Gun Hill Road (film)

Gun Hill Road is a 2011 drama film directed by Rashaad Ernesto Green and starring Esai Morales. The title of the film derives from the Bronx road of the same name. The film is notable for starring a transgender character who is played by a transgender actor, Harmony Santana, who was the first openly transgender actress to be nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.[1]

Gun Hill Road
Directed byRashaad Ernesto Green
Produced byRon Simons
Michelle-Anne M. Small
Written byRashaad Ernesto Green
StarringEsai Morales
Judy Reyes
Isiah Whitlock, Jr.
Music byEnrique Feldman
Stefan Swanson
CinematographyDaniel Patterson
Edited bySara Corrigan
Distributed byMotion Film Group
CountryUnited States


Ex-con Enrique (Esai Morales) returns home after a stint in prison. His wife Angela has had an affair while he was away, and his daughter Vanessa, who is a young trans woman in the process of transitioning and coming out: therefore; is navigating her life through a bigoted environment, leaving Enrique with decisions to make regarding his family's future.



Critical receptionEdit

The film has received mixed reviews. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 65% based on 31 reviews, and an average rating of 6.06/10. The critical consensus reads: "Equal parts absorbing and educational, Gun Hill Road wears its heart on its sleeve through tender performances that make up for its narrative familiarity".[2] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 55 out of 100, based on 14 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[3]

Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter said in his review: "In his feature debut, Gun Hill Road, writer-director Rashaad Ernesto Green displays compassion for his characters and an ability to create strong scenes to underscore his thematic concerns. But the story itself is too shopworn especially at Sundance where countless films have presented dysfunctional families where parents and offspring are at odds". Dennis Harvey of Variety similarly said; "script and direction tend to telegraph all events, draining the competently packaged pic of tension, nuance and surprise".[citation needed]

The subject matter of the movie was noted "for the casualness with which it puts a Hispanic transsexual in a black male's bed" because this kind of relationship is rarely seen in movies.[4]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Director Rashaad Ernesto Green was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Op-ed: 14 Reasons That Made 2011 Great for Trans People". The Advocate, December 28, 2011.
  2. ^ "Gun Hill Road (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved August 8, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Gun Hill Road Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 20, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Morris, Wesley (16 September 2011). "'Gun Hill Road' movie review". The Boston Globe. ISSN 0743-1791. Retrieved 8 November 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit