Under the Same Moon

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Under the Same Moon
La Misma Luna,.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPatricia Riggen
Produced byLigiah Villalobos
Gerardo Barrera
Written byLigiah Villalobos
StarringAdrián Alonso
Kate del Castillo
Eugenio Derbez
Maya Zapata
Carmen Salinas
María Rojo
Mario Almada
America Ferrera
Los Tigres del Norte
Music byCarlo Siliotto
Los Tigres del Norte
Song "Que Puedo Hacer"
Author and composer: Rodolfo Garavagno
Performer Pepito Pérez y Los Playeros
CinematographyChecco Varese
Edited byAleshka Ferrero
Distributed byFox Searchlight Pictures
The Weinstein Company
Release date
  • July 24, 2007 (2007-07-24) (festival)
  • March 19, 2008 (2008-03-19) (U.S.)
  • March 20, 2008 (2008-03-20) (Mexico)
Running time
104 minutes
United States
Budget$1.7 million[1]
Box office$23.3 million

Under the Same Moon (Spanish: La misma luna) is a 2007 Mexican-American drama film in Spanish and English directed by Patricia Riggen and starring Adrián Alonso, Kate del Castillo, and Eugenio Derbez.


The film tells the story of Rosario, a single mother who crosses while undocumented to the United States, and leaves behind her five-year-old son, Carlitos. Rosario and Carlitos have not seen each other in four years. Rosario, now living in Los Angeles, California, calls her son (who is still in Mexico) every Sunday from a payphone. Rosario describes the area around the payphone to Carlitos by saying that there is a laundromat, a mural, and a Domino's Pizza. Carlitos lives in a small Mexican village with his ill grandmother, who takes care of him, and next door to his repressive aunt and uncle who try to take custody of him in order to get the money that Rosario sends to Carlitos' grandmother every month. One day, while working for a woman named Doña Carmen, Carlitos encounters two American immigrant transporters (coyotes), Martha and David, who offer to smuggle small children and babies across the border.

When his grandmother dies, Carlitos decides that he will not live with his aunt and uncle. He finds the two coyotes so that he can make his way across the border to his mom. Though he successfully crosses the border at El Paso without being caught, the car that he hides in is towed away, and he is separated from the two coyotes due to them having expired tags and unpaid parking violations. Carlitos waits in the van at the impound lot until it is nighttime. When he gets out of the van, he unknowingly drops the container full of his only money.

Carlitos makes his way to the local bus station and attempts to buy a ticket but is not allowed because he is a minor. Carlitos asks a man in the bathroom if he could buy him a ticket. When the man accepts, Carlitos realizes that he has lost his money. He offers the man $100 to drive him to the impound lot. When they arrive at the impound lot, the van is gone and Carlitos is unable to find his money. It is made apparent that the man is a drug user, as he becomes upset and begins to question Carlitos where his money is. Carlitos replies that he doesn't know, which angers the man further. The man then drives Carlitos to a local pimp and tries to sell Carlitos to him. A woman, named Reina, is walking by, stops Carlitos from being bought, pays the man what she has and takes Carlitos with her. Reina takes Carlitos to live and work with other illegal immigrants. One day, while working at a tomato farm, immigration police raid the building and arrest most of the workers. Carlitos and another worker named Enrique, who does not like Carlitos, escape.

Carlitos begins to follow Enrique as he leaves the farm. Enrique tells him that he doesn't want to watch over him and not to follow him. Carlitos follows him anyway, and the two eventually end up hitchhiking. The band Los Tigres del Norte pick up Carlitos and Enrique and drive them to the city limits of Tucson. When they get out of the van, Enrique yells at Carlitos again for following him, which makes Carlitos walk off in anger. Enrique sees that some men are about to jump Carlitos for his backpack and yells out to him so they can stay together.

Meanwhile, Rosario is trying to figure out a way to get her son to the US, but it is very costly to hire lawyers and she isn't making enough money by cleaning houses and babysitting. Rosario lives with her friend Alicia in a garage. They both clean houses in a gated community. The gate guard, Paco, has a crush on Rosario. Paco knows that Rosario wants her son to be in the US and asks Rosario to marry him because he is legally in the country. After some persuasion from Alicia, Rosario agrees to marry Paco and sets up a wedding in two days.

Carlitos and Enrique arrive at a restaurant managed by a Native American man and his wife. Carlitos manages to gain employment for both Enrique and himself. At the restaurant, Carlitos looks up his absent father, Oscar Aguilar Pons, whom he learned about from his aunt and uncle despite his grandmother's wishes, in a phone book, and they meet at a wholesale store and have lunch there. Oscar agrees to take Carlitos to Los Angeles where Rosario is, but later changes his mind, angering Carlitos. In turn, Enrique decides to take Carlitos to Los Angeles. The two take a bus ride and make it to LA.

Carlitos and Enrique arrive in East LA at the address to realize that it is just a PO box and not his mom's physical address. Carlitos gets the idea to search the city for the payphone that his mother calls him from every Sunday. Failing to find the payphone after several hours, mostly due to not being able to find the correct pizzeria, the two rest on a park bench, after unknowingly walking right past Rosario. Later, on the night of her wedding, Rosario admits to Paco that she can't marry him as she wants to wed for love. Rosario tells him that she is going to move back to Mexico so she can be with her son. Meanwhile, Doña Carmen manages a phone call to Rosario to let her know that Carlitos crossed the border and is missing, also informing her that her mother had died, which Rosario did not know. She immediately decides to leave on a bus back to Mexico that night. Meanwhile, Carlitos thanks Enrique for everything and gives him his prized toy as a way to show his gratitude. The two fall asleep on the park bench. As Rosario is about to depart on the bus ride, seeing a payphone by the bus reminds her of Carlitos and she gathers her thoughts to make a decision.

Enrique and Carlitos get surprised by a pair of cops, and Enrique sacrifices himself by throwing his coffee at the police officers, which distracts them long enough for Carlitos to run away, but it causes Enrique to get arrested.

Carlitos finally finds where his mom makes the weekly phone calls and spies his mother. Both see each other, but have to wait until the stop light turns red and they can cross.



The film received generally favorable reviews from critics, getting a 73% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 6.5/10. The website's consensus reads, "If Under the Same Moon is often manipulative, it is also heartfelt, and features strong performances from its leads."[2] On Metacritic, 24 critics gave the film 59/100, meaning "mixed or average" reviews.[3]

Home release[edit]

Under the Same Moon was released on DVD April 20, 2008, in the United States.


  1. ^ "Interview with Patricia Riggen, director/co-writer of Under the Same Moon". nycmovieguru.com. Retrieved 2017-09-06.
  2. ^ "Under the Same Moon (2008)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Under the Same Moon (La misma luna)". Metacritic. Retrieved 20 March 2018.

External links[edit]