The Matador

2006

The Matador

Critics Consensus

This humorously amoral, oddball comic thriller features strong performances by Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear as a flamboyant, aging hit-man and an out of work suburban businessman, respectively.

75%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 156

65%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 73,698

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Movie Info

A chance meeting between two middle-aged men leads one into a life of crime in this offbeat comedy. Danny Wright (Greg Kinnear) is an American businessman whose life has been going through a sour patch after he and his wife, Carolyn (Hope Davis), lost their young son. During a business trip to Mexico City, Danny strikes up a conversation in a hotel bar with fellow out-of-towner Julian Noble (Pierce Brosnan), and while Julian's loud and brassy manner initially puts Danny off, in time the two become friends, and Julian feels comfortable enough with Danny to tell him what he does for a living. It seems Julian is a hired killer working under the auspices of underworld kingpins Lovell (Dylan Baker) and Mr. Randy (Philip Baker Hall), and Julian tries to persuade Danny to help him with his latest assignment. Danny refuses, but a few months later a distraught Julian appears unannounced on Danny's doorstep. It seems Julian has blown his two most recent assignments due to a variety of psychosomatic illnesses, and now Lovell and Mr. Randy want him dead. Julian has also done something to put Danny in his debt, and the previously non-criminal businessman is forced to help his friend stage a hit, with Julian's presence in his home upsetting the precarious balance of Danny and Carolyn's marriage. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast

Pierce Brosnan
as Julian Noble
Greg Kinnear
as Danny Wright
Hope Davis
as Carolyn `Bean' Wright
Adam Scott
as Phil Garrison
Arlin Miller
as Radio DJ
Azucena Medina
as Young Denver Fling
Portia Dawson
as Genevive
Israel Tellez
as The Matador
Claudia Lobo
as Vienna Fling
Arturo Echeverria
as Manila Target
Ramon Valverde
as Young Julian in Manila
Jonah Meyerson
as Ten Year Old Boy
View All

News & Interviews for The Matador

Critic Reviews for The Matador

All Critics (156) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (117) | Rotten (39)

  • Hope Davis' brilliant turn as Kinnear's naive but slightly naughty wife... is the cherry on director Richard Shepard's sundae.

    July 16, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Brosnan's irreverent charm makes this a welcome alternative to Bond nonsense, even if it's insufficient to compensate for dreary Kinnear ...

    August 16, 2007 | Full Review…

    Ben Walters

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Nice characters and situations: unfortunately, writer-director Richard Shephard didn't have much idea where to go with them.

    January 27, 2007 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • ... a dark comedy that is missing the laughs to be funny and the darkness to be, well, dark.

    January 27, 2006 | Rating: 2/5
  • Weird, but watchable.

    January 24, 2006 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Paul Arendt

    BBC.com
    Top Critic
  • Never as good as you'd hoped or as bad as you'd feared, The Matador is one of those of up-and-down experiences.

    January 20, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Matador

  • Feb 13, 2016
    It's surprisingly low-key for an "action-comedy" (if it should even be called that) and it's full of surprising plot choices that opt for a more conversational tone than obvious jokes. Brosnan is so, so good in this role . . . just cartoonish enough to be amusing and then measured exactly when he needs to be.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 01, 2012
    I had high hopes for this film; unfortunately it didn't do it for me. I was very disappointed with the film. I felt that the film was way too long and took too much time to get to the point. Even with a great cast, The Matador is a mediocre film that has nothing really interesting going for it. I thought the film could have been much better and it had plenty of wasted potential. I didn't like the film, and was quite forgettable to be honest. This film really could have been a great film, but I felt that the script really didn't have anything really remarkable about it. The Matador is a long film that is just boring, not even the great cast can save this film from being bad. I really couldn't get into this film, and I felt it could have been much better than what it turned out to be. This is just an overrated film where there's nothing going on-screen. The film missed the mark, and wasn't entertaining. This film could have been much better, but it fails because it's too boring. As far as the comedy is concerned, I didn't see anything funny about it, and it just failed at being enjoyable, funny and memorable. The Matador is forgettable and it just doesn't have anything worth mentioning. I think it's too bad because the cast was great, but the films plot, I felt didn't work. I didn't like this one, and though not awful, it's simply not very good either.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2011
    "The Matador" gets even better the second time around. It's so simple and low-key but so well-made. It's got a good head on its shoulders (director Richard Shepard) and becomes so increasingly inventive that I remained entertained for the time being. That's more than what I can say about most summer blockbusters. And it's funny. Darkly funny, at that.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Aug 16, 2011
    The Matador is simple. it's not overly thought-out or pretentious and there aren't any plot twists. It's just... simple. A simple movie. But it's so enjoyable. It's funny, charismatic, and original, and there is a great performance from Pierce Brosnan here, who generates such a likable character. It's so great to see a movie like this a second time, to already expect everything and not have to pay attention as much as you did the first time. You get to enjoy everything a little bit more. I love movies like these, where they're just simple and low-key, but well-made. The Matador has a good head on its shoulders. And in times like these, when everything is a repeat of everything else, it's nice to find something like this. Something that deserves to appreciated.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer

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