'Icebox' offers chilling tale of young asylum seeker's journey

Anthony Gonzalez, Matthew Moreno in 'Icebox'

(CNN)Beyond timely, "Icebox" is a wrenching, harrowing movie about one Honduran boy's quest for asylum, and the conditions he faces after being apprehended in the United States. Acquired by HBO, the spare project from first-time writer-director Daniel Sawka weds the stark feel and look of a documentary with the emotional wallop that comes from drama.

Working with filmmaker James L. Brooks' Grace Films, Sawka expanded his American Film Institute thesis short (notably shot in 2016) into a feature, but like his young protagonist, the movie covers an inordinate amount of ground in relatively quick fashion.
The 12-year-old Oscar ("Coco's" Anthony Gonzalez, whose face speaks volumes) has been forced to work for a drug gang, and now must flee for his life. His parents dispatch him on the journey through Mexico to the U.S., warning him not to trust anyon