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Kingdom of Shadows

HD   PG-13 Closed Captioning

Bernardo Ruiz

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About the Movie

In Kingdom of Shadows, Bernardo Ruiz takes an unflinching look at the human cost of the U. S. -Mexico drug wars through the perspectives of three unlikely individuals. Sister Consuelo Morales, based in the devastated city of Monterrey, prods government officials to take action against the drug cartels on behalf of grieving families whose loved ones have gone missing. Texan Don Henry Ford Jr. offers historical context for the hyper-violent state of drug trafficking today, as he recounts his career as a smuggler during the relatively calm 1980s, before he served time for importing marijuana. And undercover agent-turned-senior Homeland Security officer Oscar Hagelsieb recounts his own remarkable journey, which began as the child of undocumented parents in an impoverished neighborhood where of his many peers gave in to the temptations of the drug economy.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 17
  • Fresh: 14
  • Rotten: 3
  • Average Rating: 5.9/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: As a rendering of Mexico's agonized convulsions, "Kingdom of Shadows" is unforgettable. – Andy Webster, New York Times, Nov 19, 2015

Rotten: Ruiz never manages to weave the multiple narratives into a complex but cohesive big picture as Steven Soderbergh did with the 2000 feature film "Traffic." – Martin Tsai, Los Angeles Times, Nov 20, 2015

Fresh: Providing a chilling non-fiction parallel to the recent Sicario, Kingdom of Shadows is both heartbreaking and disturbing. – Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter, Nov 19, 2015

Fresh: Though at times too splintered by its various points of interest, Bernardo Ruiz's up-close-and-personal documentary is nonetheless harrowing in its details. – Nick Schager, Village Voice, Nov 19, 2015

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Must watch!

Sicario doesn't tell us anything new regarding the Drug War. Cartel Land reveals how violent the drug cartels have gotten. But Kingdom of Shadows personalized and humanized the effects of the Drug War from three different perspectives. The pain is deep, the conversation intelligent, and the solutions tangible.

The DarkHatter is Pleased

Very good and very sad. The stories in this documentary are really interesting, particularly that of the drug agent. I hope his is what he seems - which is the best of what America has to offer. We are a country of beautiful refugees!

The costs of the illegal drug trade

Kingdom of Shadows covers a big scope of the illegal drug trade tormenting Mexico and its northern neighbor. Two people highlighted in this documentary--the federal agent and nun--are doing something about it. One, a Texan landowner-turned-smuggler, tells us how America plays a role in it. I found it hard to identify a cohesion in the three different subjects, but in the end, they're all speaking about one thing--the drug trade--and how it has affected their lives and the people around them.

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Kingdom of Shadows
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  • $6.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2015

Customer Ratings

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