[Screen It]

 

"ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO"
(2003) (Antonio Banderas, Johnny Depp) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Heavy Extreme Moderate Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Moderate None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Heavy Moderate Moderate Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Adventure: A gun-toting mariachi wants revenge on a corrupt general who, along with a drug kingpin, has drawn the attention of U.S. government agents concerned about an attempted overthrow of the Mexican President.
PLOT:
Sands (JOHNNY DEPP) is a covert CIA agent working in Mexico who wants to make sure that drug lord Barillo (WILLEM DAFOE) doesn't manage to overthrow the President (PEDRO ARMENDARIZ) in a military coup that's to be staged by General Marquez (GERARDO VIGIL).

Accordingly, he sends his local "muscle," Cucuy (DANNY TREJO), to round up the enigmatic and legendary El Mariachi (ANTONIO BANDERAS) to assassinate the military leader. He and his wife, Carolina (SALMA HAYEK), had a bad run in with Marquez in the past and El Mariachi now wants to get his revenge.

At the same time, Sands has dealings with Mexican AFN agent Ajedrez (EVA MENDES) and tries to persuade retired FBI agent Jorge Ramirez (RUBÉN BLADES) to get his revenge on Barillo for previously torturing the agent's past partner. To do so, he'll have to deal with the drug lord's right-hand man, Billy Chambers (MICKEY ROURKE), a criminal fugitive from America.

As all of that is set into motion, El Mariachi and his fellow gun-toting guitar players, Lorenzo (ENRIQUE IGLESIAS) and Fideo (MARCO LEONARDI), set out to find and kill both Marquez and Barillo before their coup is successful.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of Robert Rodriguez's first two "Mariachi" films or anyone in the cast, it's a good bet they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong violence, and for language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ANTONIO BANDERAS plays the enigmatic, gun-toting mariachi who wants revenge on Marquez and agrees to kill him for Sands. He uses some strong profanity and kills many people.
  • SALMA HAYEK plays his wife in various flashback sequences.
  • JOHNNY DEPP plays a rogue CIA agent who hires El Mariachi to kill the General. He drinks, smokes, uses strong profanity and kills various people himself, including some innocent ones.
  • MICKEY ROURKE plays an American criminal and fugitive hiding in Mexico who works as Barillo's "muscle" (and kills people but is tired of the job) and uses strong profanity.
  • EVA MENDES plays some sort of Mexican government agent who is or goes bad. She kills and briefly uses strong profanity.
  • DANNY TREJO plays Sands' local muscle, a hired killer.
  • ENRIQUE IGLESIAS plays another gun-toting mariachi who shoots and kills various people and uses strong profanity.
  • MARCO LEONARDI plays the same, who drinks rather than cusses.
  • RUBÉN BLADES plays a retired FBI agent who unofficially goes back to work to get his revenge on Barillo.
  • WILLEM DAFOE plays a powerful leader of a drug cartel who wants to usurp the President's power.
  • GERARDO VIGIL plays his homicidal general who kills various people.
  • PEDRO ARMENDARIZ plays the President who must deal with the uprising against him.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this R-rated action/adventure film. Profanity consists of at least 20 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are present. Some brief, sexually related dialogue occurs, while some women are seen in skimpy attire.

    Violence consists of many scenes of people fighting, striking, wounding and/or killing others (via tremendous amounts of gunfire, etc.), some of which have rather bloody and/or gory results as do other scenes. Some of that material could be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers and some of it might be enticing for some kids to imitate (since the violence is stylishly shot to look cool).

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while some smoke and/or drink in various scenes. Some tense family material is present in the form of a man who wants revenge for his wife and child's murder in the past.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Sands has tequila in a bar where bottles of liquor are seen.
  • Sands has another tequila and lime.
  • Sands mentions one of Barillo's men pumping an agent full of drugs as a means of torture (in the past and not seen).
  • Jorge has wine.
  • Fideo drinks and appears to be drunk (El Mariachi says he'll need lots of coffee).
  • Sands has drinks with another man.
  • Miscellaneous people have drinks at a reception.
  • Fideo states, "I don't think. I drink."
  • Fideo drinks, but Lorenzo shoots the bottle from this hand (while practicing his marksmanship). Fideo then tries to scoop up what's left of the booze.
  • Sands orders a meal with a tequila and lime.
  • Fideo drinks.
  • Fideo drinks from a flask.
  • Fideo drinks.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Carolina shoots a man (with a little resultant blood) but we hear that he didn't die.
  • We see a brief flashback to various shots of shootings, with some bloody results.
  • Sands shoots a chef (for making a great dish) with blood on that man's shirt and a little on the camera lens.
  • We briefly see a man vomit on the street.
  • Sands repeatedly shoots and kills a man (with blood on the victim's shirt).
  • Sands removes a man's eye patch to reveal an eye socket filled with a bag (that's removed to show no eye there). It's implied that Sands then checks the man's rectum (with a gloved hand) for anything else, but we don't see that actual contact.
  • A person who's been wounded is a bit bloody.
  • We see a flashback of the general shooting a woman and her child (we don't see the impact) and then shooting a man several times (he and the woman are bloody).
  • We see a needle being inserted into some skin. We then see a scalpel being run beneath a man's eye (during plastic surgery and with some blood).
  • Jorge enters an operating room where he sees blood on the wall, a lot covering a sheet over a body, and then several views of a dead man's bloody face.
  • We see a needle being inserted into a neck.
  • We see a drill being moved toward a restrained person's eye, but don't see the impact. We later see that person wearing sunglasses (to cover his empty eyehole sockets -- that we later see) with lots of fresh and then dried blood down his face and neck.
  • Sands and a man shoot at each other. Sands is hit in the arm while he hits the other guy in the head (both with bloody results).
  • Jorge has blood on his head after being hit there.
  • Unable to see, Sands wildly shoots at two men, but misses. He then ends up hitting one, while getting shot in the legs himself. He then shoots the other man in the foot and head (all with bloody results).
  • El Mariachi fires shots that blow away most of a man's legs (they're still intact, but it looks like the wounds went down to the bone).
  • Sands shoots a woman dead (with some bloody results).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • All of the various villains obviously have bad attitudes.
  • Sands is a CIA agent who hires El Mariachi to kill Marquez (and kills others himself), while Jorge returns to active duty without permission and Ajedrez is a corrupt Mexican government agent.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and/or "Blood/Gore" may also be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • We see a flashback of El Mariachi in bed with Carolina. He then realizes they're literally chained together, but nothing sexual happens as men open fire on them with machine guns, forcing them to flee. They then end up hanging out a window from the fifth floor and try to swing their way down to the street, all while still chained together, precariously hanging from parts of the side of the building, and as various men shoot at them
  • We see a drill being moved toward a restrained person's eye, but don't see the impact. We later see that person wearing sunglasses (to cover his empty eyehole sockets -- that we later see) with lots of fresh and then dried blood down his face and neck.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Machine guns/Shotguns/Knives/Various explosives: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill people and/or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*ck off," "Still f*cking around," "Skull-f*cking you to death," "F*ck honor," "F*cked up," "F*cker," "Smoke the f*cker," "You f*cking little monkey," "F*ck you," "Total bullsh*t," "Boner" (erection), "Nut" (crazy and testicle), "Are you a Mexi-can or a Mexi-can't," "Must tug on the short and curlies" (pubic hair, and meaning irritation), "Stop farting around," "Sugar butt," "Balls" (testicles), "No time to screw the poodge" and "Freak right out" (some in English subtitles).
  • All of the stylishly shot stunts, action and gunplay might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • Carolina wears a midriff-revealing top.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful and action-oriented music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 20 "f" words, 4 "s" words, 2 slang terms using male genitals ("c*cks*cker"), 2 asses, 2 hells, 6 uses of "G-damn" and 1 use of "Oh my Christ" as exclamations (some in English subtitles).
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see a great deal of Carolina's upper thigh as she hikes up her dress to reveal a garter full of knives.
  • We see a flashback of El Mariachi in bed with Carolina. He then realizes they're literally chained together, but nothing sexual happens as men open fire on them with machine guns, forcing them to flee.
  • During a performance, we see several shapely young women in skimpy bikinis.
  • We see a flashback of El Mariachi sensually kissing Carolina's face and then down her body to her pregnant belly.
  • As Ajedrez somewhat playfully fires several warning shots at Sands, he asks, "Are you trying to give me a boner?"
  • Sands asks a young boy, "Ever see one of these?" as he reaches into his open fly, but he pulls out a gun instead of what we think.
  • A low angle camera shot accentuates Ajedrez's clothed bust.
  • SMOKING
  • Sands smokes a cigar many times (cigars), while Cucuy and Billy each smoke once, while miscellaneous people smoke in several scenes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • A man must deal with his wife and child being murdered in the past.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • A man must deal with his wife and child being murdered in the past (and wants revenge for that).
  • Drug cartels.
  • U.S. Government involvement in the politics of other countries.
  • VIOLENCE
  • In an exaggerated flashback, we see El Mariachi fire machine guns and explosives from his guitar case. We then see a more realistic view of the same where he's firing regular machine guns (shooting various people without blood) and hitting/striking others. He and another man then aim their guns directly at the others' face, and then many hold their guns on El Mariachi.
  • We see a flashback of Carolina simultaneously throwing many small knives into several men's foreheads, killing them (no blood).
  • Carolina hits, punches and kicks many men (some apparently to the crotch) during a fight.
  • Carolina shoots a man (with a little resultant blood) but we hear that he didn't die.
  • Two of Cucuy's men shoot an older man (blowing him backwards) and Cucuy then holds his gun to another older man's head.
  • We see a brief flashback to various shots of shootings, with some bloody results.
  • Sands shoots a chef (for making a great dish) with resultant blood on that man's shirt and a little on the camera lens.
  • We see a flashback of El Mariachi in bed with Carolina. He then realizes they're literally chained together, but nothing sexual happens as men open fire on them with machine guns, forcing them to flee. They then end up hanging out a window from the fifth floor and try to swing their way down to the street, all while still chained together, precariously hanging from parts of the side of the building, and as various men shoot at them (causing property damage, including an outside ladder/fire escape crashing down onto a vehicle).
  • They then end atop a moving bus that's riddled with gunfire and that crashes into a tanker truck and explodes, just as El Mariachi and Carolina jump off.
  • El Mariachi escapes from a confessional as it's riddled with gunfire. He then climbs a wall, waits for the gunmen to approach and smashes one with a guitar, sending the man falling toward the floor (both shoot at each other during the fall). A big gun battle then breaks out in the church with El Mariachi shooting and killing various people (no blood), while church property damage occurs from all of the gunfire.
  • Sands mentions one of Barillo's men pumping an agent full of drugs as a means of torture (in the past and not seen).
  • During a bullfight, Cucuy pushes a button that does something to stop a matador in his tracks, allowing the bull to strike him (we then see it trampling and going at him with its horns -- no blood or gore).
  • Sands repeatedly shoots and kills a man (with blood on the victim's shirt) and then shoots a waitress who witnessed the attack.
  • Sands heaves a large rock out at a body floating in some water (to sink it and we see the impact).
  • We see some imagined shootings in a brief scene.
  • El Mariachi shoots one man, hits Cucuy, and then shoots various other men.
  • A large truck hits two guys on a cart (we don't know their fate).
  • During a motorcycle chase, El Mariachi shoots some of those following him, while others crash and/or wipe out.
  • More people are shot, a vehicle smashes into a person and another person is crushed between two vehicles.
  • Cucuy shoots Sands pointblank in the head, but only with a dart that renders him unconscious.
  • Billy wraps piano wire (or something similar) around a man's neck and then punches him in the face.
  • We see a flashback of the general shooting a woman and her child (we don't see the impact) and then shooting a man several times (he and the woman are bloody).
  • El Mariachi grabs several guards by their clothed crotches (we don't see the actual contact) and apparently crushes their testicles (we hear the crunching sound and see their pained reactions). He then hits others and shoots one.
  • The general shoots a man dead.
  • Agents push some hospital personnel against a wall and then shoot some of them.
  • Ajedrez hits Jorge on the back of the head with a rifle butt, knocking him out.
  • A recently blinded man hits his head on a windowsill.
  • Sands and a man shoot at each other. Sands is hit in the arm while he hits the other guy in the head (both with bloody results).
  • The general's troops open fire on a palace with gunfire and artillery, sending people scrambling for cover. A gun battle then breaks out.
  • A man talks about being tortured in the past and pain inflicted on his "left nut" (testicle).
  • A man hits Jorge with a gun, knocking him out.
  • A person throws a Molotov cocktail onto a truck, setting it on fire. He's then shot and Fideo shoots and kills his shooter.
  • Many people are shot as artillery goes off around them during a battle.
  • Lorenzo shoots several people dead.
  • El Mariachi knocks out two men, one after sliding down some steps on something.
  • Lorenzo and Fideo shoot various people, one fires a modified flamethrower at others and they send a remote controlled guitar case filled with explosives beneath a vehicle that's then destroyed by the explosion.
  • More people are shot.
  • The three mariachis shoot and blast a guy down some steps.
  • Unable to see, Sands wildly shoots at two men, but misses. He then ends up hitting one, while getting shot in the legs himself. He then shoots the other man in the foot and head (all with bloody results).
  • We see hand to hand combat style fighting, while a person fires a bazooka (with a resultant explosion).
  • El Mariachi fires shots that blow away most of a man's legs (they're still intact, but it looks like the wounds went down to the bone). He then shoots and kills the man at point blank range (we don't see the impact).
  • Ajedrez shoots a man dead.
  • Barillo kicks a dead man's body.
  • Sands shoots a woman dead (with some bloody results).
  • Several more people are shot dead.



  • Reviewed September 9, 2003 / Posted September 12, 2003

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [Collateral Beauty] [La La Land] [Manchester By The Sea] [Rogue One: A Star Wars Story]

    Privacy Statement and Terms of Use and Disclaimer
    By entering this site you acknowledge to having read and agreed to the above conditions.

    All Rights Reserved,
    ©1996-2017 Screen It, Inc.