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Maria Full of Grace Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Unfolds with a simplicity that's as breathtaking as its inevitability is harrowing.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Ultimately, the ending is a bit of a cop-out, but that's a small criticism for a film with such decent perspectives.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Gracefully acted, and the story packs a powerful punch straight to the gut.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    A remarkable -- and harrowing -- debut feature that makes you think there's hope after all for the future of independent films.

  • See all Maria Full of Grace reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 17+

Unflinching drama of the journey of a drug mule.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is about an unfortunate chain of events that leads a 17-year old Colombian girl, Maria (Catalina Sandino Moreno), to smuggle drugs into the U.S. by swallowing them. The processes of preparing the drugs for swallowing, the actual swallowing, and the retrieval are shown in exhaustive detail. Though only one brief heavy kissing scene takes place, much of the plot revolves around Maria's pregnancy and the pressures it brings, which are discussed extensively. Language (English subtitles) is casual and conversational, but often heated and uncensored. While Maria is noble in many regards, her actions are dangerous, and they put her life in jeopardy.

  • Families can talk about the fact that smaller movies are often grittier than big-budget pictures. Why do you think that is? How would this movie have been different if Jennifer Lopez had played the lead? Would it have been as effective?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Maria is a complicated character. She illegally transports drugs (while pregnant). But she's also caught in a difficult world, and in the end finds her inner strength.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Graphically bloody scene depicting aftermath of drug-transporting accident.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Mild teenage foreplay, sexual discussions regarding pregnancy.

  • language false5

    Language: Not an issue

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false5

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Teen drinking, drinking while pregnant, humans used as vessels for transportation of drug pellets.