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'Machete' Movie Reviews

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Published on Sep 3, 2010

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''Machete'' is an action movie directed by Robert Rodriguez that hit U.S. theaters on September 3, 2010. The movie stars Danny Trejo as Machete, a former member of the Mexican Federale who moves to Texas to work as a day laborer after a drug kingpin (played by Steven Seagal) kills his wife and child. While in Texas, Machete is hired by a Texas drug lord to assassinate Senator McLaughlin, played by Robert De Niro. Senator McLaughlin is running on a campaign platform to eradicate what he calls "immigrant parasites." Machete fails in his assignment and is forced to go on the run, getting help from his priest-brother (Cheech Marin) and a U.S. Customs agent (Jessica Alba), among others. ''Machete'' also stars Jeff Fahey, Don Johnson and Lindsay Lohan.

Reviews for ''Machete'' began coming out several days before the movie's release. Overall, the reviews were mixed to positive. ''Machete'' garnered a 74 percent "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes' "Tomatometer" and a score of 60 out of 100 on Metacritic.

Critics seem to agree on one thing about ''Machete'' - it is, as the Hollywood Reporter's Frank Scheck points out, an"over-the-top" and "ultraviolent" exploitation film. Peter Travers of ''Rolling Stone'' calls ''Machete'' an "unholy mess" that "replaces the artful ambition of 'The American' with torture, blood spray, kinky sex, twisted fun and a bizarro critique of U.S. policy on illegal immigration." ''Entertainment Weekly'' critic Owen Gleiberman says "As a feature, Machete is more fun than it isn't, but its deadpan mockery of exploitation clichés often slips a bit too close to being the real, schlocky thing."

Some critics point out that the movie may try a bit too hard. Variety's Joe Leydon says ''Machete'' is "wildly uneven as it doggedly strives (sometimes with obvious strain) to sustain a free-wheeling, anything-goes air of exuberant junkiness." Karina Longworth of the ''Village Voice'' says "when Machete isn't laugh-out-loud funny, it's deadly boring."

Bottom line: Robert Rodriguez fans will no doubt want to check out ''Machete,'' which was actually born out of a mock-trailer Rodriguez directed that aired before his 2007 movie ''Grindhouse.'' If you're in the mood for a flashy, fun and violent flick - this is it. As critic Ty Burr of the Boston Globe puts it:

"The movie's an unexpected end-of-summer tonic: a trash guilty pleasure with a healthy (if really violent) sense of outrage. It's also Rodriguez's freest movie yet, and possibly his best."

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