Harris plays Roy, a grouchy retiree devoted to poking around his ranch and, probably, driving his wife, Livy (Amy Madigan), a little crazy. Early on she rides her horse along a trail frequented, as Roy says, by those "damn Mexicans." Earlier, we've seen young father Miguel (Peña) leaving his pregnant wife, Paulina (Eva Longoria) and young daughter in Mexico, headed for the States with a ne'er-do-well friend of the family (Michael Ray Escamilla) who spells trouble. But not as much trouble as stupid white guys: A bunch of bad-apple teens launch a chain of events that ruins lives, and, of course, there's always a way to prove that "damn Mexicans" are to blame.
Frontera riffs on a number of contemporary political realities: The distrust and condescension Americans feel toward our neighbors south of the border, the prevalence of coyotes who prey upon Mexican citizens, and the tendency of law enforcement to see itself as being above the law. Berry isn't afraid to use melodrama as a tool to highlight injustice. It's his very un-flashiness makes Frontera effective