The Mexican


Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 35
  2. Negative: 10 out of 35

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Critic Reviews

  1. Gandolfini's fans expect something quirky whenever he shows up, and they'll get what they've bargained for.
  2. Reviewed by: Cody Clark
    The plot that propels them (Pitt, Roberts) along separate story lines is both unusually character-driven and a hoot.
  3. 78
    Plenty of killings abound, nevertheless the film is a masterful -- albeit warped -- love-story-cum-road-movie that revolves around three of the most invigorating performances of the year.
  4. Miami Herald
    Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Surprisingly enjoyable.
  5. 75
    Gandolfini comes in from left field and provides a character with dimensions and surprises, bringing out the best in Roberts. Their dialogue scenes are the best reason to see the movie.
  6. Together, the two of them (Pitt, Roberts) are cute as a bug.
  7. Lively acting and stylish directing make this an engaging comedy-drama, although its attitude toward guns and violence is disconcertingly romantic.
  8. Portland Oregonian
    Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    For a Hollywood studio movie, you see, The Mexican is remarkably strange and eccentric with a plot like a wrinkled bed sheet and a black comic sensibility that consistently swerves away from the cliches that have been established in this Age of Tarantino.
  9. 70
    Like many of his recent films, The Mexican would be an independent movie if Pitt, not to mention the queen of popcorn cinema, weren't part of the picture. This is not your typical star vehicle.
  10. Philadelphia Inquirer
    Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    This violently comic caper has some spunky charm going for it -- but has a lot of self-consciously hip, studied wackiness going against it.
  11. Apparently intended as a larky, character-driven adventure with dark underpinnings, this attenuated road movie was originally envisioned as a vehicle for relative unknowns, and might have worked better that way.
  12. A seemingly mad dog periodically turns into a well-trained pet.
  13. The movie's biggest strength is a story that refuses to quit and almost makes sense within its own screwball logic.
  14. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    An intensely whimsical shaggy-dog crime story that ricochets between goofy violence and some endearing personal moments.
  15. It's not the fault of "The Sopranos" charismatic, beefy star (Gandolfini) that he's an actor of such substance and quiet ardor as to make idle movie star ribbitting look frivolous.
  16. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Superstars usually avoid movies this spiritless, and it's tough to believe anyone could read this script and fail to realize the movie wouldn't end up going anywhere.
  17. 50
    Plays like a drawn-out outline of a better movie; no one got around to fleshing out the details or providing some soul.
  18. Boston Globe
    Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Isolated offbeat moments aside, The Mexican mostly fires blanks.
  19. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    A passably diverting entry in the Tarantino genre of splatter and yuks and soulfully bumbling hit men.
  20. New York Post
    Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Gandolfini, who skillfully fleshes out what's written as a one-joke character, comes close to pilfering The Mexican from the stars. Under the circumstances, that's not a huge accomplishment.
  21. Flails about desperately for a genre to call home.
  22. Thank God for James Gandolfini.
  23. Baltimore Sun
    Reviewed by: Chris Kaltenbach
    The Mexican is its own worst enemy, consistently undermining its best efforts. The result is an over-long series of quirks, a film that's far less than the sum of its often amusing and ingenious parts.
  24. If The Mexican proves anything, it's that eccentric features need a particularly delicate touch to be successful. With a film like this, how close you come doesn't matter: Off by a little is as debilitating as off by a lot.
  25. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Can't lift the double curse of too little genuine action, as opposed to quixotic events, and too many fancy words.
  26. 30
    Undisciplined and overstuffed with enough surplus plot twists to make your neck ache, The Mexican affects the tousled look of a self-conscious indie.
  27. A dismaying dearth of romantic chemistry -- during their brief scenes together, the two (Pitt, Roberts) actually seem afraid to touch each other -- and we end up with a Frankenstein's monster of a movie: lots of interesting pieces cobbled together with all the stitches showing.
  28. 30
    Intermittently appealing, fundamentally dysfunctional action-comedy.
  29. He's (Gandolfini) the true star of the film, and his stardom is achieved in the most honest of ways, through the sheer brute force of his talent.
  30. Feels patently inauthentic.
  31. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    Half comedy, half action piece, the movie runs sputteringly on the not inconsiderable charm of its stars. But basically it is languid, indeterminate and uninvolving.
  32. 20
    The entire movie looks as if it were processed in the toilet of a Tijuana jail cell. Shot by Dariusz Wolski in colors that are bleached out, over bright and flat, The Mexican is the ugliest-looking major studio release in recent memory.
  33. 20
    Promises a road movie of blissful comic romance and delivers a series of dramatic dead ends.
  34. Newsweek
    Reviewed by: David Ansen
    A tired, confused romantic comedy/noir thriller with all the suspense of an infomercial. Buy the poster; skip the movie.
  35. Reviewed by: Robert Horton
    Has even less directorial initiative than it has romantic spark.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 102 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. Apr 4, 2016
    ............................................................................................................Great Movie of Gore............................................................................................................Great Movie of Gore Verbinski............................ Full Review »
  2. Apr 3, 2016
    'The Mexican': Brad and Julia Misfire!

    So Brad and Julia finally coordinated their schedules so they could be in the same movie! As mere
    'The Mexican': Brad and Julia Misfire!

    So Brad and Julia finally coordinated their schedules so they could be in the same movie!
    As mere mortals, we can only humbly imagine the awesome alignment of personal managers, agents, casting directors and studio executives (and let's not forget their message-taking, coffee-getting underlings) it must have taken to make this event take place. I mean, people should win Oscars for that stuff, right?

    But for now, let me take the time to analyze the movie in which these legends have agreed to appear as characters. This terrible movie in which they have agreed to appear, I should add.

    It's called "The Mexican" and features Pitt and Roberts (oh dear, am I listing them in the right order?) as two misfit, offbeat lovers. He's Jerry Welbach, a bagman for a crime syndicate who is trying to get out of the business. She's his girlfriend, Samantha, who's dying to be a Vegas croupier and wants Jerry to quit his dirty work.

    Unfortunately, Jerry runs a red light, causing an accident, which indirectly sets into motion a whole series of connected events. His boss is sent to jail, leaving the second-in-command, Bernie (Bob Balaban), to give Jerry an ultimatum: complete one more assignment or get killed.

    Jerry goes with the life plan. He agrees to go to Mexico and retrieve a priceless collector's item, an antique pistol known as "the Mexican." This gun has a heartbreaking story behind it, which we learn about over the course of the movie.

    Samantha is not happy about this extra mission, and she breaks up with Jerry, whom she considers selfish and incompetent at running his life. She splits for Vegas to realize her gaming dream.

    Both run into complications. In Mexico, a freak accident leaves Jerry bearing the blame for a dead man.

    This makes his bosses even angrier. En route to Vegas, Samantha runs afoul of two hit men (James Gandolfini and Sherman Augustus), who are battling each other to hold her hostage.

    The one who calls himself Leroy (Gandolfini) wins the bloody contest and keeps Samantha prisoner until Jerry brings back that gun. Samantha, who's big on the science of romantic relationships, becomes friendly with her captor. And they bond, despite the situation.

    There's much more to this, but I would tax your patience and mental energy to describe it all. On the Mexican side of the border, the movie rolls out the familiar cliches: sullen Mexicans sipping tequila in bars, cars being hijacked under gringos' noses, extended scenes of desolate landscapes, Spaghetti Western guitar licks here and there. You get the idea. Pitt has some very funny moments, but he's the only attraction in a pretty mediocre sojourn in Mexico.

    Meanwhile, in the gaming state, it's time for Julia to be Julia, playing cute, crying, smiling, widening her eyes, puffing out that Firestone upper lip and occasionally dipping into that basso profundo voice for comedic effect. It's a familiar routine, which she can do in her sleep; she almost does.

    She's not nearly as funny or appealing as Gandolfini, the star of "The Sopranos," a truly funny guy. It's his hangdog, deadpan performance that makes her character look better, which makes his look even better. When Samantha asks Leroy if he's going to kill her, he replies: "Depends on too many variables to answer right now."

    Of course, much of the credit for the funny nuggets must go to J.H. Wyman's script, which makes "The Mexican" much more tolerable than it deserves to be. But for the most part, the movie – thanks to the uber-presence of Pitt and Roberts – feels patently inauthentic. For one thing, both stars spend most of the movie apart. Perhaps this is where all those agents and personal managers exercised their "talents," by making sure their clients got to strut their stuff individually, while smaller marquee names provided ego-less backup. The result: At no point do Jerry and Samantha seem romantically connected at all. And what is meant to be the movie's biggest concern – together or not – becomes its smallest.
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 3, 2015
    The movie cannot be taken too seriously (yet it is not a comedy either). A fun watch, but not a movie you yearn to see time after time. FineThe movie cannot be taken too seriously (yet it is not a comedy either). A fun watch, but not a movie you yearn to see time after time. Fine acting, and a wicked plot. It is nice to see how the same story differs when told by one person and then the other; everyone has their own version - and usually none of them is correct. Full Review »