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Maria Full of Grace: (and Cocaine) follows the story of a typical Colombian chick with big hair that’s trying to make a fast buck as a drug mule: naughty, naughty!  With the tagline ‘Based on 1,000 true stories’ I thought this was going to be a no-holds-barred affair like ‘Lilya-4-Ever’, however this misses a trick by keeping it safe, glossing over the potentially nasty bits. Several parts of the story were plain rubbish (U.S. Customs / Last scene) and the American Dream aspect was too much: it almost glorifies smuggling as a way of getting into the ‘States, and infinitely better prospects. Two of the lead women look so alike that it’s quite confusing when they share the screen. What isn’t confusing is how good Maria is, played by Catalina Sandino Moreno, and unquestionably the best thing about this as she effortlessly takes us through the good and bad times. It’s a powerful story, but could have benefited from being a lot rawer.

Score: 5.5/10