La Zona review

The river of great Mexican movies just keeps flowing

Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our experts review games, movies and tech over countless hours, so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about our reviews policy.

More evidence of an ongoing spring in the step of Mexican cinema, this debut feature exerts an unsettling grip from its provocative opening shot.

A car roams a picture-perfect suburb, pausing to allow schoolkids in immaculate uniforms to cross the road, before the camera cranes upwards to reveal that this monied neighbourhood is a posh enclave fenced off from the seething poverty of Mexico City.

After a trio of young thieves breaches this gated community, its residents attempt to cover up their violent counteraction, fending off the attentions of good cop Mario
Zaragoza while searching for the third boy still hiding in their midst.

Director Rodrigo Plá pulls off a biting critique of middle-classes living in smug seclusion, but doesn’t compromise on tension as the suburbanites’ morals spiral out of control.

The Total Film team are made up of the finest minds in all of film journalism. They are: Editor Jane Crowther, Deputy Editor Matt Maytum, Reviews Ed Matthew Leyland, News Editor Jordan Farley, and Online Editor Emily Murray. Expect exclusive news, reviews, features, and more from the team behind the smarter movie magazine.