. It's also encouraging to see so many Latinx actors cast in nonstereotypical roles. Best of all is Morales, a great actor who made his mark in La Bamba and is deserving of a much more high-profile career.
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.