Men With Guns (1997)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Humberto Fuentes is a wealthy doctor whose wife has recently died. In spite of the advice of his children, he takes a trip to visit his former students who now work in impoverished villages. His trip soon becomes a quest, politically awakening him when he finds out that one of his students was killed by the army.
R (adult situations/language, violence)
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


Federico Luppi
as Dr. Fuentes
Tania Cruz
as Graciela
Damián Alcázar
as Padre Portillo
Kathryn Grody
as Harriet
Carmen Madrid
as Angela, Dr. Fuentes' Daughter
Esteban Soberanes
as Raul, Angela's Fiance
Alejandro Springall
as Carlos, Dr. Fuentes' Son
Maricruz Nájera
as Rich Lady
Ivan Arango
as Cienfuegos
Luis Ramirez
as Hidalgo
Gabriel Cosme
as Echevarria
Efrine Elfaro
as Kokal Driver
Pedro Hernández
as Kokal Driver
as Salt Man
Lolo Navarro
as Blind Woman
Maggie Renzi
as Tourist by Pool
Shari Gray
as Tourist by Pool
Paco Mauri
as Captain
Gilma Tuyub Castillo
as Mother With Baby
Fernando Medel
as Barber's Client
David Villalpando
as Gum Person
Raul Sanchez
as Gum Person
Miguel Xocua
as Modelo Boy
Guadalupe Xocua
as Modelo Woman
Nazario Montiel
as Guerrilla
Donal Logue
as Goldman
Max Perlich
as Easy Gary
Paul Sorvino
as Horace Burke
Joseph Griffin
as Mickey Burke
Derek Ritschel
as Kevin Janey
Derek Ritschel
as Kevin Janey
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Critic Reviews for Men With Guns

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (5)

Quintessentially Sayles

August 19, 2005
Film Threat

A sort of Heart of Darkness in South America

May 27, 2005

The themes of family, civil war, and leaving a lasting legacy resonate strongly.

Full Review… | December 8, 2004

This is actually a largely quiet, compelling chronicle of a man's discovery of the horrors going on not far from his own backyard, and Sayles has written, directed and edited the piece in his usual calm and understated style.

Full Review… | July 31, 2003
Kalamazoo Gazette

A Wizard of Oz construct in the same way as Apocalypse Now is a Wizard of Oz construct.

Full Review… | July 6, 2002
Film Freak Central

Challenges us to leave behind the cocoon of our cosseted lives and to confront those meanings that hold the key to life and death.

Full Review… | March 1, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for Men With Guns

Another Sayles masterpiece. Where did that guy go anyways? I realize that the quality of his films has deteriorated but surely he has more stories to tell us?

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


This was my first John Sayles film that I am aware of. It came from my list of Films from the 1997 Toronto International Film Festival and as I have said in each review of a film from that list, they have yet to show a bad film. I am told that Sayles is a Independent American Filmmaker and he proves it in this film. A film in Spanish language with English Subtitles. A story of a Doctor in a Latin American Country who goes on a search for his students that he trained years before, they are spread out in the rain forest. The students he finds out have been killed over the years by soldiers or guerrillas, bandits or thieves, all of who are Men With Guns. The cast is unheard of by most Americans, but neither the subtitles nor the cast take away from the movie. 4 1/2 stars I have to give this one.

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

To the innocent bystander, the poverty stricken populance caught in the middle of a revolution/civil war/coup d'etat, there is no difference between the dictators and the democrats, the fascists and the socialists, the military and the paramilitary, no heroes and no villains. There are only the men with guns and themselves, and the men with guns always get what they want. This rarely shown side of armed conflict is at the heart of this brave film, which dares to empathize without preaching. The film is as simple as its title, and no less profound for it. Shot entirely in spanish (as opposed to entirely in english with the cast donning 'spanglish' accents, thank you) and taking place in a purposefully unnamed country, it is structured like a road movie whose ultimate destination is a mythical utopic town in the jungle. So rarely has a film captured the spirit or the reality of Latin America, and the fact that this one, directed by a man from Boston, managed to do both, brings hope.

Eduardo C
Eduardo C

Super Reviewer

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