News

El Camino First Reviews: A Cinematic Gift to Breaking Bad Fans

Aaron Paul's reunion with writer-director Vince Gilligan -- and some familiar faces -- is a wholly satisfying epilogue that reminds us why the groundbreaking series was so good.

by | October 11, 2019 | Comments

What Will Happen to Jesse in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie?

What’s in store for Jesse Pinkman? And will we see Walter White? We explore everything the brand new trailer tells us about El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.

Posted by The Rotten Tomatoes Channel on Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Six years after Jesse Pinkman drove off into the New Mexico night, Aaron Paul returns to reprise the role that made him a star in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. We last saw Pinkman breaking free from Jack’s (Michael Bowen) Nazi compound. He was held prisoner by the group with the sole purpose of creating Heisenberg’s signature meth until Walter White (Bryan Cranston) mowed the clan down with a semi-automatic weapon attached to the trunk of his car, liberating Jesse in the process.

Vince Gilligan decided a proper send-off was in order for White’s former protégé, penning the script and stepping behind the camera to direct the final leg in Pinkman’s emotional journey. But is El Camino a necessary story to add to Gilligan’s Breaking Bad universe? That depends on who you talk to.

Die-hard fans will surely relish in the cameos that pop up during the movie’s two-hour running time. We already knew Skinny Pete (Charles Baker) and Badger (Matthew Lee Jones) would make an appearance, but some of the other characters who make appearances will probably keep people talking.

This type of fan service may not please every viewer who watches the sequel — whether they choose to tune in to Netflix or head out to watch the movie on the big screen on opening weekend. But this is a Vince Gilligan joint, so obviously there’s going to be more to El Camino than these juicy aesthetic tidbits.

Here’s what critics are saying about El Camino: A Breaking Bad Film:


El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie keyart, Aaron Paul stars (Netflix)

(Photo by Netflix)

IS AARON PAUL’S PERFORMANCE WORTHY OF ANOTHER EMMY?

Paul earned three Emmys for his supporting role on Breaking Bad, and in El Camino he delivers a mesmerizing lead performance that proves he deserves a spot on Hollywood’s A-list.
– Judy Berman, Time

Paul impressively juggles multiple eras of Pinkmania: “Yeah, bitch!”-ing meth student, wuvvy romantic, wrecking ball of soul-scabbed vengeance.
– Darren Franich, Entertainment Weekly

Aaron Paul is fantastic in his return to his most famous role.
– Nick Harley, Den of Geek

He’s again great here, capturing the push-and-pull of trauma and need within Jesse.
– Brian Tallerico, Roger Ebert

And as ever, Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman is one of the most tragic, moving, emotional performances on television.
– Linda Holmes, NPR



WHAT ABOUT VINCE GILLIGAN’S RETURN AS WRITER AND DIRECTOR?

Gilligan remains a precise and complicated visual stylist.
– Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter

Vince Gilligan, the show’s creator and the film’s director and writer, makes use of a presumably robust budget and of the fact that El Camino will be exhibited on some big screens with some genuinely gorgeous shot making.
– Daniel D’addario, Variety

Gilligan – who reprises his own role as writer and director – has always been good at keeping his audience on their toes.
– Paul MacInnes, The Guardian


El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie SEASON A Netflix Television Event PHOTO CREDIT Ben Rothstein/Netflix PICTURED Aaron Paul COPYRIGHT © 2019 Netflix

(Photo by Netflix)

IS THERE MORE HERE THAN NOSTALGIC FAN SERVICE?

Breaking Bad fans won’t be disappointed if they’re feeling sentimental and nostalgic for the good old Bad days.
– Michael Starr, New York Post

El Camino is fan service executed at a very high level.
– Matt Zoller Seitz, Vulture

Old friends are trotted out for special appearances like Love Boat guest stars.
– Jason Bailey, The Playlist

El Camino is a mostly tension-free traipse around the show’s old haunts and a few of the surviving characters.
– Philip De Semlyen, Time Out

It’s likely to delight fans who’ve yearned to return to a memorable time and place.
– Matt Roush, TV Insider

Breaking Bad was already an ice cream sundae. Simply think of El Camino as the cherry on top.
– Adam Graham, Detroit News


IS IT EVEN NECESSARY?

El Camino didn’t need to exist – but for fans who craved extra Jesse Pinkman in their lives, it hits the spot.
– Ed Power, The Daily Telegraph

El Camino mainly just fills space, and likely time – something Breaking Bad never did.
– Dominic Patton, Deadline

El Camino provides a way to return to the world of Breaking Bad even if it’s not quite up to the level of the TV series.
– Matt Goldberg, Collider

Where El Camino struggles is in the nagging sense that it has no business being two hours long, because there’s not nearly enough reason to expand a fairly brief, tense adventure into feature length.
– Josh Spiegel, SlashFilm

Massively enjoyable wrap to the Jesse Pinkman story, and better still, the right one.
– Verne Gay, Newsday


El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie launches on Friday, October 11 on Netflix.

#1
Adjusted Score: 95.894%
Critics Consensus: Entertaining if not essential, El Camino adds a satisfying belated coda to the Breaking Bad story -- led by a career-best performance from Aaron Paul.
Synopsis: The Netflix Television Event EL CAMINO: A BREAKING BAD MOVIE reunites fans with Jesse Pinkman (Emmy-winner Aaron Paul). In the... [More]
Directed By: Vince Gilligan

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

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