Bahrani's `Chop Shop' has lots of street smarts

Review B+

movies today

May 16, 2008|By Michael Sragow | Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic

Contemporary triumphs such as Jim Sheridan's In America (2003) and Jean-Pierre Jeunet's A Very Long Engagement (2004) have brought magical thinking into incongruous contexts such as New York's Hell's Kitchen in the 1980s and France during the First World War.

In its own artful, scruffy way, 33-year-old Ramin Bahrani's Chop Shop is nearly as strong and moving when it depicts how the power of positive thinking verges on the magical in the psyche of a young Latino street urchin who carves his own niche in a Queens, N.Y., auto-body row known as "The Iron Triangle," or Willets Point.

Chop Shop (Koch Lorber Films) Starring Alejandro Polanco, Isamar Gonzales. Directed by Ramin Bahrani. Unrated. Time 85 minutes.

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