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Crossing Over movie poster

Crossing Over

Genre: Drama
Rated: R
Directed by:
Wayne Kramer
Harrison Ford, Ashley Judd, Ray Liotta, Cliff Curtis, Alice Eve, Jim Sturgess, Alice Braga, Summer Bishil, Jacqueline Obradors, Justin Chon
Released by: The Weinstein Company

In Short: If you have seen Crash or Babel, this film will seem a bit like a rehash, this time focusing on a variety of immigrants trying to become U.S. citizens.
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Desperate to be an American
Drama Spotlights Immigration Struggles

As Crossing Over begins to unspool, you may get a feeling of déjà vu as you watch, particularly if you have already seen Crash, the Best Picture Oscar winner from 2006, or Babel, another Academy Award winner from that same year. Set in Los Angeles, Crossing Over follows an ensemble cast of international characters as they struggle to gain their American citizenship.

The accomplished cast includes Harrison Ford as a Immigration Enforcement Officer who has seen it all, yet still gets emotionally involved with one illegal Mexican and her young son; Ashley Judd as an attorney who specializes in helping immigrants stay in the U. S., including a young African girl; and Ray Liotta as her husband, who controls green cards in the Immigration Services and uses that power to weasel sexual favors from a pretty Australian actress (Alice Eve) desperate to stay in Los Angeles.

Others in the massive, intertwining cast of characters include a teenage Asian boy who gets in trouble with a gang, a Muslim family torn apart by their teenage daughter's ill-advised school report about 9/11, and a British Jew who embraces his religion in order to finagle a way to stay in the country.

Ray Liotta and Ashley Judd in Crossing Over Harrison Ford and Alice Braga in Crossing Over

If it weren't for those other fine films that preceded it, Crossing Over might seem like a fresh look at one of America's biggest problems. But instead, the movie feels like a lesser rehash of the same issues that those two better pictures tackled three years ago (and that The Visitor so adeptly addressed in 2008 as well).

So despite a few fine moments, including an intense scene involving Cliff Curtis—Ford's partner who inadvertently finds himself in the midst of a violent robbery—the stories in Crossing Over play out as things we've all seen before.

Reviewed by Jenny Peters

PSB013009 (Updated: 02/27/09 KR)

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