Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: In this action adventure film a lone Mariachi musician enters a small town at the same time as a hitman. They both wear black and carry similar guitar cases, except the Mariachi's contains his beloved guitar and the hitman's is full of weapons--as a result the Mariachi finds himself ushered into a violent underworld of crime. (Sony) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. 80
    This brilliantly naive, low-budget shoot-'em-up presents every action as if it were brand spanking new.
  2. Juicy, adroit, and likable.
  3. 78
    While the story may be a common one (for the action genre, at least), Rodriguez, who wrote, produced, shot and edited the entire film himself, has a uniquely straightforward wit that makes what might otherwise have been just another shoot-'em-up something more than that.
  4. 75
    A gripping, tautly-paced action flick that outdoes most of Hollywood's similar output. This is clear evidence that film quality often has little to do with a production's budget.
  5. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    70
    The unrelenting tempo is bolstered by Rodriguez's camera work and editing: nearly every frame seems to have been shot with a careening, handheld camera, and they're cut together in a skillful, fluid fashion that enhances the tension and pace of the 80-minute chase.
  6. Mythic pulp has its allure, and it also has its limitations. El Mariachi displays no real emotion except a profound appreciation for the genre film making that has inspired it, and a delight in manipulating the elements of such stories.
  7. 67
    Rodriguez makes the same mistake as other first-time auteurs: The world of this movie exists only in relation to other movies, particularly the Sergio Leone-Clint Eastwood spaghetti Westerns of the early '60s.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. B.J.S.
    Aug 12, 2004
    9
    A wonderfully filmed and edited movie for when it was made. This movie had a good story, unlike its two sequals Desparado and Once Upon a Time in Mexico which were just movies about shooting people and had not artistic elements in the editin and filming at all. This movie did have killing in it but it did not dwell on it but instead on what was happening all around. Expand
  2. Mar 18, 2013
    8
    Rodriguez's strong script and direction give him a strong start to the game in this outstanding action thriller.
  3. Jun 16, 2014
    8
    Even on such a low budget, this is the best in the Mexico-trilogy films. Well paced from the opening title to the to be continued promise, every scene has a humorous note. An original script with a good amount of shoot outs, this film obviously doesn't take itself too seriously, but manages to keep the momentum till the end. Expand
  4. Jan 3, 2014
    7
    El Mariachi divertido, com personagens cômicos e super engraçado............................................................................................... Expand
  5. May 16, 2014
    7
    For me, the biggest reveal in El Mariachi is that it was made by an American on an impossibly low budget. I thought this movie was a cheesy Mexican film made in the 1980s until I listened to the extra commentary. This kind of movie should appeal to movie buffs and academics. Expand

See all 7 User Reviews

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