A train ride through Mexico can be perilous.

The issue of illegal immigrants in the USA has been tackled in countless movies, but few depictions have shed light on the perilous path people take to get there. American cinematographer-turned-director Cary Fukunaga’s feature debut is a harrowing story of immigrants making their way from Honduras through Mexico to the US. The road is fraught with dangers, police raids, brutal Mexican gangs and border guards. Sidestepping typical melodramatic landmines but still maintaining a compelling grip, the story leaves an ashen taste in your mouth. It’s beautiful in a grim, low-key way, and altogether an important film.