La Mission a Labored Labor of Love

For 'Law & Order' star Benjamin Bratt, film is a family affair
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2010 5:49 PM CDT

La Mission's heart is in the right place: in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, where star Benjamin Bratt and director Peter Bratt grew up. The brothers' good intentions have led them to create a film with some pluses and an abundance of minuses that somehow aren't deal-breakers for most critics. Some opinions:

  • Former Law & Order star Benjamin Bratt plays Che Rivera "with so much testosterone that even his painted-on tattoos threaten to jump right off his abs and kick you in the groin," Rex Reed writes for the New York Observer. He loves it, saying the film "is well worth seeing for a variety of aspects, all of them striking, poignant and memorable."

  • "The film offers a compelling insider's view of a culture foreign to most moviegoers," says James Greenberg of the Hollywood Reporter. "But Peter Bratt's direction is a bit heavy-handed, hammered further by overused music and obvious songs."
  • "The warmth comes through, even if the storytelling is simplistic and clichéd," writes Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly.
  • The picture looks great, but "unfortunately, this care is lavished on an overwrought, predictable story of an angry ethnic father," Mike Hale writes for the New York Times.
(Read more La Mission stories.)

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