Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Machete Is Trashy Fun

Plus, Going the Distance Gets Dumped, and The American is a strange spy flick. is trashy fun.

by | September 3, 2010 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got one tough Mexican (Machete, starring Danny Trejo and Jessica Alba), long-distance lovers (Going the Distance, starring Drew Barrymore and Justin Long), and a lonely assassin (The American, starring George Clooney and Thekla Reuten). What do the critics have to say?



Machete started as a trailer for a fake movie, then became a real movie. It’s a curious route to the multiplex, but critics say this old-school exploitation flick largely delivers – if you’re in the mood some sleazy fun with zero pretense. Danny Trejo stars as the title character, a migrant worker who’s enlisted to assassinate a firebrand politician before being double-crossed. Will he get the women? Will he kill the bad guys? The pundits say Robert Rodriguez’ latest excursion into grindhouse territory isn’t particularly profound, but it’s a trashy good time, loaded with wildly violent action and gloriously disreputable kicks.


Going the Distance

It’s a modern conundrum that many face: what do you do when you meet the person of your dreams — right before they relocate to a new city? It’s a concept that Going the Distance attempts to address, but unfortunately, critics say this so-so romantic comedy is light on substance and relies too heavily on the natural charm of its leads. Drew Barrymore and Justin Long star as two thirtysomethings on the verge of couplehood, but with a major stumbling block – she’s on the verge of moving to San Francisco. Can true love triumph over geographic obstacles? The pundits say Going the Distance benefits greatly from the charm of Barrymore and Long, but it’s bogged down by raunchy dialogue and pop-culture references that undercuts the basic sweetness of the story. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down Barrymore’s best-reviewed movies.)


The American

For good or ill, The American is certainly not your typical tale of international intrigue. Critics say you shouldn’t go into this tale of a lone-wolf contract killer expecting a slam-bang action-fest — it’s a minimalist, existential spy picture, at once beautifully shot and emotionally remote. George Clooney stars as a skilled assassin who sequesters himself in the Italian countryside; soon he’s sharing friendship with a local priest – and romance with a mysterious woman. But do such entanglements violate the assassin’s code? The pundits say that while The American is sophisticated and well-acted, it’s also likely to divide audiences: some will find its languid pace to be tense and hypnotic, while others may be bored stiff.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Last Train Home, a documentary on the plight of the nearly 130 million migrant workers in China, is at 100 percent.

  • Our Beloved Month of August, a mix of documentary and narrative filmmaking that finds a director shooting footage at music festivals while attempting to make feature film, is at 100 percent.

  • Prince of Broadway, which follows the trials and tribulations of two men trying to hustle a living in New York City’s wholesale fashion district, is at 100 percent.

  • My Dog Tulip, an animated film that chronicles the 14-year relationship between a man and his dog, is at 91 percent.

  • Mesrine: Public Enemy #1, the second installment of a two-part biopic of the legendary French criminal, is Certified Fresh at 81 percent.

  • Max Manus, a biopic about a Norwegian World War II resistance fighter, is at 72 percent.

  • White Wedding, a comedy about the misadventures of a groom attempting to get to his wedding on time, is at 50 percent.

  • The Winning Season, starring Sam Rockwell and Emma Roberts in the tale of a down-on-his luck guy who becomes a girls’ high school basketball coach, is at 50 percent.

  • Zhang Yimou’s A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop, a remake of the Coens’ Blood Simple set in China, is at 36 percent.

Tag Cloud

cops The CW LGBT zombies WarnerMedia Star Wars Superheroes obituary cars stoner Adult Swim space Endgame Cartoon Network Stephen King Spring TV TruTV cooking Rock hispanic spanish language Winners comic books Calendar Netflix GoT TBS Spike Chilling Adventures of Sabrina MTV archives X-Men worst movies 4/20 richard e. Grant spinoff Hulu slashers ID Tarantino Music Apple TV+ Musicals Sci-Fi diversity canceled San Diego Comic-Con festival Valentine's Day OneApp romantic comedy See It Skip It 21st Century Fox renewed TV shows finale true crime comics Holiday 45 RT21 classics 72 Emmy Awards ghosts TCA Winter 2020 psycho Lionsgate Sneak Peek stop motion indiana jones Biopics Opinion First Look chucky witnail elevated horror Vudu New York Comic Con DC Universe documentary Writers Guild of America TCA Awards Black History Month kids animated Reality Musical crime drama sag awards Pirates Pixar Countdown crossover President series halloween tv Reality Competition singing competition reviews Disney+ Disney Plus Awards Black Mirror BBC Disney Channel talk show harry potter CNN sequels BBC One Mystery E3 natural history ABC Apple TV Plus BBC America Toys Turner Classic Movies cartoon game show Marvel Studios Hear Us Out mutant TV renewals Mary poppins MSNBC Star Trek romance Kids & Family discovery Character Guide Amazon Prime Video NBC Food Network Interview The Walking Dead DC Comics politics Marvel Television FX American Society of Cinematographers screenings VH1 Pop Year in Review Nat Geo franchise rotten movies we love Syfy cancelled television blockbuster spider-man child's play Showtime Emmy Nominations Binge Guide Ghostbusters 2020 latino critics medical drama ABC Family mission: impossible BET halloween Dark Horse Comics Watching Series VOD Cosplay Comic Book Disney Plus police drama green book cancelled TV series nbcuniversal james bond Comedy Central directors Turner Elton John sequel Animation BAFTA Universal comedies Oscars Superheroe political drama Nominations theme song emmy awards Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt YouTube Premium SXSW Captain marvel japanese Lifetime cinemax Hallmark Christmas movies Lifetime Christmas movies parents television Box Office serial killer versus cancelled TV shows binge foreign zombie transformers Schedule PlayStation National Geographic Television Academy movie TIFF technology Christmas toronto PaleyFest indie Teen films Sundance Now Brie Larson what to watch AMC LGBTQ 71st Emmy Awards football strong female leads Mary Poppins Returns Walt Disney Pictures adaptation Trailer ITV facebook anthology Logo golden globes black TCM Winter TV TNT a nightmare on elm street Bravo GIFs docudrama news toy story Crackle Netflix Christmas movies batman Amazon Studios Columbia Pictures Tumblr doctor who Election reboot 24 frames cults Tomatazos Pride Month sports Disney streaming service travel 2016 Action GLAAD TV spanish The Arrangement war casting independent Best and Worst asian-american TCA 2017 YouTube Quiz Creative Arts Emmys Esquire mockumentary Hallmark south america sitcom Masterpiece scary movies game of thrones cats screen actors guild stand-up comedy biography CBS WGN spain all-time Pet Sematary hollywood nfl dragons free movies OWN Discovery Channel Podcast Women's History Month joker Epix Starz Marvel Shondaland Acorn TV Comics on TV Anna Paquin A&E FXX Ellie Kemper Emmys NYCC The Academy Film Festival Trivia Pop TV miniseries DC streaming service science fiction dceu breaking bad Infographic dark Holidays Television Critics Association adventure Classic Film Apple Amazon Grammys book Mindy Kaling 007 Ovation Martial Arts Mudbound Travel Channel unscripted DGA Peacock Paramount Network BET Awards revenge die hard Sony Pictures Film Extras dogs 20th Century Fox dc movies Cannes HBO Max nature name the review scorecard Academy Awards A24 Photos RT History anime 2019 Trophy Talk TLC satire YouTube Red quibi video El Rey SDCC 2015 hist psychological thriller Shudder Fantasy crime thriller criterion Set visit Baby Yoda Certified Fresh Tubi Red Carpet canceled TV shows PBS HBO Go Rocky Drama boxoffice disaster The Witch Sundance TV ratings MCU Premiere Dates YA italian Sundance VICE Heroines superhero Super Bowl CW Seed Fox Searchlight Rom-Com The Purge christmas movies USA TV Land Amazon Prime Video Games Rocketman Avengers Lucasfilm universal monsters comic blaxploitation social media Horror composers 2017 australia crime documentaries twilight Thanksgiving Polls and Games HBO rotten comiccon historical drama robots based on movie Song of Ice and Fire CBS All Access USA Network vampires rt archives Country DirecTV Freeform Britbox worst justice league Western Crunchyroll Fall TV Comedy remakes TCA award winner laika APB Family Fox News children's TV thriller Paramount fast and furious 2018 concert Nickelodeon Marathons History Arrowverse FX on Hulu spy thriller Disney ESPN festivals Funimation SundanceTV video on demand Chernobyl jamie lee curtis dramedy IFC Films Spectrum Originals best CMT Summer tv talk venice streaming IFC cancelled deadpool aliens FOX Warner Bros. E! Mary Tyler Moore teaser zero dark thirty werewolf First Reviews french Awards Tour period drama supernatural