Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Oct 6, 2011
    80
    Fantastic acting by the likes of Garret Dillahunt, Chris Cooper and Joel Torre lift characters above the cliched, offering a one-sided history lesson that is still well worth learning.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Aug 19, 2011
    80
    Cooper, Torre and Dane DeHaan, as a soldier smitten with a local girl, stand out among a strong cast. With its big ideas on an intimate scale, this is Sayles' best in a decade.
  3. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Aug 18, 2011
    80
    Amigo is a well-carpentered narrative, fast-moving and emphatic, stepping nimbly from gravity to good humor.
  4. Reviewed by: J. Hoberman
    Aug 16, 2011
    80
    John Sayles's Amigo aspires more to educate than entertain, but it's no less engrossing for that.
  5. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Sep 14, 2011
    75
    Amigo is not as tightly crafted as "Lone Star." It's a messier work whose dialogue is at times a tad too purple, its political allusions a little too obvious, and it has a one-note character that is uncharacteristic of its creator.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Aug 18, 2011
    75
    Amigo is combustible filmmaking, something that stays with you long after the final credits. In an entertainment universe of escapism and short attention spans, Amigo is a rousing antidote and a cause for celebration.
  7. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    Aug 17, 2011
    75
    Ultimately, Amigo is as much about Iraq and Afghanistan as it is about a century-old chapter of history - and it's as much about human nature as it is about either era.
  8. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Sep 17, 2011
    70
    The cruel imperialism of the war is just the sort of thing that stokes Sayles's liberal ire, which is one reason the movie so often recalls his proletarian masterpiece Matewan (1987).
  9. Reviewed by: Ray Bennett
    Aug 15, 2011
    70
    It's an impressive movie, but the indie filmmaker has little to add to the debate beyond the eternal truth that the innocent always suffer most.
  10. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Aug 17, 2011
    67
    Well cast and undeniably attuned to the nuances of human behavior, Amigo nevertheless suffers from simple dramatic shorthand.
  11. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Aug 18, 2011
    60
    The history lesson is often framed in stagy exchanges of dialogue, diluting the strong sense of place.
  12. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Aug 16, 2011
    60
    Amigo's penchant for polemics keeps upsetting any semblance of balance; how can anyone hear the grace notes when the soapboxing is so deafening?
  13. Reviewed by: Barbara Goslawski
    Aug 15, 2011
    60
    A complex political statement, Amigo is epic in scale but trades the schmaltz of the traditional war film for a more resolute treatment of subject.
  14. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    Aug 18, 2011
    55
    The result is the double shrift of a thinly sketched background and a story that has trouble standing up on its own.
  15. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Nov 11, 2011
    50
    Normally a reliable screenwriter, Sayles probably gives his audience too much credit with regard to its knowledge of what is one of the lesser-known chapters in America's military history. As a result, even with its modern parallels, Amigo makes for dense, slow-going viewing.
  16. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Sep 1, 2011
    50
    The cinematography is crisp but sterile, and no one's clothes ever seem to get muddy or torn -- in short, there's no real sense of the atmosphere of a sticky, buggy, fetid jungle, and no intensity to a story that cries out for a sense of moral outrage.
  17. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Aug 19, 2011
    50
    The overlong Amigo has its heart in the right place, but its approach to complex issues is too simplistic to win over unconverted minds.
  18. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Aug 18, 2011
    50
    In Amigo, a story of the Philippine-American War, veteran filmmaker John Sayles allows his political convictions to get the better of him. The movie is a heavy-handed attack on U.S. imperialism with little to compensate in the way of character interest and genuine drama.
  19. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Aug 18, 2011
    50
    The problem is that this pot of intrigue takes ages to boil, and the cook refuses to turn up the heat. And if vitality is not an element Sayles cherishes, neither is nuance.
  20. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    Aug 15, 2011
    50
    Good intentions can't breathe fresh life into cliches or dispel the overall impression of schematic didacticism.
  21. Reviewed by: Fernando F. Croce
    Aug 15, 2011
    50
    Amigo finds John Sayles rather closer to his worst, alternating gracelessly between fleshing out the characters caught in the middle of international conflict and turning them into dots and arrows in a flowchart of historical relevance.
  22. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Sep 1, 2011
    38
    The argument in Amigo is so heavy-handed - and its execution so crude - that by the time the movie winds its way to a predictable but uninvolving conclusion, nobody will be listening anymore.

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