Bound By Honor

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -3

Three Hispanic men, two half-brothers and a cousin, make very diverse choices while growing up in East Los Angeles during the 70's. The cousin, Miklo (Damion Chapa), is half Hispanic and half-Anglo but his Anglo looks make him an outsider. Full-blooded Hispanic Paco (Benjamin Bratt) wants to be the baddest kid in East L.A. Paco's half-brother, expressive and intelligent Cruz (Jesse Borrego), wins fame as a local artist. When Cruz is viciously beaten by a rival gang, however, things start to unravel. Miklo ends up in prison, Paco is forced to join the Marines, and Cruz starts using drugs, supposedly to relieve chronic pain. Paco, by this time a respected undercover narcotics officer, takes over the leadership of the family. Miklo becomes involved with an Hispanic prison gang. BOUND BY HONOR is a poignant and powerful look at the tough realities of the Los Angeles barrio, meant for an adult audience. The three hour movie rambles a bit, but will keep viewers fairly riveted throughout.

Although the violence in this story of gangs and prison life is somewhat restrained, it is excessive. Several men are shot, many stabbed to death, one burned alive, one strangled with wire. One fight features a man thrown down on his back on top of a fire hydrant. A scene of a couple engaged in heavy petting with gratuitous breast nudity has no purpose. In prison, Miklo is constantly bombarded by homosexual advances. He encourages one man's advances, then kills him. Drug use is also shown several times, but not condoned. An incredible amount of obscenities include 163 f-words and 61 s-words. With the offensive material cut in half, the movie would still be "real." In fact, this film could be very effective without the crude elements. For the excessive, graphic violence and incessant obscenities and profanities, BOUND BY HONOR earns a negative rating. This is particularly unfortunate since it has a positive message of hope and affirmation of family allegiance.

Preview Reviewer: Greg Wilson
Buena Vista Distribution, 500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91521

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (53) times - Mild 8; Moderate 45

Obscene Language: Many (237) times (f-word 163, s-word 61, 13 others)

Profanity: Several (8) times - Regular 7; Exclamatory 1

Violence: Many times - Moderate and severe (killings by shooting, stabbing, strangulation, burning alive; several fights)

Sex: None

Nudity: Breast nudity twice, full male rear nudity once

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: References to intercourse, crude finger gesture twice; couple petting

Drugs: Several times (cocaine use, not condoned)

Other: None

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