Noise Parent Guide
She's got nothing left to lose.
Parent Movie Review
It’s been nine months since Gertrudis (Ger) Velazquez disappeared on a grad trip with some college friends and the grief, loss, and uncertainty have torn her family apart. Ger’s brother Pedro has been sent out of the country for his own safety, father Arturo (Arturo Beristain) is numb, and mother Julia (Julieta Egurrola) has abandoned a flourishing art career to spend her time searching for her lost daughter. She has no idea how dangerous this is going to be: Mexican authorities seem more interested in covering up the crimes than in finding the missing and Julia will get no help from them.
Noise is based on a real crisis that has accelerated alarmingly in Mexico over the past two decades. Powerful drug lords, an underfunded justice system, and a culture of impunity mean that 100,000 Mexicans are officially missing and only a handful of perpetrators have ever been held accountable. In this environment, Julia must work outside of the legal system. She joins forces with a brave reporter (Teresa Ruiz), hires a lawyer who investigates disappearances, and walks through the countryside with family members of other missing people as they look for hidden burial sites.
This is a searingly painful film to watch. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare, brought to vivid life by the performances of Julieta Egurrola and Arturo Beristain. Ms. Egurrola, in particular, literally embodies anguish, rage, grief, and defiance. It’s her performance that gives the movie its emotional core.
Moving as Noise is, it’s a difficult film to like, Not only is it profoundly depressing, but some of the directorial choices are hard to understand. I’m particularly unhappy with the mindscape in which Julia sometimes finds herself. It’s a grassy, hilly location where Julia stands and screams. I think it’s supposed to illuminate her inner life, but Ms. Egurrola is more than capable of doing so in the main body of the film. These little excursions just feel weird; not helpful. Also irritating is the English language dub track which features so many high-pitched voices that I felt like I was listening to munchkins. If you don’t mind subtitles, I’d recommend sticking to the Spanish audio and reading along in English. To be fair, I really can’t blame the director here: this is obviously a Netflix issue.
Given the storyline, negative content should not come as a surprise. There is frequent discussion of abduction and death, but little actual violence. There is a very disturbing scene featuring numerous dead bodies in the back of an abandoned truck trailer: Julia walks through the dimly lit horror searching for her daughter. There are just over a dozen profanities, also not surprising given the context. The movie lacks graphic sexual content, but there is a where three topless female protesters are briefly seen, their breasts only partially obscured with body paint.
I’m hard-pressed to figure out the audience for this movie. It’s raw and gritty and painful and won’t appeal to anyone looking for popcorn flicks. People who are aware of and haunted by the issue are unlikely to seek out fictional representations of real life tragedies. Although the movie tries to make some noise around these deaths and disappearances, I’m not sure if that will lead to the kind of change we all want to see.Directed by Natalia Beristain. Starring Julieta Egurrola, Teresa Ruiz, Erick Israel Consuelo. Running time: 105 minutes. Theatrical release January 11, 2023. Updated January 12, 2023
Watch the trailer for Noise
Rating & Content Info
Why is Noise rated TV-MA? Noise is rated TV-MA by the MPAA for language, nudity, smoking.
Violence: The abduction and murder of women is the major theme of the film. Women flip through a binder of pictures of dead women. A truck filled with dead bodies is seen in very dim light. A woman is followed by a car. A woman is forcibly abducted from a passenger bus. Police attack peaceful protesters. Someone deliberately sets a fire. A woman is hit in the head.
Sexual Content: Woman’s back is seen; then she wraps up in a towel. A young woman is briefly seen in a bikini. Three bare-breasted women are briefly seen, their chests covered in body paint.
Profanity: There are approximately a dozen profanities in the film, including three sexual expletives, some crude anatomical terms, a few minor profanities, and a term of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A main character vapes as do other adults. There’s mention of cocaine use.
Page last updated January 12, 2023
Noise Parents' Guide
Missing illuminates a horrifying real life problem – an epidemic of missing people and murdered women in Mexico. For more information, you can read the following articles.
The New York Times: GONE (warning: bloody images)
Related home video titles:
A more family-friendly story of a mother saving her children is told in the Pixar animated film Onward.
A desperate father scours the internet looking for his missing daughter in Searching.
A young woman finds herself searching for a friend abducted by a Mexican drug cartel in Miss Bala.