Crossing Over (2009) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: Crossing Over is a multi-character canvas about immigrants of different nationalities struggling to achieve legal status in Los Angeles. The film deals with the border, document fraud, the asylum and green card process, work-site enforcement, naturalization, the office of counter terrorism and the clash of cultures. Runtime: 113 mins Release Date: 25 Feb 2009
The Many Faces of the Immigration Issue (by gradyharp)
Though there have been many films about the horrors faced by illegal immigrants attempting to get into or stay in the US, few films have addressed the issues on both sides of the table as well as CROSSING OVER. This film probably did not do very well in theatrical release because of the very difficult subject matter with which it confronts the audience: few people who go to the movies to escape the realities of life outside elect to be disturbed. CROSSING OVER, as written and directed by Wayne Kramer, forces us to learn just how treacherous the matter of immigration is on every level - from <more>
the border incidents, to document fraud, to worksite enforcement/raiding, to the concept of asylum, to naturalization, the green card process, the problematic office of counter terrorism, and finally to the basic cultural clashes that pit compassionate law officers against red neck raider type officers. To absorb the intricately woven aspects of the script, a script that addresses immigration issues dealing with Koreans, Africans, Iranians, Australians, Mexicans, and Jewish/atheist Britishers, the audience must pay close attention lest the subtleties are lost in the swirling nonstop drama. Harrison Ford as the compassionate, burned out immigration officer Max Brogan holds the film together as he attempts to make sense of the various irregularities in every aspect of the immigration process. His partner is Iranian American Hamid a particularly fine performance by Cliff Curtis who faces family problems with his American born sister and his father who is on the brink of naturalization - one of the many subplots that involves 'honor killing'. Another man Cole Frankel Ray Liotta is a smarmy role reveals another view of a 'bad agent' while his wife Denise Ashley Judd fights for the rights of an African orphan held for 23 months awaiting sponsorship. A brave Iranian girl Taslima Summer Bishil speaks out for the rights of Muslims to be heard and plunges her family into deportation problems. Among the other subplots are stories about a Korean family whose one son Justin Chon is forced into gang warfare, an Australian actress Alice Eve who must secure her green card through sexual favors with Cole Frankel, a Mexican mother Mireya Alice Braga who is captured during a raid at a workplace and befriended by Max Brogan, and young British musician Jim Sturgess who must convince authorities of his 'Jewishness' in order to maintain a job that will result in a green card. Each of these stories represents an aspect of our current dysfunctional system management of immigration. The film does not take sides: it merely presents a smattering of the atrocities and imperfectly managed departments of government that together form a system that is chaotic. Of interest, Sean Penn listed as being in the cast on this page of Amazon.com requested his small role be cut because of the objections of Iranian-American groups over the use of the 'honor killing' subplot. That may indicate how many people may view this film: the story will either anger or disgust some viewers. But what this very well acted and produced and directed film does is provide windows through which we may more closely examine the tragedies of our current immigration system. Perhaps change will occur once people are informed of the injustices. Grady Harp
This is a remarkable movie with value and societal conscience, contents now usually defunct in American movies: it's a real ode to free speech and a committed depiction of a law just being authoritative and empty of humanity! Sure in the real life, the connections between all the characters and ethnicity would never happen, but the movie illustrates brilliantly why people want to cross border, how far they are ready to make it and how abusive the law is : At the end, i understand that borders come from State and that State turns against people : so it's like an human creation <more>
rebelling against its creators : humanity exists today because ancestors moved freely, humans don't give birth to papers but babies and deny this right of free travel is a crime against humanity : every human should have the right to live where he wants and migrant workers are not criminals ! I find that this movie exposes accurately the madness and blindness of regulations and put into light the feelings behind it : racism, greed and for sure, as a fan of Harrison, i appreciate him showing his true compassionate side and his strength to fight for the feeble even it's illegal Script-doctor: I would advise a forgotten link at the official citizenship ceremony at the end: as the Asian hood was masked, the Irinian cop can't recognize him but the opposite would have been likely and it would have been more emotional
Better than crash, but not for the weak minded. (by fallguy_jack)
This movie makes crash seem like over-dramatized sensationalism. Crossing Over has a powerhouse cast portraying a far more realistic depiction of attitudes and perspectives in contemporary America. The only reason I didn't give it a 10 is because towards the end one plot stream takes a Hollywood twist, which while not especially relevant, detracts from the gritty realism of the movie.A lot of people have trouble with portrayals of perspectives which challenge the psychological defense mechanisms we put in place to allow us to filter reality into something easier for us to live with. If we <more>
really look at things for what they are, the world is a very scary place. This is why you will notice that people get disproportionately agitated when you challenge these mental constructs, leading to loud and/or ignorant opinions. <--also well portrayed at times in the film. I thought about using smaller words for those weak minded loud mouths, but they probably didn't read this far and I've learned, to my dismay, that all I can do is dismiss their stupidity/cowardice anyways.If you can see past what mass media shoves down your throat, you will thoroughly appreciate this movie, I guarantee it :
CROSSING OVER is probably one of the most powerful, heart wrenching immigrant stories out there. Some have accused this of taking the concept of Crash and just injecting it with immigrant issues. Be that as it may, even the concept of Crash wasn't completely all that original but both movies are well-crafted and well-executed. The interconnected characters and plots will leave you to ask questions about the meaning of liberty and what America used to stand for.The movie depends on its all stellar cast led by Harrison Ford in his most unusual role ever, none of his typical <more>
saving-his-family from terrorists, in fact, his character in CROSSING OVER is a loner who wonders whether his job as ICE agent is the right thing to do, he's haunted by the implications and the impact of what he does for a living on those who just want to come here for a better life and angered by those who take advantage of the freedom bestowed upon them. After 9/11 happened, the rules of the game have changed and Ford, in a way, is like that aching voice bugging us to rethink whether enforcing homeland security at the expense of a few good immigrants can be justified.All the rest of the supporting actors are outstanding in their performances, Jim Sturgess plays a guy who sticks to his principles to get a green card while his girlfriend is willing to sell her body for it. Ray Liotta and Ashley Judd play a married couple and yet they're on two different teams, one takes advantage of the newcomers while the other tries to save them. But the most controversial is probably the issue of freedom of speech presented by writer/director Wayne Kramer in this movie. Once again, it's the question of homeland security at the expense of freedom can be justified or not, it's a bit of a criticism against Patriot Act. But isn't freedom of speech comes with limits? Because if it's without boundaries, then anarchy and division are what would happen.Wayne Kramer does a good job in making sure not only each plot would flow well with each other as they overlap within a decent running time but he also tackles only the most imperative complexities without wasting time in taking unnecessary shots or moments. I love the story because it punishes those who take freedom for granted and rewards those who cherish it. In the case of that schoolgirl, played by Summer Bishil, it's still arguable.. is she an example of someone who abuses freedom of speech or is she a victim of persecution?I wasn't a big fan of Wayne Kramer's previous works which include Running Scared and Mindhunters, but CROSSING OVER is a whole nother result, he finally understands what he needs to do to come up with a good story, not simply trying to confuse or depress you. One last note, actor Cliff Curtis gives an Oscar worthy performance as Harrison Ford's partner in this movie, too bad Curtis will be overlooked and this movie will remain as one of this year's under-appreciated. Has America forgotten that it was once a land of immigrants?--Rama's SCREEN--
Human to Human - Movie to remind that across boundaries we are still human to human (by considerjustconsider)
It is all about what you feel rather than what you think. If you are such a person then this movie is for you. There is just one thing that stands out and differentiates birth and death and that is 'feeling'. This movie stages that. It searches for the humane thing that is inside you and speaks with it. It makes one wonder as what on Earth have we done to ourselves. Fences separating souls for the mere possibility of opportunities and barbed wires guarding the land which is no different to what it is guarding from. Seeing through the distorted glass of paranoia...yes...this is what <more>
the movie talks about. Exceptional performances and down to earth language, this movie really questions the human being, if at there is a being in humans.
I'm not on the fence: the critics are idiots (by Jawsphobia)
Apart from the usual movie-movie technology of enhancing a license plate from grainy dots to sharp numbers, I had nothing against this movie. I strongly disagree with the apparent consensus and the low tomatometer rating. Crossing Over is an emotional film, and makes points that will be unpopular. The film creates empathy for someone we at first shrink from, namely the 15 year old Bangali girl who inflames her classmates on the topic of 9/11. She had forgotten what happened to Bill Maher. Meanwhile Harrison Ford's character Max Brogan gets razzed for any show of empathy or concern for the <more>
people is team have to process through immigration. He puts a weathered human face on a job that must be unpleasant. We understand when that climate - peer pressure - causes him to stop short of helping someone in a timely fashion, and Ford is very watchable doing the most mundane things as he confronts the consequences of compromise. I don't feel connections between the characters are implausible. It gives unity to the overall comment on community and who should be included and who should not.
I am an immigration lawyer, albeit an English one. I started my career dealing with asylum cases, family reunions and illegal immigrants. Over the years I have gone on to act for students, entertainers, high net worth individuals and corporate clients. There is little in this field I have not witnessed, from bigotry, to desperation, to the rich trying to take advantage, from immigration officials acting to corruption in my very own profession.I have to say that this movie explores the issues surrounding immigration extremely well. Forced removal, failed attempts to cheat the system, the <more>
motivations for naturalisation which, as the movie suggests, are not always for the joy of becoming a new citizen and the general drive of some people to find a better life for their family. I also used to be engaged to an Iranian so I was quite impressed with the portrayal of the Iranian family. I do not mean honour killings, that is not a common thing in wealthy Iranian families, but what often can be is the concept of how one appears to others in the culture and the effect of negative gossip on the reputation of the senior members of the family.Also, a lot has been made about the 9/11 "sympathiser" storyline. Indeed, there is one reviewer on here who refers to it as disgusting. How laughable. It is perhaps a shame that audiences, particularly American ones it seems, do not actually listening to the dialog. What the character of Taslima says is that she does not agree what they did but she understood the motivation. The movie then cleverly goes on to show the conclusion jumping nature of some Americans, in this instance the immigration official. At the end of the day Taslima's possible terrorist sympathies are left ambiguous, neither confirmed or disproved, and that is why I think a lot of less intelligent viewers jump to the same conclusion that the fictional official does by filling in the blanks that they desire to see because they do not wish to have a dialog about a difficult subject.The only disappointing part of the movie for me was the Harrison Ford storyline. I didn't feel that any part of it explored any particular immigration related issue until the penultimate scene and I couldn't understand the motivation behind Ford's character. However, that aside I couldn't fault this picture, either in it's script, it's acting or it's direction.
It's really surprising for me to read, that Kramers director/writer previous efforts as a writer, were Mindhunters and Running Scared which he also directed . Both movies, that are more in the action genre and wouldn't really leave with the feeling that the guy who made those movies, could/would be able to make a drama, that can be compared to Traffic and Crash.Even if you don't feel it lives up to those two which I feel too , it's still a pretty good movie. You have great actors and there is no holding back any punches. At times it gets really political and how <more>
couldn't it go that way , although sometimes you'd wish even more involvement or that he would shed more light into some segments ... but then again, the movie might have felt too long if he did.As it is, this is a rock solid drama, about migration immigration and many other things in the US.