The Matador - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Matador Reviews

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August 11, 2016
The Matador was released in 2005, written and directed by Richard Shepard. The film is a dark comedy and stars Pierce Brosnan as the unstable hitman, Julian Noble. Greg Kinnear plays Danny Wright, a bookish businessman, who is down on his luck. On a business trip to Mexico, the pair cross paths and form a bizarre friendship held together only by how different the two are from one another.
Unfortunately, I never felt that the movie was as funny as it wanted to be. The movie goes to great length to emphasize just how strange and eccentric Julian is, but he never actually did anything that made me believe that. At most he came off as a little quirky. The whole movie felt like that; a lot of talk, but it never delivered any rewarding moments. There are a few scenes that start out with a Coen-esque level of energy, but then fizzle out. The dialogue is not particularly witty, and the two main characters don't even have very interesting dialogue with one another. It all just lacks a certain level of exaggeration to make it work as well as it wants too.
The plot also lacks a lot of energy. There's no real conflict that moves the story along. The film just plods along from one day to the next and feels a little too slow. This slows down the comedic elements and the pace of the movie, and just makes the movie feel too loose and unrefined.
The acting, however, is great in the film. The small cast size makes these top-notch actors shine. Greg Kinnear does a good job of being this timid businessman, but Pierce Brosnan is absolutely front and center in his role. Every scene Pierce Brosnan is in you can tell he is giving it his all, and he is by far the most interesting thing in this film.
This was not a bad film, but it was certainly not as good as it could have been or as good as it wanted to be. The cast does a hard job of trying to bring a lot of life to characters that are otherwise disappointingly unoriginal, and they have some success. But, for a majority of the film I was left wishing that I was having more fun and that I was laughing more. The whole thing just felt too flat.
Super Reviewer
February 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.
½ September 8, 2015
long and kind of boring.
½ August 22, 2015
Quirky fun thriller with big,big performances from both Kinnear and Brosnan.
March 28, 2015
gr8 another lost review from flixter
½ March 26, 2015
Though it may well end a bit flat and not really know how to end it in general the majority of this is funny and interesting. Brosnan pus in a great performance and Kinnear is good for being the total opposite and playing it convincingly. It also looks great, the soundtrack is top notch, the supporting cast is good and the whole attitude of it right from the off is totally unexpected.
March 24, 2015
Pierce Brosnan ended his run as James Bond by taking on this terrific anti-Bond role, plays a boozy, womanizing, international hitman. Far from being the elegant Bond, this character is long past his heyday, but things get interesting when he meets ordinary business man Greg Kinnear and the who take up an unlikely friendship. The film is compulsively entertaining and Brosnan commands every scene he's in, much more than he ever did as Bond (and he was a fine Bond), but he really tears into this character unlike any I've seen him in previously. Hope Davis is also terrific as Kenner's wife and you also get Adam Scott and the underused Phillip Baker Hall in supporting roles. Written and directed by Richard Shepard, I'm definitely going to have to check out some of his other works.
½ January 28, 2015
Brosnan carries this movie with style. While it could have had a better plot, the entire thing was enjoyable and had some nice dark-comedy moments.
January 9, 2015
Awesome! Take the movie for what its worth and enjoy yourself. Kinnear and Brosnan make the Odd Couple that team up on screen and deliver a Blockbuster performance that was missed by many critics. Don't be fooled by the clove cigarette-smoking 20-30 something yuppies who write for rags; this movie entertains the whole way through...one of those movies you'll watch every now and again on a bored winter night or when you haven't seen it for a while
½ December 5, 2014
Richard Shepard's "The Matador" delivers quirky laughs, unexpected heart, and a continuous level of intrigue throughout, along with what might be the greatest Pierce Brosnan performance committed to film.
½ October 23, 2014
Good story about a very unusual relationship between two very different men.
½ August 31, 2014
A funny, charming hitman? Killing is fun?
½ July 26, 2014
Not the best movie by any stretch. The dialogue was strange and did not fit in a coherent way with each other especially due to all of the lies. Yes people lie but in movies the lies generally have a purpose or they a re just unnecessary. This was usually the case
½ July 23, 2014
In The Matador, Pierce Brosnan plays a weary, boozy contract killer who just wants to be friends with Walter Mitty-like Greg Kinnear. Sounds like perfect casting, but the two leads don't really mesh, and the movie plods along endlessly, halfheartedly throwing in a twist near the end that only slightly mitigates the dullness.

Julian Noble trots the globe, shooting, stabbing, and exploding those whom he's paid to terminate. He's not a likeable chap, this Julian. He likes his liquor strong and his girls young, if you know what I mean. After a job in Mexico City, Julian learns he may be on his way out of his amorphous organization; he then bumps into Danny Wright (Kinnear), a businessman who believes he's just made a successful pitch to a local company. Julian comes off as kind of a rude jerk who may or not be telling the truth, but once he convinces (truthfully) Danny that he (Julian) is indeed a paid assassin, the two sort of become pals.

It's a typical mismatched-buddies scenario - the loner and the married man, the odd duck and the straight arrow. Danny is married to Bean (Hope Davis), who becomes a little starstruck herself when she learns of Julian's occupation. But what of Julian's future? Will he soon be rubbed out by one of his own coworkers?

This seems like a role tailor made for Brosnan, kind of a down-on-his-luck James Bond, but for some reason the character is a nasty, tough-to-read creep. Is he sincere or a sociopath? Is he being funny or deadly serious? When he pulls the old messing-with-you trope once too often, you start to wonder what he's all about - and you get no real satisfactory answers.

The twist is okay, but in even a decent thriller it would have been terrific. Here it's just sort of there, as if the writers had realized they needed to tack on something a little off the beaten path and just kind of shoehorned it into the story. The Matador isn't incomprehensible, it's just maddeningly incoherent.
July 4, 2014
A very good, goofy comedy where Bronson steals the show.
April 22, 2014
Major disappointment!!
½ April 4, 2014
I've never found Pierce Brosnan so charmingly relaxed and endearing, and he does it in the role of a hit man. Kinnear is always fun to watch, and though this is just a lighthearted fun comedy that you will probably forget five minutes after you watch it, the time you spend with it you will enjoy.
½ April 4, 2014
Pierce is really daunting in his role. the movie theme and scenes are well suited to his personality and role. the life as we see from the kerb adds real charm to the story line.
½ March 27, 2014
That was fun to watch.
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