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113mins **

Following on from Traffic and Babel, here's another multi-stranded drama dealing with an Important Issue - this time immigration. And the whole thing's about as enjoyable as a holiday to Guantanamo Bay.

Less a movie and more a two-hour finger wag, some decent performances and timely questions about US citizenship are drowned out by too many storylines, syrupy sentiment and a moral bludgeoned home time and again, that You Can't Beat The System.

Revolving largely around illegals living in LA, the story's anchored by a grizzled immigration officer (Harrison Ford) who suffers a crisis of conscience after separating a young Mexican woman from her son during a sting.

Then there's a British musician (Jim Sturgess) and his Aussie girlfriend (Alice Eve) who'll do anything - and I mean anything - to stay in the US. Muddying the waters further is a self-serving green card adjudicator (Ray Liotta) and his immigration lawyer wife (Ashley Judd) who want to adopt an African orphan kept at a holding centre.

Hang on, I'm not done yet. We also meet a 15-year-old Muslim girl (the excellent Summer Bishil) who foolishly tells her classmates the 9/11 hijackers had a point, a Korean teenager who falls in with gangbangers, and an Iranian woman who infuriates her family by adopting Western mores.

The obvious comparison is, of course, to the Oscar-winning Crash. Only this one's more of a pile-up.


IF YOU LIKED... Babel, Grand Canyon... YOU'LL LIKE THIS.


SHINE A LIGHT: Harrison Ford
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 31, 2009
Previous Article:ALBUMS; MUSIC.
Next Article:G-FORCE; MOVIES.

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