The Mambo Kings
The Mambo Kings (1992)

Based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Oscar Hijuelos, The Mambo Kings are brothers Cesar (Armand Assante) and Nestor Castillo (Antonio Banderas), Cuban musicians who immigrate to New York City to find fame and fortune in 1950s America.… More

Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: February 28, 1992
DVD Release Date: August 16, 2005
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Critic Score: 83% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Derek Adams
Time Out

A spirited evocation of the mambo craze which swept post-war America, adapted from Oscar Hijuelos' Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

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Rita Kempley
Washington Post

A corny, eye-filling concoction of sound and strife, it recalls the heyday of a dance craze with the Technicolor splash of a 1950s musical.

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Clint Morris


Vincent Canby
New York Times

It's as if there were a terrible telephone connection between the film's vivid sound track and its tepid romantic melodrama, to which the music is supposed to give style and substance.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

In some ways this story is as old as the movies, but "The Mambo Kings" is so filled with energy, passion and heedless vitality that it seems new, anyway.

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Steve Crum
Kansas City Kansan

Fun, flashy musical with Banderas in early role.

Desson Thomson
Washington Post

"The Mambo Kings" is so pumped up with life it threatens to burst. It's beautifully filmed and flashily edited. It pulsates with rhythmic ecstasy. It throbs, it sweats, it pounds, it undulates.

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Entertainment Weekly

The Mambo Kings is a tinsel-edged dream of a movie.

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John J. Puccio
Movie Metropolis

Terrific music and a boatload of high energy can't quite compensate for a thin plot and weak characterizations....

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Flixster Audience Score: 69% Flixster User Reviews
Leo L
Good movie!