El Mariachi
El Mariachi (1993)

Filmed in two weeks on a budget of 7,000 dollars, El Mariachi was one of the singular pleasures of the 1993-1994 movie season. Kind-spirited guitarist El Mariachi (Carlos M. Gallardo) simply wants to wander through life as his father and… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: February 26, 1993
DVD Release Date: August 26, 2003
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Critic Score: 93% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Made on a shoestring budget, El Mariachi's story is not new. However, the movie has so much energy that it's thoroughly enjoyable.

Todd McCarthy

Has a verve and cheekiness that's partly a smart wedding of such influences as Sergio Leone, George Miller and south-of-the-border noir.

Janet Maslin
New York Times

It goes without saying that Mr. Rodriguez, having made such a clever and inventive debut, is prepared for a big future of his own.

R. L. Shaffer

Despite its age, El Mariachi holds up remarkably well. The film's low budget (roughly $7,000, allegedly) actually helps build tension in the narrative - like you're watching something that's really happening.

Full review…
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

Juicy, adroit, and likable.

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James Berardinelli

A gripping, tautly-paced action flick that outdoes most of Hollywood's similar output.

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TV Guide

The unrelenting tempo is bolstered by Rodriguez's camera work and editing: nearly every frame seems to have been shot with a careening, handheld camera, and they're cut together in a skillful, fluid fashion that enhances the tension and pace.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

Rodriguez goes for broke with a breakneck pace, swarms of bullets, cinematic tricks, and a tone as playful as it is knowing of genre conventions. The director's light touch is all his own; and this unpretentious offering delivers in all departments.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

An enormously entertaining movie.

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Emanuel Levy

No festival is true to its name if it doesn't display at least one discovery. In 1992 that spot was occupied by Robert Rodriguez, who made a charming actioner for $7,500; never mind that Columbia later invested $1 million for its theatrical release.

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More reviews for El Mariachi

Flixster Audience Score: 76% Flixster User Reviews
Alex roy
Robert Rodriguez's film debut is a good little action film that was made on a 7,000$ and showcases some pretty creative filmmaking skills. The plot is… More
Chris Weber
I am glad I finally saw this movie. It totally lives up to the hype. This is, without a doubt, one of the finest low-budget indie films of the past 25 years.… More
Martin Sahlin
I liked it...It was good.....funny and action. And I think this no-named guy fits the part much better than Banderas. The rolling head scared the shit out of me… More
Randy Tippy
You could say that <i>El Mariachi</i> has low production quality, or you could say that it has a raw, rough-cut edginess. Either way, Robert… More
Lorenzo von Matterhorn
<i>"All I wanted was to be a mariachi, like my ancestors. But the city I thought would bring me luck brought only a curse."</i> A… More
Conner Rainwater
A great movie and probably the most serious Robert Rodriguez has ever gotten. It isn't all fun and games, but a ruthless revenge tale full of carnage and… More