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"THE MATADOR"
(2005) (Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Dramatic Comedy: After developing a midlife crisis that undermines his ability to do his job, a hitman latches onto a businessman in hopes that he'll be his friend.
PLOT:
Julian Noble (PIERCE BROSNAN) is a professional hitman who, despite being older and a bit pricey, is extremely proficient at what he does. Yet, of recent, he's started having some work-related problems that appear to stem from a midlife crisis and/or nervous breakdown. They come to a head while on location in Mexico on his birthday when he realizes he has no friends and no place to call home.

Accordingly, and while intoxicated, he latches onto businessman Danny Wright (GREG KINNEAR) who's left his wife Bean (HOPE DAVIS) back in Denver for several days while he and his partner try to land a lucrative deal with a Mexican firm. Having lost both his job and child (the latter in a bus accident), Danny's been down on his luck for several years and hopes this potential deal might be the thing to break him out of that rut.

The two strike up a conversation at the bar that ends up going bad, but when Danny must stay in town a bit longer to try to close the deal, Julian sees his chance to apologize and perhaps form some sort of friendship. Danny is initially reluctant, but once he learns what Julian does and actually believes it, he becomes somewhat morbidly fascinated with the man and his work.

Yet, as Julian's personal problems continue to affect his work, he finds himself in an awkward situation with his immediate handler, Mr. Randy (PHILIP BAKER HALL), who isn't pleased that his assassin is turning soft. Soon, the hitman is a target and Danny must decide what, if anything, he can or should do to help his new friend.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Older teens might be interested in it, as might anyone who's a fan of someone in the cast, but that's about it.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For strong sexual content and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • PIERCE BROSNAN plays a hitman who's experiencing a midlife crisis of sorts that's preventing him from completing his various assassination jobs (although several are successful at the beginning of the film). As a result, he latches onto Danny as his only friend, although they barely know each other. He smokes, drinks (to the point of intoxication), uses strong profanity and has casual sex with various women.
  • GREG KINNEAR plays a businessman who's desperate to land a business deal that he hopes might end a several-year string of what he perceives as bad luck (that includes the accidental death of his son). He ends up cautiously befriending Julian and becomes morbidly curious about his profession, even helping him on one occasion. He uses strong profanity, has sex with his wife, briefly smokes and drinks (to the point of intoxication).
  • HOPE DAVIS plays his wife who has sex with him, uses strong profanity and gets drunk in one scene with Danny and Julian.
  • PHILIP BAKER HALL plays Julian's immediate handler who's become concerned about Julian's recent flubs in completing the task at hand.
  • 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:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated dramatic comedy. Profanity consists of at least 29 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue (some of it explicit) is also present, as are several sexual encounters (with movement, partial nudity and related sounds). Other nudity and sexual material occurs or is implied, while a man is seen in some rather skimpy attire.

    Violence consists of people being assassinated (by a sniper shot and explosion -- but the actual impacts are not seen) as well as some bullfighting footage. Such material may be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers, as might several unsuccessful assassination attempts. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while smoking and drinking (sometimes a lot of the latter) occurs. Thematic elements include talk of the death of a son and the aftereffects of that, as well as midlife crises and/or nervous breakdowns.

    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
  • Julian wakes up with a bottle of booze on his bedside table.
  • Julian orders a margarita, while a man who delivers a metal briefcase to him orders a beer and downs it in one long swig.
  • Danny and Phil (his business partner) have margaritas and then order more (in celebration). Later, Danny's having another and states that he's had four or five as Julian orders one for himself. Julian then says they always taste better in Mexico, with Danny agreeing. Julian then says "Margaritas and c*ck."
  • We see Julian holding a drink in his hotel room.
  • Julian explains his odd behavior to Danny by saying that he's drunk, tired and has been fornicating for the past two hours.
  • Julian then orders more margaritas for both of them, although Danny leaves before he has his.
  • Julian carries a drink and then jumps into a pool with what looks like a can of beer.
  • Miscellaneous people drink beer, as does Danny, at a bullfight.
  • Danny and Julian have beer.
  • We see a nearly empty beer bottle by Danny that's later knocked off a table by accident and breaks on the floor. Julian is then knocking at his door, holding a beer and stating that he's "a little f*cked up" (intoxicated).
  • Julian has a drink.
  • Julian drinks from a flask while on the job.
  • After Julian asks for some coffee, Bean asks about whiskey and Julian replies, "That's even better." We then see various shots of them and Danny drinking whiskey over the night, with Bean eventually stating that she's a bit drunk. Julian says that's a nice place to be, and all three then drink even more whiskey.
  • We see a flashback to Julian drinking as he says in voice-over narration that he was drinking a lot.
  • While the three are intoxicated, Julian says that next they should be wife swapping, with Danny replying, "You don't have a wife."
  • Julian carries four beers at a racetrack, but only as a distraction as he then spills them on another man.
  • Julian has a beer.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see the motion of a matador going in for the fatal sword blow to a bull, but don't see the impact. We do see, however, others' reaction to that jab as well as blood on the sword afterwards.
  • Some scenes show the matadors' small knives in the side of bulls -- that's very bloody in one instance.
  • We see a severed pig's head in a foreign meat market.
  • We see Julian waking up (from passing out from a nervous breakdown) with his head in a pile of donkey excrement.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Julian is a professional assassin.
  • After a boy tells Julian that his mom is interested in him, Julian looks over at her and then tells the boy that the only way he'd be interested in her is if she lost 20 pounds and thirty years.
  • In response to Danny stating this son died three years ago, Julian suddenly tells a sexual joke to change the subject, thus upsetting Danny who leaves.
  • Julian states that he lost his wife while driving drunk and then slamming into a tree (but later admits that he made that up).
  • For those opposed to bull fighting, several scenes show various view of that (mostly of moving the cape around as the bull charges, but some show the small knives in the side of the bull -- in one instance that's very bloody).
  • Mr. Randy spots Julian eyeing a young teenage girl in Mexico and asks if she's a bit pubescent even for Julian. Julian says he'd make an exception for her. He then says he hates these Catholic countries (for being prim and proper) and complains that there's no "sucky-f*cky."
  • Julian prepares to shoot his next target, but again finds that he can't. Danny then talks him into doing so (but we don't see the subsequent shooting).
  • In a flashback, we see that Danny wants Julian to kill his competition for a lucrative job, but Julian won't do it.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Jump Scenes" may be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers, but much of the material is played with a certain comedic quality (albeit sometimes blackened) and some viewers might not have any such reaction.
  • We see Julian's gun sight crosshair following a woman and then hear the shot and see her head snap back, but don't see the actual impact or any blood.
  • Julian jumps into what he think is a hotel pool, but then spots a large shark in the water (nothing happens, we don't see them together in the same shot, and it's played for comedy).
  • We see the motion of a matador going in for the fatal sword blow to a bull, but don't see the impact. We do see, however, others' reaction to that jab as well as blood on the sword afterwards. Other such footage is present later in the film.
  • Danny wants to know what Julian does for a living, so the latter (after being reluctant to do so), tells Danny the truth. When Danny doesn't believe him and facetiously comments on taking out some guy in the crowd, Julian goes through the motions of doing so to show Danny. With the man now in the bathroom, Julian marches in, draws his knife, heads for the man's stall and kicks the door open, all as Danny gets increasingly nervous until he realizes Julian was just kidding.
  • We see another sniper rifle scope view where the crosshairs are on Julian's next target, but there's no shot.
  • We see Julian positioned up on a roof, ready to take a shot with his sniper rifle, but his vision blurs. We hear a shot and see others react, but later learn that either he missed or the sound was from something else.
  • About Julian's recent failure to complete a job, another man tells Mr. Randy that Julian is a dead man.
  • We see Julian in a flashback on another hit, but as he holds his knife ready to stab his next target, that man then turns into a childhood version of Julian and he's unable to complete the act.
  • Julian prepares to shoot his next target, but again finds that he can't. Danny then talks him into doing so (but we don't see the subsequent shooting).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Sniper Rifle/Explosive/Knife: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others and/or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • We see Julian aiming a gun, but it turns out to be a fake one at a carnival type attraction where you shoot targets.
  • Bean wants to see Julian's gun, so he shows her (it's a 38 from his ankle holster).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Go the f*ck away from me," "No sucky-f*cky," "I'm not a f*cking magician," "F*ck it," "I f*cking made you," "After they f*ck you" (nonsexual), "F*cking American dream," "Don't f*cking ruin things," "I'm f*cking kidding," "(I'm a little) f*cked up," "I'm a f*cker," "Suck and f*ck sessions," "F*ckity f*ck," "It's f*cking fantastic," "It's f*cking crazy," "Let's kill this m*therf*cker," "No sh*t," "Are you bullsh*tting me?" "I sh*t you not," "I don't want you to lose your sh*t," "Bullsh*t artist," "Holy sh*t," "Can you believe this sh*t?" "That's freaky sh*t," "Scared sh*tless," "As serious as an erection problem," "I'm a pr*ck," "Freaking out," "You crazy, limey bastard," "Why the hell do you care?" "You scared the hell out of me," "You're unsavory...you are what you do," "Balls" (testicles), "Whore," "Chicks," "What the hell is going on?" "Jeez" and "You son of a bitch."
  • Julian has a tattoo on his shoulder and another on his other arm.
  • Julian burns some paper or a photo and drops the burning piece into the toilet.
  • Julian trades childhood-type insults ("See ya, wouldn't want to be ya," etc.) with a boy.
  • Julian ignites something in a metal trash barrel to cause a fiery distraction.
  • Julian jokes that he looks like a Bangkok hooker on a Sunday morning after the Navy has left.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A car suddenly explodes in the distance, presumably killing the person inside (as a hit that Julian has made).
  • We hear a loud sound and Danny then pulls Bean out of the way just in time as a huge tree crashes down into their kitchen during a bad thunderstorm.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 29 "f" words (3 used sexually, 1 used with "mother"), 15 "s" words, 8 slang terms using male genitals ("c*ck," "d*ck," "pr*ck" and "schlong"), 2 using female ones ("tw*t" and "spring roll"), 5 hells, 1 ass (used with "hole"), 1 S.O.B., 4 uses each of "Jesus" and "My God," 3 of "G-damn" and 2 uses each of "Jesus Christ," "Oh God" and "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Julian wakes up with an unidentified woman in bed with him. We see her bare back that's facing the camera, then a frontal view that shows most of one bare breast (but no nipple) as she lies there asleep, and then see Julian lifting the sheet to check out her bare butt (we don't see it).
  • We see Julian in just his small, tight and black briefs (or Speedo type suit).
  • Before heading to the airport, Danny playfully grabs Bean's clothed butt in their kitchen. She playfully asks if he has time for this and he says not for dinner and a movie as she works on his pants and he then gets between her legs on the table. A sudden sound and subsequent crashing of a tree through their kitchen wall interrupts them, but as they lie on the floor (he in his boxers with his pants down around his ankles and she in her robe), he jokingly asks if she's still horny and she smiles.
  • We see the close-up of a woman's cleavage (representing Julian's point of view).
  • Mr. Randy spots Julian eyeing a young teenage girl in Mexico and asks if she's a bit pubescent even for Julian. Julian says he'd make an exception for her. He then says he hates these Catholic countries (for being prim and proper) and complains that there's no "sucky-f*cky."
  • Julian then says that margaritas always taste better in Mexico, with Danny agreeing. Julian then says "Margaritas and c*ck."
  • Unable to connect with anyone over the phone, Julian goes to some sort of covert sex shop where we see a woman's bare breast, another woman masturbating (we see hand movement, but no contact) and another couple engaged in some sort of activity (but the view was so brief it was hard to tell what was happening). Right before that, we may see some sexually related text, but it's only briefly seen.
  • Julian explains his odd behavior to Danny by saying that he's drunk, tired and has been fornicating for the past two hours.
  • Julian starts to tell a sexual joke about a "midget" with a 15-inch "d*ck" (that he later calls a "schlong"), and says something about him being called a human swizzle stick, but never gets to tell the punch line.
  • Julian walks through the hotel lobby in just his small, tight and black briefs (or Speedo type suit -- and boots) and then out to the pool.
  • Julian makes some sort of sexual reference about for all the "tw*t" in Thailand.
  • Julian makes some comment about a Vietnamese girl's legs being so closed together that he didn't get a whiff of her "spring roll." He then adds, however, that with some booze and half a Quaalude, he had an all you can eat buffet (meaning sexual).
  • We see some miscellaneous cleavage in several scenes.
  • Julian says that he's "as serious as an erection problem."
  • Julian says he wanted to be a male cheerleader and then says he was kidding and doesn't want to talk about them unless it's about getting in a soapy shower with them.
  • We see several views of Julian having vigorous rear entry sex (he's standing, she's on all fours on a bed), but a small dog then enters the room and starts making a scene and tugging on his shoe or lower leg (he drops something at it to try to make it go away). This occurs during a montage where we don't hear any sounds and any nudity is only briefly seen if at all.
  • When Julian mentions quitting the business, Mr. Randy sarcastically asks if Julian would then pick up illiterate teens for "suck and f*ck sessions," with Julian liking the sound of that.
  • We see Danny having sex with Bean on their dryer (he's standing, she's seated on the edge of it). There's thrusting and sexual sounds (including her repeatedly saying "That's my Danny boy" and then that of both climaxing), but no nudity.
  • We see Danny shirtless as he poses in front of a mirror "regular" and then sucking in his gut.
  • Danny and Bean passionately kiss, but they're interrupted.
  • Julian jokes that he looks like a Bangkok hooker on a Sunday morning after the Navy has left.
  • Julian says that he likes hot climates including a place where what sounded like the guys look like "chicks."
  • About his midlife crisis, Julian says he resorted to his old standby of visiting a whore house and we see him pat a young prostitute on her clothed butt as she ascends some steps in front of him, but he says that even a "good f*ck" didn't work.
  • While the three are intoxicated, Julian says that next they should be wife swapping, with Danny replying, "You don't have a wife."
  • SMOKING
  • Julian smokes at least 8 times (once with a cigar, and on two occasions his lighter won't light another cigarette), Danny smokes once and holds a cigar in another scene (both given to him by Julian) and various miscellaneous characters smoke in several scenes.
  • A bartender has an unlit cigarette over his ear.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Danny states that their son died several years ago in a school bus accident.
  • Julian states that he lost his wife while driving drunk and then slamming into a tree (but later admits that he made that up).
  • Danny and Bean briefly talk -- in several scenes -- about their dead son (who's been dead for several years).
  • We see Danny and Bean visiting their son's gravesite.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Assassins.
  • Midlife crises and nervous breakdowns.
  • Losing a child and the aftermath of that.
  • Bean states that kids used to make fun of her (calling her "Hippo hips") and that she had low self-esteem until Danny came along and changed that.
  • The question that don't successful people always live with blood on their hands.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A car suddenly explodes in the distance, presumably killing the person inside (as a hit that Julian has made).
  • We hear a loud sound and Danny then pulls Bean out of the way just in time as a huge tree crashes down into their kitchen during a bad thunderstorm.
  • We see Julian's gun sight crosshair following a woman and then hear the shot and see her head snap back, but don't see the actual impact or any blood.
  • We see the motion of a matador going in for the fatal sword blow to a bull, but don't see the impact. We do, however, see others' reaction to that jab as well as blood on the sword afterwards.
  • We see another matador thrust his sword at a bull for the fatal blow, but don't see the impact.



  • Reviewed October 10, 2006 / Posted January 6, 2006

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