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

franchise Oscars deadpool American Society of Cinematographers Mindy Kaling TCA 2017 2020 Spectrum Originals gangster Freeform Chernobyl Disney Plus medical drama Alien Amazon Studios First Look psycho dc technology christmas movies finale BBC halloween tv Music independent wonder woman space TNT WarnerMedia all-time National Geographic cooking Pixar australia Shondaland fast and furious Apple TV Plus IFC Comics on TV Disney streaming service Amazon Prime Video Holidays Nominations Epix politics indie Mary poppins video Elton John DGA Marathons LGBT legend suspense Paramount Plus book Valentine's Day Warner Bros. classics Turner Classic Movies Crackle Heroines saw Red Carpet king arthur Video Games IFC Films Musical sequel 2016 Walt Disney Pictures book adaptation TV One ratings sequels FX on Hulu Britbox stop motion Marvel Television superman action-comedy El Rey Rocky OneApp Infographic APB Lifetime Christmas movies President Discovery Channel young adult werewolf green book spider-man ABC Family biopic worst movies Superheroes TCA Winter 2020 rom-coms south america Trophy Talk Marvel BET Premiere Dates hollywood spanish NYCC free movies Black Mirror reviews Awards indiana jones critic resources heist movie Rocketman docudrama comic books best San Diego Comic-Con diversity travel breaking bad Women's History Month worst 93rd Oscars canceled hist richard e. Grant rt labs critics edition scene in color VH1 Masterpiece stand-up comedy comic book movies cancelled TV series comedies DC Universe ESPN Exclusive Video The Walking Dead children's TV joker Wes Anderson Emmy Nominations USA Network Fox News Television Academy Sci-Fi Star Wars Syfy casting SundanceTV versus cancelled TV shows remakes Hallmark golden globes quibi criterion rt archives Podcast golden globe awards Dark Horse Comics hispanic heritage month New York Comic Con marvel cinematic universe binge X-Men sports Peacock Interview crime tv talk Toys Tubi romance TCA Awards BBC One Nat Geo The CW doctor who Rom-Com Horror ViacomCBS Winter TV Cosplay asian-american AMC lord of the rings documentaries crime thriller Tumblr romantic comedy Calendar TV Brie Larson halloween Nickelodeon SDCC latino CMT Avengers Academy Awards chucky cops HBO Max biography PlayStation 2018 Kids & Family Television Critics Association Tarantino dragons Turner godzilla YA spinoff DC streaming service Starz YouTube Red stoner Captain marvel Ovation streaming movies MCU Box Office A24 Disney+ Disney Plus jurassic park TCA 4/20 marvel comics Lucasfilm comic Pet Sematary ABC Signature Vudu Fantasy 2017 Netflix mission: impossible DirecTV Photos movies teaser discovery NBA adenture new star wars movies pirates of the caribbean Apple Drama aapi critics Extras Mudbound A&E Amazon razzies dexter Mary Tyler Moore Sony Pictures TV Land YouTube Endgame basketball blaxploitation docuseries CBS Sundance TV international black Family Emmys Pacific Islander TLC Animation japanese witnail period drama know your critic french Watching Series facebook Comedy Central Mystery Star Trek 1990s sag awards rotten movies we love 2015 die hard HBO Go Lifetime Action Acorn TV Hear Us Out Food Network The Arrangement Winners 45 streaming news Film Disney hispanic comiccon rotten boxing revenge FOX TIFF archives Superheroe Sundance nbcuniversal Comic-Con@Home 2021 royal family new york Shudder Opinion Countdown psychological thriller DC Comics TBS MTV Sundance Now adaptation Song of Ice and Fire Hallmark Christmas movies toy story MSNBC Tomatazos Spring TV telelvision OWN satire award winner Black History Month VOD canceled TV shows Pop PBS nature slasher football cinemax HBO japan animated Ellie Kemper GIFs Funimation kids CW Seed documentary Election 71st Emmy Awards Crunchyroll transformers television james bond jamie lee curtis king kong Ghostbusters obituary Pirates reboot Character Guide Polls and Games toronto hidden camera Universal Year in Review kong Grammys dceu composers Writers Guild of America robots game of thrones series Stephen King miniseries dramedy zero dark thirty harry potter TV movies The Witch Paramount Network posters Reality Showtime GoT social media LGBTQ History Summer strong female leads See It Skip It theme song Musicals supernatural VICE crossover BET Awards Rock cars popular anime films war 99% new zealand CBS All Access Trivia mcc Comedy festival slashers sitcom nfl adventure police drama Set visit ghosts fresh Broadway monster movies twilight Disney Channel Comic Book CNN Super Bowl scorecard Country high school crime drama cartoon Film Festival cats Fall TV based on movie anthology E! Trailer mutant Adult Swim Netflix Christmas movies talk show game show universal monsters 20th Century Fox vampires First Reviews Logo Martial Arts true crime Travel Channel Cannes 007 Western Hulu Legendary cancelled television concert zombies scary movies WGN Paramount Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Marvel Studios cancelled Binge Guide a nightmare on elm street Best and Worst singing competition TruTV Columbia Pictures Anna Paquin ABC comic book movie Cartoon Network laika BBC America justice league Certified Fresh renewed TV shows batman science fiction The Walt Disney Company emmy awards dark festivals Image Comics Classic Film 73rd Emmy Awards name the review Baby Yoda USA Spike aliens boxoffice screen actors guild 2019 GLAAD Amazon Prime 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Arrowverse 24 frames ITV Reality Competition political drama historical drama Quiz elevated horror serial killer parents spy thriller Esquire Awards Tour Schedule feel good unscripted The Purge 90s Sneak Peek directors video on demand spain The Academy debate Mary Poppins Returns Holiday SXSW YouTube Premium live action kaiju mockumentary comics foreign venice olympics target PaleyFest RT21 ID Creative Arts Emmys Chilling Adventures of Sabrina zombie movie 72 Emmy Awards 21st Century Fox italian prank Christmas disaster Fox Searchlight Thanksgiving dogs FXX child's play Biopics Lionsgate thriller women trailers blockbuster RT History blockbusters Tokyo Olympics NBC cults rt labs Bravo natural history BAFTA 2021 E3 spanish language Pride Month Apple TV+ TCM Teen Pop TV superhero what to watch screenings TV renewals FX