Tribeca Film Review: ‘The Gasoline Thieves’

We’ve all heard the warning, “If you play with fire, you’re gonna get burned.” Well, that’s nothing compared to the consequences if you steal gasoline straight from the source — an extremely high-risk practice now on the rise in Mexico, where the combustibility of extracting raw fuel from open fields is amplified by the dangers of dealing with the cartels who control this emerging black market.However volatile, these activities have become widespread enough that the locals now have a word for such outlaws: “Huachicolero” — the original Spanish-language title of director Edgar Nito’s attention-grabbing, ignition-ready debut, “The Gasoline Thieves,” which earned its talented helmer the “best new narrative filmmaker” title at the Tribeca Film Festival.

For complicated reasons, Mexican crime stories generally don’t translate well across borders: Those that play well at home tend to feel exaggerated and over-the-top compared to the cold-blooded ruthlessness of movies like “Sicario,

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