|This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Spanish Wikipedia. (April 2013)|
Cinematic release poster
|Directed by||Gerardo Naranjo|
|Produced by||Pablo Cruz|
|Written by||Gerardo Naranjo|
|Music by||Emilio Kauderer|
|Editing by||Gerardo Naranjo|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox (Mexico)|
|Running time||113 minutes|
Miss Bala is a 2011 Mexican drama film written and directed by Gerardo Naranjo. The film premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. The film was selected as the Mexican entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards, but it did not make the final shortlist.
The film begins with twenty three year old Laura Guerrero (Sigman), who lives with her father Ramon (Javier Zaragoza) and little brother Arturo (Juan Carlos Galvan) meeting with her friend Suzu ( Lakshmi Picazo) both entering a beauty contest for the Miss Baja Beauty pageant. After being accepted by the The women then go to the Millennium Night Club, where Suzu meets her boyfriend Javi (Hugo Marquez). When Laura goes into the bathroom, she witnesses members of the La Estrella gang causing chaos by shooting randomly into the club. Frantic, she tries to search for Suzu, and her desperation causes her to be ejected from the pageant, as she fails to show up for the early rehearsal.
She is then kidnapped by the leader of the La Estrella gang, Lino (Noe Hernandez) and his gang kidnap her brother and father as bargaining chips to control her. Laura is then used by the gang for criminal missions, including transporting drug money across the US border, and luring out a DEA agent that has infiltrated the organization (Jose Yenque).
The climax of the film occurs after Laura wins the Miss Baja contest. The gang uses her to seduce a prominent military general (Miguel Courtrier) However, she switches sides once a headline confirms that Suzu was a casualty in the nightclub shooting, and she ducks for cover as the military defeats the members of the gang. However, the film ends with her being dropped off in America by a presumed dead Lino.
- Stephanie Sigman as Laura Guerrero
- Irene Azuela as Jessica Berlanga
- Miguel Couturier as General Salomón Duarte
- Gabriel Heads as Agent Bell
- Noe Hernandez as Lino Valdez
- James Russo as Jimmy
- Jose Yenque as Kike Camara
Real life incident
Miss Bala is loosely based on a real incident, in which 2008’s Miss Sinaloa, Laura Zúñiga, was arrested with suspected gang members in a truck filled with munitions outside Guadalajara, Jalisco. The film suggests her pageant victory was blatantly fixed by criminal elements. In an interview with Complex Magazine, director Gerardo Naranjo said that he had met Zuniga, but that “I really didn’t want to go into their psyches. I guess the film has a very strong point-of-view, and we refuse to get into the minds of these guys, because I think that’s what every other movie does… I wanted to live the experience from the point-of-view of an innocent person.” 
Upon its release at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, Miss Bala has received widespread critical acclaim. Review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes reports that 89% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 61 reviews, with an average score of 7.2/10, making the film a "Certified Fresh" on the website's rating system. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 80, based on 22 reviews, which indicates "Generally favorable reviews".
- List of submissions to the 84th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film
- List of Mexican submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
- "Miss Bala << British Board of Film Classification". British Board of Film Classification. 2011-08-17. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
- "Festival de Cannes: Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
- "Cannes film festival 2011: The full lineup". guardian.co.uk (London). 2011-04-14. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
- Hecht, John (2011-09-22). "'Miss Bala' Crowned Mexico's Foreign-Language Oscar Submission". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
- "63 Countries Vie for 2011 Foreign Language Film Oscar". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-10-14.
- "9 Foreign Language Films Vie for Oscar". Retrieved 2012-01-19.
- Kaufman, Anthony (2011-05-15). "‘Miss Bala’ Subverts Criminal Thriller Genre at Cannes 2011". The Wall Street Journal (Dow Jones & Company). Retrieved 2011-05-19.
- "Miss Bala - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved January 16, 2011.
- "Miss Bala Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved January 16, 2011.