El Topo - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

El Topo Reviews

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Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
January 26, 2006
With style constantly contradicting content, and the prevailing mood redolent of egotism and misogyny, it leaves one the feeling of having waded through a full-blown fantasy where even the self-degradation emerges as just another form of narcissism.
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
April 5, 2005
Everything about this mystical trip smacks of narcissism, even the scenes where the filmmaker is lowering himself in acts of self-deprecation.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
January 26, 2007
This is gutbucket Luis Bu˝uel , surrealism on the cheap, and it hasn't dated well -- the blood is patently fake and the gunshots are dubbed.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
John Thomason
Orlando Weekly
July 14, 2007
A dated counterculture goulash long hyped as art by a blank generation desperate for something different.
Donald J. Levit
ReelTalk Movie Reviews
November 20, 2011
... the story of 'El Topo' proves too scattered and weak to bear its digressions and vague symbols that suggest everything, anything and nothing.
Top Critic
Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
March 16, 2007
A dreary, protracted exercise in sadomasochism.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Neil Smith
April 10, 2007
Without the aid of mind-expanding narcotics though, El Topo can't help looking laughably ramshackle, the combination of bad dubbing, shoddy camerawork and over-the-top performances making it pretty much unwatchable by modern standards.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5

May 24, 2003
Sceptical audieneces may feel there is not much to Jodorowsky's daring juxtapostions, and watching El Topo one often has the feeling of intruding on someone's bad and highly personal dream.

TV Guide
August 29, 2006
A mass of indecipherable symbols combined with obvious self-indulgence on the part of a writer-director-star Alexandro Jodorowsky make what could have been an entertaining western into one of the more pretentious films ever made.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Christopher Hudson
The Spectator
March 11, 2015
Forget about the cosmic significance: it is the work of a talented film-maker, and full of memorable scenes.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 23, 2004
Jodorowsky dazzles us with such delicate mythological footwork that the violence becomes distanced, somehow, and we accept it like the slaughters in the Old Testament.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Larry Carroll
August 8, 2002
This could quite possibly be the strangest film you'll ever watch. And I mean that in the best possible way. Track this one down.
| Original Score: 4/5
Fernando F. Croce
Slant Magazine
December 11, 2006
El Topo would be part of the revolutionary, post-'60s movement of Antonio das Mortes and The Last Movie if its private mythology didn't belong so obviously to its maker's acid subconscious.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Anton Bitel
Eye for Film
July 4, 2007
a mystic trip through political, religious and philosophical terrains, gunning down all normative notions of what the western - or indeed Western civilisation - is supposed to be.
Nick Schager
Lessons of Darkness
June 5, 2011
Has lost little of the maddening, bewildering weirdness that made it a seminal midnight-movie phenomenon.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy
April 21, 2008
While I truly do doubt that modern viewer will have much use for Jodorowsky's dated spiritual philosophy, the style with wich he expresses that philosophy is often quite exciting.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Cole Smithey
December 4, 2011
[VIDEO ESSAY] For all of its easily mocked elements, "El Topo" is a work of mad cinematic genius that sticks.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
July 11, 2002
An extravagant hodgepodge of hand-me-down surrealism, mysticism, Italian westerns, theater of cruelty, and Bu˝uel -- more enjoyable for its unending string of outrages than for its capacity to make coherent sense.
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
June 14, 2007
For the adventurous viewer, El Topo is a bizarre, colorful, unforgettable experience.
Top Critic
Jay Cocks
TIME Magazine
November 15, 2013
The film is by turns comic and profound, hysterical and pompous, fully complex enough to deserve more than a simple yea or nay.
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