With jokes at the expense of ignorant Yankee soldiers one minute, an execution of an alleged traitor the next, Amigo is tonally abrupt.
A nuance-free, emotionally stunted historical drama.
| Original Score: 2/4
Sayles turns the worthy subject into such a bloodless launching pad for relevant references to American imperialism.
Frustratingly sacrifices cinematic expressiveness and human nuance in favor of anachronistic, on-the-nose parallels.
When John Sayles wants to tell a story, he makes fine movies such as "Lone Star" and "The Secret of Roan Inish." When Sayles wants to prove a point, he makes dreck like "Amigo."
| Original Score: 1/4
Neither character-narrative engaging nor educationally enlightening, the film adds up to a fail.
Well cast and undeniably attuned to the nuances of human behavior, "Amigo" nevertheless suffers from simple dramatic shorthand.
Rather than digging into a character-driven narrative and allowing the resonances to flow naturally from it, Sayles seemed to begin with a set of inferences to modern American imperialism and work backwards.
| Original Score: 5.5/10
The problem is that this pot of intrigue takes ages to boil, and the cook refuses to turn up the heat.
The overlong "Amigo" has its heart in the right place, but its approach to complex issues is too simplistic to win over unconverted minds.
Amigo ought to be a great film: the subject is fascinating and still resonates today, even though it takes place over a hundred years ago. The Philippine-American war has been pretty much ignored...
| Original Score: 2.1/2
A heavy-handed attack on U.S. imperialism with little to compensate in the way of character interest and genuine drama.
Admirably sincere but bluntly simplistic.
Not nearly dramatic or tense enough, even when it's showing us things that should touch a nerve or an emotion.
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.
| Original Score: C
"Amigo" might be the talkiest war movie ever made.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
| Original Score: 2/5
"Amigo" is probably too didactic and period-bound to find a wide audience, and the Americans who would benefit most from it are likely to be confused by it.
Sayles narrowly avoids the preachy direction in which Amigo pulls, largely because he isn't interested in making anyone into a punching bag.
| Original Score: 6/10
Amigo is quiet and slow, a war drama in which the war has mostly passed the main characters by.
| Original Score: 3/5