El Cortez (2006)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

An autistic ex-con attempting to readjust to life on the outside finds that the past isn't so easy to escape as he becomes caught in the middle of a deadly triple-cross in director Stephen Purvis' labyrinthine thriller. For five long years Manny (Lou Diamond Phillips) has repaid his debt to society by serving time in a prison for the criminally insane. Now the day of his parole has finally arrived, and after returning to Reno Manny takes up residence at a local motel and soon finds employment as a clerk at the Hotel El Cortez. Upon striking up an amiable friendship with crippled prospector Popcorn (Bruce Weitz), Manny is quickly recruited to help his new friend convince wealthy gambler Russo (Peter Onorati) to invest in the struggling gold-hunter's potentially prosperous mine. Complications soon arise, however, when Arnie (James McDaniel), the vengeful cop who had arrested Manny, pressures the mentally handicapped ex-con to keep an eye on local drug dealer Jack (Glenn Plummer) - who is currently staying in the same hotel as Manny. When Jack's scheming girlfriend Theda (Tracy Middendorf) learns about Popcorn's goldmine and subsequently attempts to seduce Manny in hopes of learning more, shifting alliances and deadly secrets thrust all involved into a murderous game of betrayal and death.
Action & Adventure , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Lou Diamond Phillips
as Manny DeSilva
Bruce Weitz
as Popcorn
Glenn Plummer
as Jack Clay
Peter Onorati
as Carlo Russo
Shelley Malil
as Prison Doctor
David Johann
as Prison Guard
Robin Adair
as Cecile
Kathleen LaGue
as Waitress
Deborah Cresswell
as Hotel Clerk
Edoardo Ballerini
as Roy Morrison
Dan Speaker
as Street Thug
Caia Coley
as Louise
Gregory Scott Cummins
as Car Salesman
Kyle Kulish
as Kramer
Herb Santos Jr.
as Wedding Party Best Man
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Critic Reviews for El Cortez

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (6)

A clumsy lump of ponderous pulp fiction with Cooler aspirations.

October 20, 2006
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

El Cortez, like so many before it, searches for that nugget in the genre mine but just doesn't find it.

Full Review… | October 19, 2006
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Every 'twist' is so telegraphed that there's little suspense here.

October 19, 2006
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Somehow, El Cortez is stronger than its component parts.

Full Review… | October 10, 2006
Top Critic

Stick with Hitchcock.

October 6, 2006
New York Post
Top Critic

Lou Diamond Phillips's character in El Cortez is a Reno hotel desk clerk who suffers from black-and-white flashbacks.

October 5, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for El Cortez

A low budget dramatic thriller starring Lou Diamond Phillips. LDP's performance as a medicated sociopath is terrific and the supporting actors are good. Unfortunately the poor writing results in some painfully lame dialogues between characters. BELOW AVERAGE!

Wayne Takabayashi
Wayne Takabayashi

Lou Diamond Phillips' performance was amazing, proving the man does have talent. However, the film itself is rather bland thanks to incredibly flat direction by Stephen Pruvis. The script is rather sluggish, and even though the writers do try to inject a few twists into the proceedings they are by and large fairly predictable. Interesting for noir aficionados, but everyone else can just skip it.

David Schwenker
David Schwenker

Another cheap drama/action/thriller. Neither really bad nor really good. 3 out of 5 stars because I like Lou Diamond Phillips, in spite of the fact he does more and more of these low budget movies.

danela higgins
danela higgins

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