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Illegal is a short film that follows the story of Daniel who is a young diner owner who hires an illegal immigrant, Carlos, to work for him. Carlos repays this service by claiming that Daniel did not pay him and blackmailing him out of his life’s savings.

This premise is the setup for a gritty and tightly scripted revenge drama. While I would have preferred if they had avoided the standard “interrogation scene” that comes at the end of the second act, the most powerful elements of this film comes during the preamble, where we see how easy it is for dreams to be shattered even when your intentions are pure.

Coming in at 22 minutes, this is feature length by Internet standards but it moves well enough to be an easy watch. If you are looking for a revenge film that’s heavy on character development this is more than worth a watch.

Creator’s Description

Daniel and Jessica are a happily married couple on the verge of realizing the American dream – Jessica is pregnant and Daniel finally gets the money to open a small diner. But when they hire Carlos, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, they find that they are targets of blackmail. With their emotions spiraling out of control, is their love strong enough for them to forgive one another and do what’s right?


Cast: Thomas Blankenship, Tyler Kain, Danny Molina, Chet Grissom, David Pevsner, and Luis Beckford
Vimeo Channel: Illegal
Website: Illegal


Style 3

Pacing 3.5

What I loved about this movie wasn’t the plot but the execution. The acting and directing are fantastic and while the third act feels a bit rushed, overall the movie has a strongly theatrical feel. (Storytelling 4)

Polish 4.5

The dramatic and action elements of this movie mix well. Be aware that it comes in at 22 minutes so set aside a block of time to really enjoy this. (Watchability 4.5)

It’s a well executed but pretty standard revenge film. (Novelty 3)

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆