The writer-director Wayne Kramer, who made The Cooler, crams a good deal into his Los Angeles ensemble drama, aiming to do for immigration what Crash did with race.
Harrison Ford leads the line as a world-weary immigration enforcement officer desperate to reunite a deported Mexican factory worker (Alice Braga) with her young son. But if the tide of bureaucracy doesn't carry off the illegal alien, then the flood of prejudice and intolerance will probably pull them under. The film examines the dilemmas of a handful of characters whose foothold in their adoptive country is under threat, from a Bangladeshi student (Summer Bishil) suspected of jihadist leanings to a British musician (Jim Sturgess) amping up his Jewishness to get a green card and a Korean teen (Justin Chon) risking his citizenship with a fledgling gang of hoods. As with many multi-character pieces, it's somewhat unbalanced by its competing storylines, and its lapses into sentimentality seem inevitable, but Kramer deserves credit for taking on a touchy subject. He has a compassionate eye for the marginalised, and his cast – especially Cliff Curtis as Ford's partner – bring conviction to their roles.Reuse content