Reviews for The Matador ( 2005 ) 720p

Brutally boring

By: dfranzen70
In The Matador, Pierce Brosnan plays a weary, boozy contract killer who just wants to be friends with Walter Mitty-like Greg Kinnear. Sounds like perfect casting, but the two leads don't really mesh, and the movie plods along endlessly, halfheartedly throwing in a twist near the end that only slightly mitigates the dullness.

Julian Noble trots the globe, shooting, stabbing, and exploding those whom he's paid to terminate. He's not a likable chap, this Julian. He likes his liquor strong and his girls young, if you know what I mean. After a job in Mexico City, Julian learns he may be on his way out of his amorphous organization; he then bumps into Danny Wright (Kinnear), a businessman who believes he's just made a successful pitch to a local company. Julian comes off as kind of a rude jerk who may or not be telling the truth, but once he convinces (truthfully) Danny that he (Julian) is indeed a paid assassin, the two sort of become pals.

It's a typical mismatched-buddies scenario - the loner and the married man, the odd duck and the straight arrow. Danny is married to Bean (Hope Davis), who becomes a little starstruck herself when she learns of Julian's occupation. But what of Julian's future? Will he soon be rubbed out by one of his own coworkers? This seems like a role tailor made for Brosnan, kind of a down-on-his-luck James Bond, but for some reason the character is a nasty, tough-to-read creep. Is he sincere or a sociopath? Is he being funny or deadly serious? When he pulls the old messing-with-you trope once too often, you start to wonder what he's all about - and you get no real satisfactory answers.

The twist is okay, but in even a decent thriller it would have been terrific. Here it's just sort of there, as if the writers had realized they needed to tack on something a little off the beaten path and just kind of shoehorned it into the story. The Matador isn't incomprehensible, it's just maddeningly incoherent.

Last Segment Totally Destroys The Film

By: ccthemovieman-1
I really enjoyed this movie for the first hour. It was quirky and totally unpredictable, thanks to Pierce Brosnan's strange character, "Julian."

However, when Julian knocked on the door late at the night in Denver, Colorado, at the house of his buddy "Danny Wright" (Greg Kinnear), the film began to turn sour, and went down the dumper in a hurry. Julian now had overstepped his obnoxiousness and become unappealing. He had flirted with that throughout the first hour but always survived, but now he was downright rude and a pain in the butt. Making this really bad was Hope Davis, playing Danny's wife, "Carolyn." Her character, in a flash, went from devoted, nice wife and ultra- profane "who is THIS person?" and was insulting to any viewer with a brain. For (about) 20 years of marriage, she was clean-mouthed, and all of a sudden come a half dozen f-words out of her in about 20 seconds? That typifies the whole last segment of this film, which really ruined a promising story that was looking good up until then. In a word: it has been "entertaining."

It was a stretch from the beginning, however, that a straight businessman like Wright would ever give the time of day to a drunken, super-rude swine like Julian, but I went along with it because it was fun to watch despite a few questionable homo-erotic scenes. However, when the film takes an abrupt left turn in Colorado, it lost its appeal with characters that had zero credibility.

The hit-man who wasn't

By: thinker1691
It is not often one extols the great talents of a screen legend while at that same time, reminding oneself, some role are better avoided. Despite the fact that many fans would welcome a diversity, I would remind them, great talent and sincere effort cannot overcome the burden of playing a character which forces the actor to do something other than act. Such is the case with the magnificence talent of Pierce Bronsen as he undertakes the role of Julian Nobel. He plays a hit man, which under normal circumstances would have been an ideal character for him. But in this film, he plays him on the way down. He is a burned-out assassin who has lost his nerve. So much so, he reveals his flagging ability to his boss, who insist and reminds Nobel, he cannot ever quit. Thus Nobel has no choice but to ask help from a total stranger, Greg Kinnear, who plays, average, normal and "I don't want to get involve "Danny Wright. The pair find themselves in Mexico and form an odd adhesive set. One is trying to get on with his life, the other trying to hang on to his. Despite, their great effort to find common ground, grudgingly they do, causing the viewer is be subjected to much more movie than should have been collected. I believe it's too much to ask of either actor to save this film as it was doomed when Bronsen was asked to destroy himself. **

This Matador is Full of Bull *

By: edwagreen
Absolutely terrible film dealing with a burned out assassin (Julian), played by a hard drinking, heavy smoking Pierce Brosnan and his chance meeting with a conventional business person Danny (Greg Kinnear) The two become friends as Julian tells Danny that he is burned out. He can get out of this deal by doing one more job-the job we find out is killing his boss!

The gags are ridiculous. This is a very amateurish, inane comedy. Kinnear tells Julian that his son was killed in a school bus accident. Julian changes the subject and that ticks off Danny. The viewers should be ticked off with the rest of this foolishness as well.

Many faults add up to a poor film

By: bo-85
This film suffers from many faults, some of these include. Poor casting, Pierce Bronson wants to shed the 007 stigma by taking criminal parts. But alas, Bronson was the wrong choice for this role. Perhaps a more competent director could have pulled a better performance from Bronson but more on this later.

Poor editing, the film could have flowed much better if the editor was more skilled. As an example, a bottle of beer drops to the floor and it smashes, the editor choose to linger on the bottle for several seconds longer than needed. I mean the dumb bottle had nothing to do at all with the story!

Poor script, the story never fully jumps into high gear. There are numerous plot points all of which are too minor to drive the story. The characters were never developed which made them appear one dimensional.

Last and most defiantly least is poor directing. Some very good acting talent is left floundering under this director.

The photography however is very good.

Puerile trash

By: kevin-477
I can't believe the glowing reviews I've read about this, er, 'film'. People saying it's the best comedy crime buddy movie they've ever seen? Never seen 'Get Shorty'? 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang'? Sorry - both are probably way too sophisticated and, yes, FUNNY for the likes of these people. Even the trailer for 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' was better than this tired, dragged-out, clich├ęd, third-rate waste of celluloid. Pierce Brosnan did his best with a film school undergrad script, and was mildly amusing for a while. But the joke was soon over. Okay, I know it was supposed to be a 'comedy' - but was there even ONE believable character here? The script had some good one-liners, but the narrative was about as dynamic as a stuffed duck. And that awful, awful scene when the Pierce Brosnan character turns up unannounced at Greg Kinnear's at Christmas. I can't even be bothered to write about it any more. Avoid.

Stunning performance by Brosnan sadly wrapped in a mediocre film

By: Flagrant-Baronessa
A hit-man who is The Dude and Bad Santa both at once.

Pierce Brosnan is at his best and most hilarious in Richard Sherpherd's The Matador (2005), as a booze-drenched over the hill hit-man who loves bullfights, tacky clothes and teenage girls. It is his unapologetic lust for the latter that provide some great laughs in the film.. There is nothing funnier than hearing a sleazy, broken-down version of James Bond exclaim after ogling some Catholic schoolgirls, "God I hate these Catholic countries; it's all blushy blushy, no suckie fuckie."

So Brosnan has a terrifically dirty mouth in The Matador and this is juxtaposed with Greg Kinnear's goody-goody family man character in their newfound, unlikely friendship. Both these characters elicit real sympathy, but especially Brosnan who should be a very unlikable character, a man desperate for a meaningful relationship in his life but just can't stop himself from saying the wrong things. We follow these two very different men as they learn from each other and start changing their lives, projecting equal doses of heart and humour.

The Matador effective in the sense that it mixes absurdity and quirkiness just right and glazes it with a dark comedy coating feel. It is also quite funny thanks to its Brosnan performance, but it does not have much in the way of a plot and no other characters or detours are even worth mentioning - so it is sadly very forgettable. Still, if you are even a slight fan of Brosnan's I urge you to see this film which is easily his greatest performance, and it's a crime he wasn't showered with awards for it.

6.5/10

The Matador, Truly awful

By: markscarratt
This film was truly awful. I don't know if it was meant to be funny but it wasn't. In fact I don't know what it was supposed to be. Early in the film we see Pierce Brosnan's character about to leave a hotel room having obviously spent the night with a lovely lady. She is asleep in bed whilst he is getting dressed. Before he leaves he decides to steal her nail polish and then goes to the bathroom to paint his toe nails. Why ??.We never see that girl again nor the toe nails and I don't really see the point.

Also throughout the film Brosnan hints at his characters supposed homosexuality and perverse sexual tastes, but nowhere does this get progressed in the film, and I was left thinking "why" "what" "where", and "when".

It is obvious that he is a hit-man/ assassin in decline but do you really expect that he would tell Kinnears character what his job was within 5 minutes of meeting him in a bar in Mexico.

To make matters worse they then both go to a bullfight and Brosnann decides to show Kinnear a few tricks of the trade by pretending to stalk and nearly assassinate an unknown local while he was on the toilet. In the process of doing this Brosnan drew attention to himself that any assassin no matter how washed up, would not do.

In summary this film was truly terrible and I don't see the point of it at all. I am not sure what it was supposed to be.

Save your money and watch something else

stink stank stunk

By: charlie_mc_us
What little corner of the human mind did the marketers tickle on this one? Because by God . . . to the tune of Beethoven's 5th . . . this movie stank! Maybe it's some sort of pseudo sophistication people feel by laughing at (with?) Brosnan's character's vile . . . humor? This movie was stupid, pointless, crap. Can we separate out the Canadian vote, so I can see if there is yet another reason to move to Canada? I'm there if the average Canadian vote for this stinker was under 3.

What was redeeming about the story? Didn't people guess it? I didn't care anyway. How about Hope Davis? What made her character appealing at all? And the Greg Kinnear Permo-Look-o-Wonder -- started to look pretty stupid after awhile -- makes me want to wait a few movies before I see him again. And I like Greg Kinnear.

It's been an awful year for movies this year. Maybe dragging out one with some usual faves, and putting a good marketing spin on it, made people give it a high rating. I think IMDb is becoming less and less reliable.

Waste of Time and Money

By: jkmcroot
When my wife and I entered the theater, we realized this movie was playing on the smallest screen with the smallest audience... Now we know why. There were five other couples in the showing on a Friday night. This movie was awful. We were caught in that unfortunate middle ground where you paid your $8.50 so feel you should stick it out to see if things get better, but they don't. This is the first movie in a long, long time where we both looked at our watches to estimate how much time could be left, and we see a LOT of movies.

Both of us think Brosnan is good and, based on some of his other recent works (i.e. After The Sunrise), thought it would be another "fun" movie with him in a relaxed role. Enter Greg Kineer... once again, you become hopeful, but the character makeup of the film changes immediately and you realize it's not what you came for.

There is no character development. Others can review it and say "wow! what a great collection of dark humor and complex characters" but that's crap. Those are excuses for a very poor storyline and weak development, unfortunately played by actors who are capable of much more. They both do a good job of playing the characters on the script. Problem is, there is no substance. While a few moments are funny, they are fleeting moments. There is very little history behind the characters, and even with a plot of emotional loss in Kineer's family laid out, the audience doesn't feel so much as a pang of teary eye about it.

Poor, weak movie. I score 2 out of 10. This doesn't even rate as a rental, and I would have pulled it out before it finished if we were at home. Don't waste your time or your money.

Tedious, unmoving, phony-- I couldn't wait for it to end!

By: wapakununk
After being hugely entertained by Mr. Brosnan's performance as a cad in "The Tailor of Panama" (which I rate 10/10 across the board: casting, acting, script, story, editing, pace, music, emotional impact, etc.), I enthusiastically anticipated this film. I was hugely disappointed. It is a script reading not a film, vulgar for the sake of being vulgar, bankrupt in every way that "The Tailor of Panama" is rich and satisfying. Blame it on the screen writing and directing. I sat in the theater waiting for the "good part;" it never came. I neither laughed nor cried, although one line of dialog did make me smile. Worth $7? Hardly.

Corporate Gigs Got You Down?

By: tccandler
"Margaritas and Cock..."

This tremendously entertaining film grabs you from the opening scene and never stops delivering laughs, surprises and unexpectedly touching moments. I had more fun watching "The Matador" than almost any other film from 2005. It is a wacky film with an unforgettable character, played to perfection by Pierce Brosnan.

Julian Noble (Brosnan) is a facilitator (hit-man) who specializes in high-end corporate gigs (assassinating rich dudes). He is also experiencing something akin to a mid-life crisis. After coming to realization that he has no real friends, no permanent home and no planned future, he stumbles into a Mexican hotel bar one night and runs into Danny Wright (Kinnear).

Danny is a down-on-his-luck family man who is on the verge of losing the big business deal that just might turn things around for him. He loves his wife dearly, especially so since they lost their young son a few years earlier.

The two men are chalk and cheese, hardly any common ground other than that they are in the same desolate bar one night. And somehow a conversation is struck that sets in to motion a chain of events that will change their lives forever.

The friendship they form reminded me a lot of Laurel and Hardy. One is the straight man and the other is the persistent fool who gets them into trouble. The interplay is superbly timed and finely tuned, due in no small part to the wonderful performances from Brosnan and Kinnear.

But make no mistake... This is Brosnan's film. He imprints one of the most memorable and despicably likable characters of the decade. He could shoot your mother and apologize immediately thereafter and you'd probably forgive him. Brosnan may be cinema's ultimate charmer, but this is his most endearing and complete performance to date. I wouldn't be averse to seeing an Oscar nod for this role.

Consider one scene where he overtly ogles a high-school girl with the impurest of thoughts and utters the line, "All blushy blushy... No sucky fucky". He does it with the familiar Bond smirk and manages to get away with it. He manages to tell a young boy, "Tell your mother to lose 30lbs and 20 years. Then get back to me" without coming across as unlikable. In fact, it makes us like him even more.

And yet the film manages to surprise us with some truly touching scenes, most of which come toward the end when the film takes some unpredictable turns. However, when Julian thumbs through his little black book to find someone to call on his birthday, or when Danny and his wife (Davis) console each other in their bedroom one night, the film reaches an unexpected depth of emotion.

"The Matador" is stylish and energetic. It is constantly entertaining. And it contains a career-defining role for Brosnan as the lonely hit-man looking for normalcy, friendship and a means to do at least one good thing in his life. This is an overlooked gem in 2005 and you should make an effort to see this film as soon as possible.

TC Candler of IndependentCritics.com

Ole! Brosnan shines & Shepard proves to be a talent to watch.

By: george.schmidt
THE MATADOR (2005) *** _ Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Hope Davis, Philip Baker Hall, Dylan Baker. Brosnan gives one of his best non-Bondian roles as a middle-aged assassin facing a mid-life crisis while on assignment in Mexico where he befriends a square yet likable American businessman (Kinnear at his most affable) and discovers there is more to life than death. Newbie filmmaker Richard Shepard makes a solid big screen debut with a pointedly wicked black comedy with a sharp eye for visual detail and nuanced dialogue and character development that makes him a talent to watch in this breath-of-fresh-air into the 'buddy comedy' formula skewering what is anticipated of his leads and allowing Brosnan to get his ya-yas out with devilish glee. A sleeper gem indie hit.

Blushy, Blushy ...

By: ferguson-6
Greetings again from the darkness. Much anticipated, twisted comedy from writer/director Richard Shepard is a coming out party for Pierce Brosnan the actor. That Bond guy is gone. This new guy is something else entirely!! Have read that Shepard thought Brosnan was too much the pretty boy for this plum role, but Brosnan proves to be the perfect Julian Noble, "Facilitator" ... and is anything but pretty! Do not underestimate how twisted the humor is in this one. If you go, expect punch lines and sight gags regarding all types of sex, killing, religion, sports, business and anything else you might deem politically incorrect. Brosnan takes an excellent script to another level with his marvelous facial gestures and physical movements. Even sitting on a hotel bed (with or without a sombrero) is a joy to behold.

Greg Kinnear is the straight guy to Brosnan's comic and has plenty of depth and comic timing to make this partnership click. Hope Davis has a small, but subtly effective supporting role as Kinnear's wife (what's with her name "Bean"?) who happens to get a little excited when she has a facilitator in her living room.

The visuals and settings are perfect - including a bullfight, racetrack and Denver suburb. And how often do we get The Killers and Xavier Cugat on the same soundtrack? This one is definitely not for everyone, but if your sense of humor is a bit off center and you enjoy risky film-making, it could be for you.

Really worthy film

By: BARBARA_FIXX
This film is fantastic. Finally well-written characters you can love for all their good and bad. Pierce Brosnan is flat-out hysterical in this self-effacing role. I think its the best thing he's ever done. He's done other roles that exhibited shades of being capable of this kind of fully-fledged work, but this role finally gave him the room to run with it. I almost died when he walked across the hotel lobby in his underwear and boots. And Greg Kinnear and Hope Davis are a couple to aspire too, as well as actors to aspire too. Kinnear is so goofy likable that his turn in the end is truly gratifying. You give good actors good work to play with and they give us something more back.

The sweetest hit-man-buddy movie I've ever seen.

By: IAN-Cinemaniac
THE MATADOR is hit-man movie lite....if you can say that about a hit-man movie. The violence is never really shown but often introduced. At first I was scared I was in for another retread of mid-90s gangster-hit-man-hipster-dark comedy BUT was happily surprised when I realized this is just a sweet and humorous story about friendship. Nothing terribly exciting happens in this film but every bit of it is kept me grinning. The three leads have the best chemistry the big screen has offered in recent years and it looks like they had a great time making this film together. The writing is sharp though at times it felt as if the script had been adapted from a stage play because of the one set dialog scenes. This is a good film that I probably won't remember for too long but at the time it was a complete joy. Good film.

All sass and no blood; movie shows Pierce Brosnan's comedic flair

By: btyson-1
"The Matador" stars Pierce Brosnan as a burned out assassin. He's James Bond gone to seed, in too-tight, garish clothes, gold chains, and an ugly haircut. Our struggling assassin, Julian Noble, is in Mexico, trying to regain his nerve. Staying at the same hotel is a likable, down-on-his luck businessman Danny Wright (Greg Kinnear), also trying to regain his equilibrium. Danny is desperate to close a deal and return to his wife in Denver (Hope Davis) with good news.

Noble and Wright unexpectedly become friends. Wright convinces Noble to reveal certain techniques, which he demonstrates at a bullfight. Noble is eventually targeted by his employers and shows up in Denver.

Writer and director Richard Shepard did the Q&A after this delightful movie at the Austin Film Festival. Shepard was also down on his luck. After suffering the loss of his agent and rejection of recent scripts, he decided to write a story no one would buy and create a character no one would want to play. Then Pierce Brosnan called. Brosnan regains his equilibrium in this movie. (There is life after Bond!) He has a wonderful flair for self-deprecating comedy. Don't miss it.

Stay for the closing credits to read what the filmmakers say about bullfighting. I look forward to more of Richard Shepard's projects.

Humorous and multi-location story with a hit-man at the core.

By: susieflann
The delivery of some very humorous rude lines by Pierce Brosnan is alone worth the price of admission. He plays a kind of "James Bond's psycho twin brother", separated at birth, no doubt. As an intense hit-man, his character is very sexual but even better, very funny. Add the kind-hearted, uber-likable American "guy next door', Greg Kinnear, to set up contrast. The myriad locations, vivid colors, and quick-witted humor provide great entertainment. Hope Davis is well cast as the "gem of a wife". But the focus of the film is on the two fellows, a new "Odd Couple", and that's the part that works very well. Have a great (probably R-rated) laugh, and look for the places where the story goes a little deeper.