This the best written, acted and directed movie I would heartily recommend you avoid for the rest of your life.
That's right, it's both good and at the same time ultimatly an almost completely useless movie.
The plot (as such) involves Greg Kinnear investigating high levels of animal feces showing up in his burger companies patties. While he is investigating the film changes focus to a group of Mexican illegal immigrants being completely and utterly exploited by the meat packing plant that they are working for.
Just about everything if you take it as an individual piece. Director Richard Linklater is both stylish and economical with his camera work, he seems to pack a lot of information into his shots, withou it becoming confusing.
Greg Kinnear is excellent as always, his opressed everyman Don has just the right amount of heart for a corporate consulant who hasn't quite lost his soul. Wilmer Valderrama has beafed up considerably and gives and understated but still excellent performance as a mexican migrant worker anmed Raul trying his best to provide for himself and his girlfriend.
Ultimately it's Catalina Sandino Moreno who sticks out as Raul's girlfriend Sylvia. She gives the most incredibly believable performance as someone who will literally do whatever it takes to make sure she and Raul make it through.
I should probably mention that Avril Levine is in this, for about three minutes and does a pretty darn good job of fleshing out a minor role as a university animal rights activist.
Bruce Willis is in it it too. He's bald, and he's Bruce Willis.
As a whole this movie should have been my kind of movie (I'm a vegitarian) but ultimately the movie wastes any opporunity to have a plot, or a point.
Greg Kinnear wanders about, starts to get something going and then just...quits. Not even his job, just gives up on the investigation. The Mexican migrants go through hell. Then some more. Then some more.
No point, no relief.
If you are going to give your audience an unhappy ending you need to leave them with something other than despair. This film should have left me angry, activist minded. Instead it left me depressed and in a way, almost uncaring. I haven't read the source material (although many people have recommended it to me), however the ultimate message of any film like this has to be that "you" the viewer can make a difference if you fight for it.
I don't watch movies to be told the world is a terrible place. I can watch the news if I want to hear that.
If you're bored, then chewing your own foot will entertain you more than this.
Way to depressed to watch these. I can't rate them but I also couldn't care enough to watch them. You've been warned.