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The Matador (2008)



Average Rating: 6.3/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 202

My Rating

Movie Info

This heroic tale chronicles David Fandila's quest to become the world's top-ranked bullfighter. Heart-wrenching setbacks and thrilling successes dramatize "El Fandi's" three-year journey across Spain and Latin America and into the pages of bullfighting history. It is a story of love--of a son for his family, of audiences for their heroes, of a people for their cultural traditions, and of the bullfighter's paradoxical love for the majestic beast that he must kill to create his art. As David

Feb 17, 2009

City Lights Pictures

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All Critics (15) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (4)

The Matador reserves judgment while raising the core issue concerning this traditional ritual: deep, poetic cultural expression or glorified animal cruelty?

November 26, 2008 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[The filmmakers] capture the paradox of beauty and cruelty that charges their entire film. The Matador is rightly exciting -- and unsettling.

November 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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Mostly The Matador romanticizes a brutal tradition that has no place in the 21st century.

October 31, 2008 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
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Stripping away centuries of civilization, The Matador confronts something primal in human nature, daring us to do the same.

October 31, 2008
New York Times
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The Matador suffers from a very predictable, almost staged quality when capturing Fandila's unsequined life outside the ring.

October 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
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The Matador reserves judgment while raising the core issue concerning this traditional ritual: deep, poetic cultural expression or glorified animal cruelty?

October 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A no-frills documentary for those who romanticize bullfighting as both a sport and an art.

February 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

More observational than overtly critical, The Matador reveals the ways that violence defines a conventional, familiar, and increasingly scrutinized masculinity.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: PopMatters

The film does a fine job constructing a timeless piece of work with a sharp-bladed cleaver and steady hand.

October 31, 2008 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

One of the more comprehensive looks at bullfighting we've seen in this country.

October 30, 2008 Full Review Source:

Stunningly photographed in high-definition, The Matador evokes the art of a well-choreographed dance in its portrait of a brutal pseudo-sport.

October 30, 2008 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Issues of class don't matter to the filmmakers, who pride above all else Fandila's justifications for what he does, romanticizing the possibility of his dying while giving the bulls he dances with the shaft.

October 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

. For all of its inherent gore and breathtaking surprises, "The Matador" is an essential window on the personality of an athlete working in an incredibly dangerous sport.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source:


March 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Jaman

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Foreign Titles

  • The Matador - mÍme les tueurs ont besoin d'amis (FR)
  • El fandi (ES)
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