Pocket Money (1999) - Rotten Tomatoes

Pocket Money (1999)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Two modern day cowboys smuggle a herd of cows across the border in this loosely amiable comedy. Jim Kane (Paul Newman) is a cowboy who unexpectedly finds himself deep in debt and in need of some fast cash. A less-than-scrupulous businessman approaches Kane and offers him a handsome payday to escort 200 head of cattle from Mexico into the United States for use of the rodeo circuit. While the deal seems dubious, Kane goes along with it, and persuades his friend Leonard (Lee Marvin) to tag along. However, the cattle drive proves to be more of a challenge than the men expected, with a number of less-than-welcome adventures following the cattlemen along the way. Pocket Money also features Strother Martin, Hector Elizondo and Wayne Rogers; keep an eye peeled for a cameo appearance by Terrence Malick, who wrote the film's screenplay years before directing the acclaimed Badlands and Days of Heaven.

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Critic Reviews for Pocket Money

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (2)

The lazily incongruous character studies of naive Newman, hard-drinking, slow-witted Marvin, and a strong support cast, come from a script by Terrence Malick.

Full Review… | November 11, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

All style and no movie.

November 11, 2006
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Rosenberg's direction is pedestrian.

Full Review… | June 17, 2008
TV Guide

A mildly diverting modern western and buddy-buddy movie.

Full Review… | November 11, 2006
Film4

It is so peculiar and doesn't seem to care that it strays from the usual western, that therein lies its charm.

Full Review… | March 11, 2004
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Pocket Money

½

Pocket Money (1972) -- [5.0] -- Paul Newman teams up with Lee Marvin to deliver cattle from Mexico to a shady dealer played by Strother Martin. Newman and Martin are re-teamed here with "Cool Hand Luke" director Stuart Rosenberg, with a script adapted by Terrence Malick (Badlands, The Thin Red Line). Despite the ingredients, "Pocket Money" doesn't amount to much. For a buddy picture, Newman and Marvin don't leave much of an impression. Marvin almost works as the boozing happy-go-lucky sort, but Newman is less convincing as a kind-hearted dim wit. Even Martin is oddly restrained here, at a time when you really just want to see him embrace a role of villainy. Maybe the problem is in the source novel or Malick's adaptation, but "Pocket Money" is slow to rev up and ends up going nowhere.

Scott Schirmer
Scott Schirmer

Whether you're a huge fan of both Paul Newman and Lee Marvin (as I am) or not, BOY, are you EVER in for a MAJOR disappointment. And the fact that the legendary Terrence Malick penned the script only adds even more to the pain. I suppose this movie was trying to be a comedy, but it's a bigger downer than a tub of sedatives. The story, such as it is, concerns a loser, low-brow cowpoke played by Newman. He's behind on his mortgage and his alimony with his latest round-up of horses stuck in a 60 day quarantine before he can sell them. He teams up with Lee Marvin, who gives his most comatose performance ever, (And, yes, I DID suffer through Marvin's work in "Delta Force". This is worse.) to buy some cattle for a couple of con men played by Strother Martin and Wayne Rogers (MASH's fave libertarian.) This "story" winds up being the most boring cattle drive in movie history. You suspect that the steers themselves are asleep in half the scenes. Bottom Line: They suspect they're going to get swindled. And they get swindled. The End. Thanks for coming, folks, and drive home safely. Thankfully, Newman followed up this turkey with "The Sting" and Marvin followed it up with "Emperor of the North". Proving once again, that, despite the occasional bomb, you just can't keep a great actor down. So, please see those movies instead. In the meantime, feel free to waste your time on this picture if the names involved draw you to it. But, don't say I didn't warn you.

Richard Smolnicky
Richard Smolnicky

Terrible.

Sean Gillespie
Sean Gillespie

Super Reviewer

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