The Mule

Critics Consensus

A flawed yet enjoyable late-period Eastwood entry, The Mule stubbornly retains its footing despite a few missteps on its occasionally unpredictable path.



Total Count: 182


Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,664
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Movie Info

Earl Stone, a man in his 80s who is broke, alone, and facing foreclosure of his business when he is offered a job that simply requires him to drive. Easy enough, but, unbeknownst to Earl, he's just signed on as a drug courier for a Mexican cartel. He does well -- so well, in fact, that his cargo increases exponentially, and Earl is assigned a handler. But he isn't the only one keeping tabs on Earl; the mysterious new drug mule has also hit the radar of hard-charging DEA agent Colin Bates. And even as his money problems become a thing of the past, Earl's past mistakes start to weigh heavily on him, and it's uncertain if he'll have time to right those wrongs before law enforcement, or the cartel's enforcers, catch up to him.


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Critic Reviews for The Mule

All Critics (182) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (128) | Rotten (54)

  • I think that there's a sweetness to some of the film... There is a certain self-criticism built into the role as it goes along.

    Sep 12, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Watching this movie is like checking the news after popping a Xanax. The world's going to hell in a handcart. But it's all good.

    Jan 27, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • It's a winningly soft-hearted tale of a hard-hearted world, though, and one that never takes itself too seriously.

    Jan 24, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Ed Potton

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • It's a watchable movie, loosely based on a true story; there's a nice storytelling swing to it and Eastwood is frankly far more interesting than Robert Redford was in his recent swansong.

    Jan 23, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The Mule thrives in teasing ambiguity...For decades now, Eastwood has been one of the great interrogators of American social mores.

    Jan 3, 2019 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • This movie is as much a eulogy for a country that Eastwood sees as slowly crumbling as it is for the life Earl chose to lead.

    Dec 21, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Mule

  • 4d ago
    Interesting film and boosted by Eastwood commanding the lead role. There is a strong support cast but they don't get a lot of focus in the scheme of things. This is Eastwood's film and no one is going to get in the way. This is a good film and passes the time, but it is a safe film. The cartel moments are playful and there is a moment in the film that should've played out more violently. The film feels fluffy and nice when in reality it would be more sinister. Overall a good film. 07/10/2019
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • May 04, 2019
    The main thrust of the plot isn't anything special but Eastwood seems to be using it to examine his own personal failings which gives the movie a deeply sad undercurrent.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 27, 2019
    An all-star cast help deliver this middle-of-the-road tale of an old geezer rebuilding the bridge to his disassociated family. This is possible mainly due to the mad money the guy makes by running drugs. The work is competent, unfortunately even while avoiding the inherent moral implications, or any thoughts of it, thereby reducing the thrust of the work to little better than an offering from Hallmark. What"s more interesting than the actual plot is how the artist relays knowledge of the cultural divisions in the United States and offers ideas as to dealing with them.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Feb 17, 2019
    For all purposes, this is Gran Torino 2 - or how Clint Eastwood plays another cartoonish old geezer who has the depth of a saucer (and befuddling motivations) and is supposed to be funny by talking shit to strangers - so, let's just forget this and go for Breaking Bad instead.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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