Thursday, February 2, 2017

Now on Netflix: Sun Belt Express (2015)

Sun Belt Express (2015) - Directed by Evan Buxbaum; Written by Buxbaum, Chance Mullen, Gregorio Castro; Starring Tate Donovan, India Ennenga, Ana De La Reguera, Oscar Avila, Arturo Castro, Rachael Harris, Miguel Sandoval.

By Kenny Howell

Not every movie has to shoot for the stars. Some just want to be a slice of life in a place we don't usually see.

That is definitely true of Sun Belt Express, which just appeared on Netflix this week. It stars Tate Donovan (Manchester by the Sea) in an extremely solid lead performance about a man that crosses the border to teach in Mexico, but also brings back immigrants across the border in his trunk for extra money.

The majority of the story is one run, in which his daughter, played by India Ennenga (About Scout), hides in the trunk on the way down there, surprising him when he arrives to pick up the men coming to the United States. Things get even more complicated when a fellow professor (Ana De La Reguera), one of which he has been romantically involved with, wants to come as well. Then, border patrol agents who drifted a little too far across the border further complicates things.

Sun Belt Express doesn't try to make any kind of grand declarations about humanity, even though it deals with a topic like illegal immigration in a roundabout way. It is the story of the people involved who are kind of caught in different ways, trying to reach their destination, whether it be physical or mental. The dialogue hits some blips on occasion, but the performances of Donovan and De La Reguera are enough to keep it where it needs to be.

Sun Belt Express is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: ***

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