El Mariachi - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

El Mariachi Reviews

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R. L. Shaffer
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
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
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.
Cole Smithey
November 1, 2005
| Original Score: 3/5
Rob Thomas
Capital Times (Madison, WI)
July 8, 2005
An endlessly inventive and charming zero-budget action movie.
| Original Score: 4/5
Widgett Walls
July 20, 2004
Brilliant low-budget filmmaking. Better than most action films with ten times the budget.
| Original Score: 4/5
Brian Mckay
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
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
Kevin N. Laforest
Montreal Film Journal
June 2, 2003
| Original Score: 3/5
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
Jeffrey Westhoff
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
March 27, 2003
| Original Score: 3/5
Brian J. Arthurs
Beach Reporter (Southern California)
October 18, 2002
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
Dragan Antulov
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
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
July 30, 2002
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
Stephen Farber
January 9, 2002
Not exactly a monumental contribution to cinematic art, but it's a lot of fun.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
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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