El Mariachi - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

El Mariachi Reviews

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R. L. Shaffer
IGN DVD
January 16, 2011
Despite its age, El Mariachi holds up remarkably well. The film's low budget (roughly $7,000, allegedly) actually helps build tension in the narrative - like you're watching something that's really happening.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
November 12, 2008
Has a verve and cheekiness that's partly a smart wedding of such influences as Sergio Leone, George Miller and south-of-the-border noir.

TV Guide
March 13, 2007
The unrelenting tempo is bolstered by Rodriguez's camera work and editing: nearly every frame seems to have been shot with a careening, handheld camera, and they're cut together in a skillful, fluid fashion that enhances the tension and pace.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
March 13, 2007
Juicy, adroit, and likable.
Emanuel Levy
EmanuelLevy.Com
June 26, 2006
No festival is true to its name if it doesn't display at least one discovery. In 1992 that spot was occupied by Robert Rodriguez, who made a charming actioner for $7,500; never mind that Columbia later invested $1 million for its theatrical release.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
January 26, 2006
Rodriguez goes for broke with a breakneck pace, swarms of bullets, cinematic tricks, and a tone as playful as it is knowing of genre conventions. The director's light touch is all his own; and this unpretentious offering delivers in all departments.
Rob Thomas
Capital Times (Madison, WI)
July 8, 2005
An endlessly inventive and charming zero-budget action movie.
| Original Score: 4/5
Widgett Walls
Needcoffee.com
July 20, 2004
Brilliant low-budget filmmaking. Better than most action films with ten times the budget.
| Original Score: 4/5
Brian Mckay
eFilmCritic.com
February 21, 2004
Nowhere near as extravagant as its succesors, yet it remains a constant simple pleasure, best enjoyed with a shot of Patron and a cold Corona
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
October 8, 2003
Inspiring but misses a few cylinders
| Original Score: 2/5
Forrest Hartman
Reno Gazette-Journal
September 26, 2003
A silly adventure tale that would have failed even with a $200 million budget.
| Original Score: C-
Bill Chambers
Film Freak Central
August 9, 2003
Has tons more charm than its star-studded, big-budget reprise, Desperado.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Janet Maslin
New York Times
May 20, 2003
It goes without saying that Mr. Rodriguez, having made such a clever and inventive debut, is prepared for a big future of his own.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
Dragan Antulov
rec.arts.movies.reviews
September 9, 2002
Arguably the most amazing film made in 1990s.
Full Review| Original Score: 7/10
Mike McGranaghan
Aisle Seat
August 5, 2002
Low-budget filmmaking at its most clever.
| Original Score: 3/5
Stephen Farber
Movieline
January 9, 2002
Not exactly a monumental contribution to cinematic art, but it's a lot of fun.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
January 1, 2000
A gripping, tautly-paced action flick that outdoes most of Hollywood's similar output.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
An enormously entertaining movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Hal Hinson
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
Watching his film, you can feel the sheer joy that went into its creation.
Marc Savlov
Austin Chronicle
January 1, 2000
While the story may be a common one, Rodriguez, who wrote, produced, shot and edited the entire film himself, has a uniquely straightforward wit that makes what might otherwise have been just another shoot-'em-up something more than that.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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