Sin Nombre (2009)

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Released 7-Apr-2010

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Main Menu Audio
Deleted Scenes
Audio Commentary-Director & Producer
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2009
Running Time 91:51 (Case: 96)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (45:59) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Cary Fukunaga

Madman Entertainment
Starring Marco Antonio Aguirre
Leonardo Alonso
Karla Cecilia Alvarado
Juan Pablo Arias Barrón
Rosalba Belén Barrón
Felipe Castro
Rosalba Quintana Cruz
Marcela Feregrino
Kristian Ferrer
Édgar Flores
Giovanni Florido
Paulina Gaitan
Ariel Galvan
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music Marcelo Zarvos

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Wily, a young small-town Mexican gang banger better known by his gang name "El Caspar", spends half the time he should be showing his pre-teen initiate partner "El Smiley" the ropes sneaking off to meet his girl. Unfortunately, a grim chain of events set off by shirking his duties means that romance doesn't last long and he finds himself on the run across the country with his junior initiate in hot pursuit. Meanwhile, Honduran teen Sayra follows her father on a long journey through Mexico to jump the border into the USA, riding the roof of trains to speed the journey. Along the way these two young people from drastically different poor Central American backgrounds unite on their way to reach the promised land, with both immigration officials and violent, armed gang members in tow.

     Sin Nombre isn't a bad movie, but both the violent Latin street gang thing and the border hopping thing have been done to death in the last decade on TV and in film, and in many cases better. The film really adds nothing to the oeuvre, aside from some amusing and occasionally quite pretty shots of people riding on the top of trains. The gang stuff follows formula closely enough to become toothless. Though they strut the streets with reasonable bravado, particularly the young initiate "El Smiley" who really pulls off the pre-teen gangbanger character, there is never much of a sense of menace about these lads and that guts the excitement from every clash in the film. As for what is supposed to be the sympathetic side of the story, the young girl looking to reunite with family over the border, that too fails to generate more than a sense of apathy. This is Hollywood trying to capture a culture not their own and it shows.

     If you haven't seen any of the City of God franchise, Troppa De Elite, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, or even Traffic and Crossing Over, go watch them before you hire Sin Nombre. If you have, and are hungry for another angsty south-of-the-border escapade, give this one a hire before you think of buying it.

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Transfer Quality


     The film is presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced. The video looks decent without looking particularly spectacular. The image is slightly soft, though consistently so, throughout. The colours are, stylistically, a little harsh but well rendered. The black level is a little disappointing, with blacks looking more like dark grey.

     There is no sign of any film artefacts or compression artefacts in the transfer.

     The film features optional English subtitles, which occasionally come across as an iffy translation but generally makes good sense.

     This is an RSDL disc, with a seamless layer break at 45:59.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     The film features a Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital (448Kbps) audio track. The audio is decent, although a bit underwhelming. The audio is in good sync to the video. Dialogue is clearly discernable.

     The surrounds are used fairly sparsely, though to reasonable effect in the handful of exciting scenes in the film. The subwoofer usage is minimal.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Audio Commentary - Writer/Director & Producer

     Director Cary Fukunaga and producer Amy Kaufman provide a pretentious, though occasionally quite interesting commentary. The production trivia comes thick and fast, which makes for easy listening.

Deleted Scenes (10:43)

     Ten minutes of out-of-context filler.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 edition includes the same extra features as the Region 4 edition but reportedly has burnt in subtitles (ugh!), making the Region 4 edition the version of choice.


     An uninspired, though watchable, Mexican street gang/illegal immigration drama. Worth a look, but not up to the standard of much of the similar fare around.

     Video and audio are fair. The extras are modest, but reasonably worthwhile.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Monday, September 13, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
DisplayOptoma HD20 Projector. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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