Illegal Tender
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A Latino teen with a bright future is forced to battle the sins of the past when the thugs who killed his father return to finish off the rest of the family. College student Wilson De Leon, Kr. (Rick Gonzalez) has an adoring girlfriend and a doting mother, but never once has he been compelled to stand up for what he believes in. When gangsters killed Wilson's father, his mother Wanda (Wanda De Jesus) was forced to flee from her home in order to protect her two sons. From that point on, Wanda determined to give her boys the best life possible. Now that past has returned with a vengeance,… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 16%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"An entertaining genre piece boasting a terrifically sinewy lead performance from Wanda De Jesus."
‑ Michael Rechtshaffen, Hollywood Reporter
"What in God's name was going on with this movie?"
‑ Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper
"Clearly aware of the impact of visual style on the narrative, Jonathan Ogilvie uses a stylised 1920 Australian setting for a love triangle that involves all the basic drivers of human frailty"
‑ Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile
"bland and forgettable."
‑ David Thomas,
"Unlike Black Snake Moan, Illegal Tender never transcends its cliches."
‑ Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
"More care seems to have been taken with the cut of Gonzalez's sideburns than with the shape of the story, and the hyperbolic soundtrack does most of the work of the mise en scene."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"For a film about growing up, Illegal Tender loses itself in a lot of silly juvenilia."
‑ Scott Tobias, AV Club
"This is a story that sizzles with its themes of corruption, infidelity, racism and power. But there's a vital flaw ..."
‑ Louise Keller, Urban Cinefile
"Brainless bloodsport, Cholo-style."
‑ Kam Williams, NewsBlaze
"A mix of cinematic thrills and sagging melodrama."
‑ Donald Munro, Fresno Bee
"It's hard to shake the impression that this movie has the sort of penny-pinching authenticity Quentin Tarantino's been trying for his entire career."
‑ Mark Holcomb, Time Out New York
"Plenty of movies have combined a blazing-guns revenge story with a family dynamics drama, but Illegal Tender never gets the mixture right, lurching between bullet-happy shootouts and overwrought domestic content."
‑ Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
"There are so many chances for Illegal Tender to get things right that it's depressing to realize that it misses all of them."
‑ David Cornelius,
"You know the film is off to a paltry start when you see the rookie Rick Gonzalez attempt to strut bad-boy, awww-yeah stuff. Instead, he feels like a 21-year-old boy just going through puberty."
‑ Adam Fendelman,
"Over-the-top melodrama that offers lots of freewheeling gunplay and action in desperate search of a believable story."
‑ Pete Hammond, Maxim
More reviews for Illegal Tender on Rotten Tomatoes