Matador

1986

Matador

Critics Consensus

Intertwining murder and seduction, Pedro Almodóvar's Matador is a provocative thriller that will shock even the most adventurous moviegoers.

92%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 26

78%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 10,087
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Movie Info

A bullfighter forced to retire early from his career due to a goring, finds that his obsession for killing still lingers, but now bulls are substituted by girls. To make love to a woman and kill her at the very last moment is the closest thing to the ineffable pleasure of an afternoon in the bullring. Maria is a woman driven by similar dark desires. When she and the ex-bullfighter get together a meeting of minds takes place with deadly results.

Cast

Nacho Martinez
as Diego Montes
Eusebio Poncela
as Comisario
Bibiana Fernandez
as Flower Vendor
Luis Ciges
as Guarda
Eva Siva
as Assistant to Maria and Diego
Pepa Merino
as Mary's secretary
Lola Peno
as First Student
Marisa Tejada
as Second Student
Mercedes Jiménez
as Third Student
Francesca Romana
as Fourth Student
Jesús Ruyman
as Raul Ordonez, type 1
Milton Díaz
as Raul Ordonez, type 2
Angie Gray
as Chica Ana
Alicia Mora
as Loyal one
Laly Salas
as Loyal one
Marcelo García Flores
as First Policeman
Agustín Almodóvar
as Second Policeman
Kika
as T.V. Announcer
Concha Hidalgo
as Tata Angel
Kike Turmix
as First fighter
Julián Sánchez
as Second fighter
View All

Critic Reviews for Matador

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (2)

  • Almódovar unfolds this convoluted plot with zig-zagging surrealism and a careening, sordidly erotic energy that effectively undermines the culturally institutionalized repression targeted by the filmmaker.

    January 30, 2020 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • If Blue Velvet raised eyebrows, Matador will have some moviegoers blinking in disbelief.

    January 30, 2020 | Full Review…
  • One of Almodovar's better features, although, like many of the others, it partially plays the role of popularizing stronger stuff, and resorts to some contrived plot devices in order to fuse its diverse story elements.

    January 30, 2020 | Full Review…
  • Not so much a maelstrom as a mess of contrived eroticism, pretentious dialogue, and voyeuristic sensationalism, Almodóvar's silly, cod-philosophical whodunit impresses only for its bravado.

    January 30, 2020 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • For all its jolts and bizarre flights of fancy, Matador is a marvelously fluid and darkly sensual film in which Almodovar elicits exquisitely controlled performances.

    January 30, 2020 | Full Review…
  • It's a useful look at this Spanish auteur finding his way but lacks the elan of his later work.

    September 22, 2006 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Matador

  • Feb 11, 2014
    The film starts with a strong narrative and story but soon falls into silly supernatural, cop-out storytelling that discredits the entire film with its abrupt and unwarranted shift in story to dig its way out of a plot hole Almodóvar couldn't fix.
    Jason 123 D Super Reviewer
  • May 20, 2013
    Very dark for Almodovar. It's almost a giallo.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Nov 20, 2012
    Looking past all the absurdities the film has to offer, Matador is essentially a dark romantic comedy at its core. With passion and obsession meeting fueling the characters' actions, Almodvar steps up and shows audiences he isn't afraid to tell original stories.
    paul o Super Reviewer
  • Feb 20, 2009
    Whoa! Hahaha! Well well... Who could actually see this coming? Not even the lunatic events in Mujeres al Borde de un Ataque de Nervios could prepare us for this lunacy ride of necrophilia, sexual tango and sadomasochistic perversions. The NC-17 rating is surely a sign of America's nauseating conservatism, but admit it or not, this film is geniusly bold and cinematically atypical. The first five minutes prepare us for the psychological mess that lies ahead, but I literally fell in love with the climax, no matter the preposterous events that led to it, under the excuse that "there are certain things that escape reason". So what?! The film has several film inspirations behind and is not afraid to show them! The traditional Spanish art of bullfighting meets a provocative sexual obsession. 94/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer

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