An ambitious drama about gang warfare and the culture of violence, AMERICAN ME is nothing if not earnest. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean it's a particularly successful film; for every bluntly powerful moment, there's another that's crude and obvious, sometimes excruciatingly so.
Raised in the East Los Angeles barrio, Santana Montoya (Edward James Olmos) ignores his parents' attempts to make him into a citizen of the mainstream United States, a culture from which they themselves have been excluded--a point that isn't lost on their angry son. Santana finds his identity in a
gang, formed with his friends Mundo (Pepe Serna) and JD (William Forsythe), a white boy w...