CRY MACHO (2021) First reviews of new Clint Eastwood movie

 

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‘A story of being lost… and found.’

Cry Macho is a 2021 American thriller film in which an old rodeo star takes a job to take a man’s young son away from his alcoholic mom. On their journey, the horseman finds redemption by teaching the boy what it means to be a good man.

Directed by and starring Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino; Invictus; Hereafter; J. Edgar; American Sniper; The Mule; Richard Jewell) from a screenplay co-written by Nick Schenk and N. Richard Nash, based on the latter’s novel. Produced by Clint Eastwood, Daniel Grodnik, Jessica Meier, Tim Moore, Albert S. Ruddy.

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Plot:

Mike Milo (Clint Eastwood) is a one-time rodeo star and washed-up horse breeder who, in 1979, takes a job from an ex-boss to bring the man’s young son home from Mexico.

Forced to take the backroads on their way to Texas, the unlikely pair faces an unexpectedly challenging journey, in which the world-weary horseman finds unexpected connections and his own sense of redemption…

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Reviews:

” …an aimless and sometimes cringe-worthy film. But it has perhaps the best performance by a rooster in modern cinematic history. The film is apparently supposed to be a meditation on masculinity, with Eastwood’s one-time rodeo star Mike Milo taming and rebuilding his young rebellious charge into an honorable young man. Instead, it’s a meditation on clumsy and predictable filmmaking.” Associated Press News

” …kind of interesting given the plethora of macho characters Eastwood has played through the years but doesn’t really carry much dramatic impact. It’s great to see Eastwood (and his stunt double) back in the saddle in a few scenes in which he breaks some wild mustangs and teaches Rafael how to ride, but Cry Macho has us crying uncle long before the underwhelming conclusion.” Chicago Sun Times

” …this is Eastwood’s 39th film, and, learning as he did from directors Sergio Leone and Don Siegel, his classical, no-nonsense style has evolved into a beautiful polish. In this movie, as in many of his othes, he wants to demonstrate inclusiveness for characters of color (while acknowledging cultural differences), to discuss the downsides of being “macho,” and to show that there’s a slower, more delicate, more observant rhythm of life.” Common Sense Media

” …Cry Macho is dogged by a slack pace and inertness that overwhelms, scene after scene of nothing, not a funny line or a moving moment or an unresolved conflict, just nothing. Eastwood seems to think he can coast on the scenery and the goodness of the characters alone but it’s glaringly not enough, its heart might be on its sleeve but it’s barely pumping.” The Guardian

” …while it provides the actor with opportunities for self-deprecating digs at his legendary persona (“This macho thing is overrated”), the writing is too tin-eared and unsubtle for those observations to land. The customarily sinewy direction also has a disappointing slackness, yielding some lackluster performances. Only DP Ben Davis’ atmospheric shooting of the occasional sweeping landscape gives this feeble movie some breadth.” The Hollywood Reporter

“Eastwood has been an international symbol of masculine cool for longer than most of us have been alive, and “Cry Macho” is hardly the first time that he’s subverted his iconic screen image in order to question the bravado of its coding. But the fact of the matter is that all of that stuff just hits different when a dude nine years short of 100 grins at some know-nothing punk and says, “If a guy wants to name his cock Macho, that’s okay by me.” IndieWire

” …an absurdly chatty melodrama that shows Eastwood at his most enfeebled, making a screen elegy with little elegance, no pace, little excitement and the kind of clock-watching boredom that One Take Clint wouldn’t stand for on his set, much less sit through in a theater (or on HBO Max) himself.” Movie Nation

“This is Eastwood’s version of pastoral. Mike pieces his ruined life back together in a sense. He finds pleasure in being of service to a community. The professed agnostic takes Marta’s hand when she prays to begin a meal, and likes it. The simple sincerity about what’s worthwhile in life is the movie’s reason for being.” RogerEbert.com

“Is this Clint Eastwood’s best film to date? No, but it is the most heartfelt. If you are looking for his typical, gruff on-screen persona, you will see very little of it in Cry Macho. Instead, you will see an actor at the top of his game who can still carry a picture after six decades in the business.” Screen Anarchy

“The way Eastwood dominates now is with the pensive simplicity of his words — his I-say-what-I-mean-and-mean-what-I-say steely gentleman’s directness, which has become his armchair form of machismo. How is the movie? Adapted from N. Richard Nash’s 1975 novel (the script is by Nash and Eastwood regular Nick Schenk), it’s friendly and diverting and formulaic, in an inoffensive and good-natured way, and it’s a totally minor affair.” Variety

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“Now, approaching twilight, Eastwood has stripped everything down to its essentials. The picture doesn’t always work, but it works when it has to. It’s a fragile enterprise — lovely to bask in, but liable to fall apart if you stare too hard. The same could be said for its star. He’s part of the illusion. Somehow, when we look at Mike, we don’t see Eastwood the 91-year-old actor, but Clint the icon.” Vulture

” …it’s impossible not to speculate how the uneven but fine “Cry Macho” would be perceived as a last dance for its legendary director-star. It’s a simple, sentimental tale about the border, but not that one; It’s about the one between young and old, your past and your future, and when it’s your 42nd film, and you’ve already said plenty about the topic (“Honkytonk Man,” “Unforgiven,” “Million Dollar Baby,” “Gran Torino”), sometimes “fine” is enough to keep the legacy burnished.” The Wrap

Release date:

Cry Macho will be released by Warner Bros theatrically and streaming on HBO Max on September 17, 2021.

Cast and characters:

Clint Eastwood … Miko
Dwight Yoakam
Fernanda Urrejola
Brytnee Ratledge … First Hippie Girl 1
Horacio Garcia Rojas
Paul Lincoln Alayo … Sergeant Perez
Amber Lynn Ashley … Second Hippie Girl
Ana Rey … Senora Reyes
Alexandra Ruddy
Natalia Traven
Sebestien Soliz … Worker
Daniel V. Graulau … Mexican Border Officer
Eduardo Minett … Rafa
Abiah Martinez … Six-year-old granddaughter
Elida Munoz … Fourteen-year-old granddaughter
Fausto Olmos Rentería … Federale #1
Ramona Thornton … Four-year-old granddaughter
Cesia Rosales … Nine-year-old granddaughter
Ivan Hernandez … Lucas
Joe Scoggin … Town Local
Martin Edward Andazola … Mexican Cowboy

Filming locations:

Belen and Polvadera, New Mexico

Trailer:

Featurette:

Promo: