Mariachi Gringo - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mariachi Gringo Reviews

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June 5, 2016
5 Stars for recruiting Lila Downs who brings her mellow yet strong brilliance to smoothen out the experience of the film!!
½ March 28, 2015
Sunny, good-natured yet inescapably middling.
March 10, 2014
The film itself is a bit slow at times, perhaps even boring to a simpleton, but the music is fantastic and Shawn Ashmore is brilliant. Viva la Guadalajara!
September 22, 2013
amazing history, full of music, passion, determination...reaching for your dreams touches the soul! love it
½ September 21, 2013
lo mas increible de esta pelicula no es ver a el gringo de mariachi sino saber que en ninguna escena sale Martha Higareda sin ropa....
August 26, 2013
Película barata con emociones sinceras
½ June 11, 2013
Un gringo de Arkansas suena con convertirse en mariachi y deja todo atras para buscar su suenio en Guadalajara

Quirky y divertido con un soundtrack donde cescucharas canciones que marcaron época
April 11, 2013
A wonderful celebration of the Mariachi tradition, set in a way that speaks to people not familiar with the richness of this music and the way of life that created it.
April 5, 2013
Absolute favorite movie of the year, hands down.. beautiful visuals and sweet music, authentically acted. Shawn Ashmore out of nowhere blows everyone away. (Keep tissues nearby)
March 30, 2013
I haven't watched yet but as soon as its out on DVD its mine. I give already 4 stars only because it was filmed in Guadalajara where my family is from can't wait to see it. love you Martha
½ April 16, 2012
Not much of a plot here except boy leaves Kansas to become a member of a Mariachi band. The music is OK but the movie really dragged as half of it seemed to be nothing but Maraiachi music. Weak romance subplot. If all you want to see is Shawn Ashmore play Mariachi, this is your movie.
March 9, 2012
A delight. Loaded with good music and a cast of likable characters. I challenge anyone to not come out of this one smiling.
March 7, 2012
When I first saw the title of the film in the program for the Guadalajara Internation Film Festival, I knew I'd need to give it a look. Almost 2 years ago to the date, a really good friend of mine came to visit me here in Mexico, coincidentally a friend of HIS was also in town at just about the exact same time (they had worked together in a non-profit in Atlanta years ago) for a wedding. And we actually met at a documentary being shown at the festival that year about the image of Che Guevarra, as Sam was arriving in town before my friend Alex would get here, I figured we ought to meet and hang out a little. Sam showed up, pale white guy with Dutch-German roots, with a violin case and it turns out since he had been living in Los Angeles over the past couple years, that he joined a mariachi group and was in town for the wedding of one of his ex-band mates. Besides attending the wedding, his idea was to try and play with a local group here at a gig maybe and also get himself some new mariachi garb. And in fact (after Alex, Sam and I took a trip to the Paricutin volcano in Michoacan), he ended up playing with Mariachi Vargas, the most famous mariachi of all time who just happened to be doing a gig locally his second to last day in town!

So seeing the movie had a bit more significance for me, as I know a Mariachi Gringo in real life. And the message in the film also hit home for me I am US-born and bred but decided to take leave of my birthplace for the home of my mother's side of the family.

The film is independent (I think?) though not an art-film...the story really falls more into the popular romantic comedy territory mixed with travelpic. A little cheesy and maybe too slow for some at the beginning but the story of a 30 year-old guy who's heartbroken and depressed, lives with his parents...and had once had the idea of running off with a band...discovers Mexican popular folkloric via the local small-town Kansas Mexican restaurant that would have the father (Alberto) of the owners play guitar on some nights. The themes of many mariachi and other popular Mexican folk songs center around heartbreak and resonates with our protagonist. When Alberto suffers a stroke, Ashmore's character decides to finally run off, and goes down to Guadalajara, in the state of Jalisco, the birthplace of the Mariachi ensemble and the music to try and become a mariachi musician. He randomly is helped by a girl (played by Martha Higareda) when he runs into some trouble on his first night on the streets of GDL, and they become friends. Her family runs a local restaurant, and so through her, our mariachi gringo starts finding his way to establish himself a little and later auditions to join a mariachi. Higadera's character also ends up mirroring Ashmore's, both having a dream and suffering from heartbreak in some form. It plays with some sexual tension between the two but they never become anything more than friends and have some clashes...and the ending really I think takes a great turn (though will disappoint those wanting to see the Hollywood ending).

The movie was well shot....really made good use of the money invested into it, great locations chosen in Guadalajara. It really gives the outsider a nice tour of the city and hints at the local flavor here (police corruption, the Mexican gay community, GDL being the ancestoral home of mariachi), the drama was not too cheesy and in fact takes twists that most might not have expected from the start of the movie. Ashmore did a good job, I suppose he had to learn some Spanish for the role as well as learn how to play the guitar and vihuela. His singing voice wasn't so strong...but hey, not everyone is born a mariachi which demands some lungs :D Lila Downs' singing was great (she plays Higareda's older friend that fronts a band not dissimilar to Lila's own backing group, oh wait it is her band :P)...though at times her performance on the stage was a bit much for the low key tone of the film.

So in the end, it's a cute movie. It's pretty mainstream in concept but hopefully will open the eyes of people that don't know much about Mexico and it's culture looking at it through the eyes of the mariachi gringo and has nice touches to finish off as a non-traditional movie of it's genre. 3.5-4 stars from me :)
½ March 6, 2012
Saw this film at a Film Festival. I really liked it. They made a large mexican chaotic city look small and charming. The cinematography is fantastic and shows the part of mexico that is still there. There just seems to be a bit of a probem with the editing. I think 15 more minutes of film would of help at the beggining and near the end that would make this feel smooth. Either way...great film 4.5 stars!
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