The Matador (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Matador (2008)

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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 struggles to achieve his place in the pantheon of Spain's greatest bullfighters, he is confronted by those who question the place of this ancient and brutal ritual in the modern world.

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Critic Reviews for The Matador

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (7)

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…
L.A. Weekly
Top 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 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Mostly The Matador romanticizes a brutal tradition that has no place in the 21st century.

October 31, 2008 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…
New York Post
Top Critic

Stripping away centuries of civilization, The Matador confronts something primal in human nature, daring us to do the same.

October 31, 2008 | Rating: 4/5
New York Times
Top Critic

The Matador suffers from a very predictable, almost staged quality when capturing Fandila's unsequined life outside the ring.

October 29, 2008 | Rating: 2/6 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

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…
Village Voice
Top Critic

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