The New Yorker

A Cop Movie

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Narrative gamesmansh­ip merges with investigat­ive journalism in this remarkable docu-fiction hybrid, directed by Alonso Ruizpalaci­os. The film follows two Mexico City police officers, Teresa and Montoya, on their daily rounds—including backroom dealings with officials and the hot pursuit of suspects—and in their private lives. The officers candidly discuss their motives for joining the force (Teresa’s father, also an officer, doubted she was up to the job) and their personal challenges. (Montoya endured depressive crises that caused colleagues to fear for his life; Teresa joined up as a single mother.) Then, midway through the film, they’re revealed to be a couple who both work and live together—yet some scenes of their life, whether intimate or spectacula­r, play like reënactmen­ts. Ruizpalaci­os has still more tricks up his sleeve, including behindthe-scenes sequences that reveal the complex process by which the film was made. His intricate and oblique methods offer far-reaching insights into a troubled police system that’s underfunde­d, racked with corruption, and inured to violence. In Spanish.—Richard Brody (In limited theatrical release and streaming on Netflix starting Nov. 5.)

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