'Cesar Chavez': The biopic is a little too dutiful

( PG-13 ) ( Monitor Movie Guide )

'Cesar Chavez' stars Michael Peña as the civil rights icon.

Pantelion Films/Lionsgate
Michael Peña (r.) and Rosario Dawson (l.) star in 'Cesar Chavez.'

Biopics about civil rights icons are usually staid affairs. “Cesar Chavez,” directed by Diego Luna, is no exception.

Remarkably, this is the first dramatic feature about Chavez. It dutifully chronicles the 1960s grape strike and boycott he spearheaded in Delano, Calif., but, as Chavez, Michael Peña, who was so powerful in “End of Watch,” is a blank. It’s not easy playing an icon. Grade: C (Rated PG-13 for some violence and language.)

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