Assassination Tango


Assassination Tango

Critics Consensus

Slow to start, this quirky film eventually overstays its welcome.



Total Count: 89


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,191
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Movie Info

John J. is deeply devoted to his girlfriend, Maggie, and to her young daughter, Jenny. He is also passionate about dancing, a talent he hones at local Brooklyn dance halls. But his skill on the dance floor seems incongruous with his profession--John is a hit man, and a very good one. Hired to assassinate an Argentine general in Buenos Aires, John is met in Argentina by Miguel, who takes him to the home of a couple whose son the general had killed. But John isn't interested in pathos or politics. As he says, "There's two sides to every story." He just wants to do his job, do it well, get paid, and get home. But when the General unexpectedly delays his return to Buenos Aires, John's neat plans are trashed. Angry, alone, and with nothing to do until the General's return, John explores the city and soon discovers the rich and mysterious world of the tango. Enthralled, he watches the dancers in the clubs moving with a spellbinding combination of fire and ice, passion and precision. He is hooked and begins to insinuate himself into the life of Manuela, a charming, brilliant dancer who becomes his teacher and guide into the world of this new dance. Vacillating between his profession and newfound passion, John finally is able to complete his hit, only to find out the vengeful military has tightened national security like a noose. Spellbound by the rich and mysterious world Manuela has shown him, his idyll is shattered when the reality of why he's there comes crashing down around him. His chances of getting out of Argentina grow slim as he struggles to keep from being found and killed. As evading capture becomes ever more difficult and he finds himself alone with no one to trust, John desperately tries to find a way out of South America and back home.


Critic Reviews for Assassination Tango

All Critics (89) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (42) | Rotten (47)

  • Assassination Tango runs aground with an accumulation of small illogicalities.

    May 28, 2003 | Rating: 2/4

    Jan Stuart

    Top Critic
  • It's a curious and unsatisfying lark, in which Robert Duvall the actor is rendered speechless by Robert Duvall the writer and sideswiped by Robert Duvall the director.

    May 1, 2003

    Rex Reed

    Top Critic
  • A film that uses tango as a metaphor for life ought to generate some fire. But Assassination Tango offers little heat.

    Apr 18, 2003 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • What we care about in Assassination Tango is the tango, not the assassination.

    Apr 17, 2003 | Rating: 3/5
  • While the assassination plot is interesting, the rest of Tango is dramatically flaccid.

    Apr 11, 2003 | Rating: B-
  • An ode to love and art while simultaneously a reminder of human frailty.

    Apr 11, 2003 | Rating: B+

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Assassination Tango

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