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'The Infiltrators' Review: Powerful docu-thriller that is engaging and topical

Movie Reviews

‘The Infiltrators’ Review: Powerful docu-thriller that is engaging and topical

‘The Infiltrators’ meshes genres that would not seem compatible.

There are times when a new story will break and a persons first inclination is to think, that will make a great movie. Then, there are the movies based on true stories that will make the view think, did this really happen? If so, why am I just hearing about this now? Prison breaks are a great example. There is no way a daring escape made in the last ten years can be overlooked, right?

The Infiltrators is a 2019 docudrama that looks at a daring escape. In 2012, members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance got themselves purposely detained in the for profit Broward Transitional Center in South Florida. Their plan was to break out, taking all of the detainees with them. The movie mixes genres to draw in its audience.

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This is a very interestingly made film. It will remind some of Unsolved Mysteries. There is a mix of real life people and dramatized events. It may sound a little silly and like it should not work. Thankfully, that is not the case. The Infiltrators is a combination documentary/prison break movie. It is an odd mix that directors Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra are able to handle. This is partially due to the over the top premise. Part of what makes documentaries interesting is an intriguing story. Escape movies are so well liked due their action. This movie provides both.

There comes a point where the film would seem to lose audiences. The extreme nature of prison escape movies almost seems to clash with the sobering social commentary of the documentary. This never happens in The Infiltrators. The story seamlessly alternates between it’s two genres constantly keeping the audience captivated.

Style is not the most important thing about The Infiltrators, however. Neither are the engrossing interviews or even the interesting plot. Most importantly, the movie asked a lot of questions about the country. Right, wrong, and how far people will go are all tackled in the film. Otherwise comedic moments are given a painfully realistic touch. The narrative is topical and in your face. There is an obvious message here and it is delivered in the most impactful way possible. 

Immigration has been a hot button topic in America for years. The Infiltrators tackles the subject head on in an exciting docu-thriller that also serves as a commentary about the country. There are times the exciting narrative becomes too simplistic, but the film never loses its audience. In the process it says things about the country we may not want to know.

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