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Machete (2010)


Average Rating: 6.3/10
Reviews Counted: 181
Fresh: 130 | Rotten: 51

Critics Consensus: Machete is messy, violent, shallow, and tasteless -- and that's precisely the point of one of the summer's most cartoonishly enjoyable films.

Average Rating: 6.6/10
Critic Reviews: 33
Fresh: 24 | Rotten: 9

Critics Consensus: Machete is messy, violent, shallow, and tasteless -- and that's precisely the point of one of the summer's most cartoonishly enjoyable films.


Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 108,549


Movie Info

A blade-wielding ex-federale hides out as a day laborer when he is double-crossed by a corrupt senator.

R (for strong bloody violence throughout, language, some sexual content and nudity)
Mystery & Suspense , Action & Adventure
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Jan 4, 2011
Box Office:
20th Century Fox - Official Site



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Critic Reviews for Machete

All Critics (181) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (130) | Rotten (51) | DVD (8)

This gleefully excessive pastiche of an exploitation picture delivers everything promised by its own faux trailer.

Full Review… | November 29, 2010
Time Out
Top Critic

"Warped, violent, dark, funny, sexy. Great stuff."

Full Review… | September 17, 2010
Top Critic

The movie is ham-handed, repetitive, and rhythm-less -- a mess that's uglier than its hero and nowhere near as likable.

Full Review… | September 7, 2010
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

I have nothing against films that take political stances, but an exploitation flick? It's off-putting. I'd prefer to sit back and bask in the carnage and R-rated silliness.

Full Review… | September 6, 2010
Top Critic

Rodriguez plans "Machete" sequels. Here's hoping the next is sharper and cuts closer to the bone.

Full Review… | September 3, 2010
Denver Post
Top Critic

It's basically a one-joke exercise heading toward the inevitable big battle between vigilantes and Mexicans. There's lots of gore, flesh and fun along the way, but it gets repetitious.

Full Review… | September 3, 2010
Detroit News
Top Critic

Machete is enjoyable to a point, but the novelty soon wears off and there isn't enough inspiration to sustain the concept for a full-length feature film.

Full Review… | February 16, 2014
Flix Capacitor

Though it starts off well, Machete becomes boring and slow towards the end as Trejo's shtick starts to feel a bit stale. Still, you'll definitely find some entertainment here.

Full Review… | November 9, 2013
We Got This Covered

First and foremost, this is a badass action film, with not only ever-badass Trejo doing ever-badass things, but everyone in the cast gets their badass moment.

Full Review… | October 13, 2013

Machete is the coolest revenge-driven, gore-splattered, star-studded Mexploitation flick ever!

Full Review… | February 15, 2013

Basically what we have here is a very silly exploitation film similar to what Rodriguez did with his half of "Grindhouse."

Full Review… | September 23, 2012

The end result is a disastrous waste of time that is as tedious as it is misguided...

Full Review… | May 23, 2012
Reel Film Reviews

... 105 minutes of ludicrous fun, but you can see the best parts in the trailer.

Full Review… | November 5, 2011
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

At the end there's the humorous promise of sequels, but if Machete is a neat, bloody full-stop on the mainstream Mexploitation genre Rodriguez has done so much to resurrect, it's a fine one.

Full Review… | July 14, 2011
Digital Spy

It may be thin but it's fun and for some that will be enough.

Full Review… | June 29, 2011
The Ooh Tray

It's taken 15 years and umpteen billion supporting tough guy roles, but Robert Rodriguez has finally managed to make a major studio film starring Danny Trejo.

Full Review… | April 8, 2011

It's a big, messy, gloppy red bucket of fun, but it falls short of the impact of the Grindhouse punch by this much.

Full Review… | April 4, 2011

Yes it's a lot of fun and great to see such an illustrious cast get in on the act of making lowbrow cinema with a smile on their face, shame the cult element remains and only fans of the grindhouse genre will be fully engaged from start to finish.

Full Review… | April 2, 2011

Robert Rodriguez... brings his A game to the Z-grade, revelling in the cheesiness and over-the-top violence.

Full Review… | March 24, 2011
The Standard

The lack of subtlety and discipline is what can make Machete a disreputable pleasure and less than a full success.

Full Review… | March 9, 2011
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

Social commentary, you ask? Quite how can a film centrally preoccupied with Danny Trejo stabbing and shooting people and having sex with lots of women have any sort of pretension to political currency?

Full Review… | February 10, 2011
What Culture

Starts out strong but things get a little wonky toward the finale. Sadly, the film is far too married to the faux trailer footage.

Full Review… | January 16, 2011

[Robert] Rodriguez's politics are right on the surface and about as complex as the film's revenge plot, a kind-of populist response to the anti-immigration rhetoric...

Full Review… | January 9, 2011
Parallax View

Turning all known manifestations of the classic western on their heads when not simply decapitating them in droves, Machete detonates the battle around immigration like no Tea Party rally ever could, in this get even bilingual guerrilla warfare satire.

Full Review… | December 28, 2010

While it's riotously entertaining, there's nothing much to it.

Full Review… | December 2, 2010
Shadows on the Wall

Un entretenimiento crudo, básico, con personajes de una sola pieza, algunos diálogos increíbles y generosas dosis de sangre y desmembramientos. Un homenaje de Robert Rodríguez al cine clase B que tanto le gusta.

Full Review… | December 1, 2010
Uruguay Total

Audience Reviews for Machete

All i have to say is. "Machete dont text" so so much fun

John Manard

Super Reviewer


The film famously spawned from one of the fake parody trailers that was seen in the Tarantino and Rodriguez movie 'Grindhouse'. Personally I'm still up for the movie of 'Werewolf Women of the SS' which looked much better, you never know, they've done a movie for all the others I believe. As I'm sure you're all aware this film has been deliberately shot in that old grungy 70's B-movie exploitation style which continues from its trailer parody roots.

The films visuals are purposely scratchy faded marked and at times slightly glitchy to match those of the heyday of grindhouse/exploitation crapola. Now myself I don't really like this era of film and the way it looked, the films beginning credits sequence being a brightly coloured badly composed montage of film stills accompanied by some seriously retro text font and cheesy action music. The whole thing reminded me of my childhood days and those hammy American cop shows like 'Chips' or 'Starsky and Hutch' (take your pick from many). Of course this film is much much more hokey than those shows and is influenced by films before my time but I still shudder at the thought of it, I do remember some darn hokey stuff I can tell you (1977 Spider-Man movie).

So being a crummy sleazy grindhouse action flick you can guess the plot isn't gonna tax your brain. Well you would think that but its actually quite relatable to current affairs both in the UK, Europe and the US. I refer to the various immigration issues flying about these days which has grown stronger over the last few years, especially right now in the US where there are US citizens actively protesting in Texas against immigrants coming in from Central America. Obviously I'm not suggesting that any of the corruption, wall building and assassination attempts seen in the film are happening but the the films basic plot is eerily familiar.

As for the film its exactly what you'd expect and more of what we saw in the parody trailer. Danny Trejo has a big machete and various guns, his mission is to get revenge on the corrupt suit that set him up on an assassination attempt against a corrupt Senator who is tough on immigration. The reason being they want it to look like an illegal Mexican tried to kill the Senator for his tough stance on immigration, thusly giving their cause a boost with the public and the excuse to build a big wall across the Texan border.

Along the way Machete meets up with a few characters that help him. Cheech Marin is a Padre with a mean trigger finger, Michelle Rodriguez (who is cast in the same role every time) plays the tough Latino bitch who also has a mean trigger finger, Alba is a US Customs and Immigration officer with a mean trigger finger and Lindsay Lohan pops up too...with a mean trigger finger. On the baddie side is Savini as a hitman with a mean trigger finger, Don Johnson as a sadistic redneck vigilante border patrol leader and of course Seagal as the big boss who is a dab hand with a katana.

Honesty the plot is highly convoluted (I've confused myself writing this!) and only serves to stuff as many big names in as possible, its like a Mexican/Latino Expendables. I can't really moan about that though as you know right from the outset the film is purposely ludicrous and outrageous. The same can obviously be said for all the action and violence, I found that it gets more absurd as the film gets towards the finale. At first it felt quite gritty and semi realistic to a degree, you know its a parody but you can run with it. But towards the end everything gets way out of hand with awful looking CGI action, explosions and blood everywhere, terrible death acting by the extras, crazy situations, Michelle Rodriguez getting shot in the eye and surviving and the hokiest death scene ever by Seagal. Honesty it actually looked like a something from a blooper reel! funny but..really?

There are some clever moments of parody admittedly. I liked the baddie henchmen who discuss their jobs and what they think of their boss, the fact that one of them is starting to think that the boss is actually a bad guy and whether they are in the right line of work. Plus the fact they actually have injuries from the last fight they had with Machete, they chat about them, then in the end two of them quit before getting killed, finally realising its not worth it.

Its very hard to review really as I know its all deliberate, its been made to look bad and cheesy, hokey acting and silly 'A-Team-esque' scenarios. On one hand I can kinda deal with that but on the other...its just shit! and it gets worse as the film progresses. Its a shame as the film is fun and more of an adult action flick for the most part with blood guts and tits on display. Unfortunately your suspension of disbelief is crushed towards the end, it goes beyond a mockery and morphs into a childish James Bond type of picture. I did quite like the final end credits and voice that announces Machete will return in 'Machete Kills' and 'Machete Kills Again'...nicely retro, nicely done.

Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer


Simply. Hillarious.

Morgan Griffith-David

Super Reviewer

Machete pretty much fails in most regards director Rodriguez triumphed in such Grindhouse and pulp masterpieces like Planet Terror or From Dusk Till Dawn. The difference seems to be the writing. While Quention Tarantino gave him great lines to work with in the other films, there are little redeeming qualities in the dialogs or plot here. It's not even particularly funny, even though it wants to be. While Rodriguez has a cast to dream of, almost everyone feels underused and underchallenged with their roles. Even Lindsay Lohan's boobs and Jessica Alba's ass don't make up for that. Of course you can't blame the film for being trashy when that is exactly what it wants to be, but it's just simply never as much fun as it could have been. I've had to endure a cut version, mind you, but even additional blood and splatter would not have changed much. A rather hollow attempt and quite disappointing.

Jens S.

Super Reviewer

Machete Quotes

Sartana: I thought Machete don't text. Machete: Machete improvises.
– Submitted by Adam O (17 months ago)
Machete: Are you Shé? Luz: If I were Shé, do you think I'd be operating a taco truck? Shé brings hope. Shé rights the wrongs. Unfortunately, Shé is a myth.
– Submitted by Adam O (17 months ago)
Sartana: Yes, I am a woman of the law. And there are lots of laws. But if they don't offer us justice, then they aren't laws! They are just lines drawn in the sand by men who would stand on your back for power and glory.
– Submitted by Adam O (17 months ago)
Machete: Get dressed. Chica (Naked Girl): It's too hot for clothes.
– Submitted by Adam O (17 months ago)
Padre: God has mercy. I don't!
– Submitted by Adam O (17 months ago)
Von: There's nothing I'd like more than to see that Mexican dance the Bolero at the end of a rope.
– Submitted by Adam O (17 months ago)

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