Clint Eastwood returns to his roots for the debut of “Cry Macho”, a western drama about a man who has to sneak into Mexico to rescue a child from his unruly home life. The long-awaited film had Eastwood reflecting on his storied career and the roles he takes on.
Though the 91-year-old could easily retire from acting, he says he’s enjoying taking on projects later in life. With a long history of awards, acting, producing and directing credentials, Eastwood can pretty much do whatever he wants.
So what did critics think of the new film? Well, reviews are quite mixed.
Scoring just a 53% on Rotten Tomatoes, the film appears less than stellar. However, the fan score was 70%. So maybe the critics are just holding the film to a higher standard. Here’s what they have to say:
“In 1979, Mike Milo (Clint Eastwood), an older, washed-up ex-rodeo cowboy, is sent to Mexico to retrieve a 13-year-old biracial rebellious Mexican kid Rafa (Eduardo Minett). He’s tasked with delivering the kid to his dad (Dwight Yoakam) in the States,” says Dwight Brown from the National Newspapers Publishers Association.
“Opportunities for cross-cultural humor and consciousness raising are apparent, but never utilized in a way that is refreshing or profound. Astute audiences may anticipate the kid helping the senior citizen regain his youth and usefulness, and the surrogate elder patriarch bringing stability to the juvenile’s unstable life. That happens, but in the most blatant and deliberate ways. It’s way too obvious,” he says.
The film critic obviously appreciates Eastwood’s courage, but hails the film unworthy of a five star review.
Critical Review of Clint Eastwood’s “Cry Macho”
Yet another critic says the film has some decent qualities and themes surrounding it.
“There’s no getting around the fact that Eastwood, at 91, looks a bit rickety for his role and that the movie feels a little slapdash. But it’s also an unusually lovely, relaxed work from an icon of cinema,” says Jefferey M. Anderson from Common Sense Media.
Another reviewer also agrees with the point. It’s not an exciting thriller, albeit, it’s a quintessential Eastwood story.
“Still, there are graceful moments that remind us a veteran is in control: a Chevrolet parking amid fall leaves, a car passing horses to juxtapose modes of transportation, a cowboy hat silhouetted against a Mexican sunset, fire crackling at night between two characters, and a romantic slow dance within the swirling smoke of light beams through a bar window,” Jason Fraley from WTOP says.
Fraley also added that it was “an OK way to pass a few hours.”
However, other film critics were less kind.
“What at first appears to be a cross-generational buddy film eventually transforms into the chronicle of an old man’s effort-free redemption in which the younger character ends up serving as little more than a prop,” says Peter Sobczynski from efilmcritic.com.
However, the decision is ultimately up to the viewer. What do you think are the main takeaways from Eastwood’s latest drama?
The film debuted Sept. 17 in theaters and on HBO+.