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Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)

R  |   |  Action, Thriller  |  12 September 2003 (USA)
Your rating:
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 122,732 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 472 user | 176 critic | 34 from

Hitman "El Mariachi" becomes involved in international espionage involving a psychotic CIA agent and a corrupt Mexican general.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gerardo Vigil ...
El Presidente (as Pedro Armendariz)
Tito Larriva ...
Cab Driver


In the third movie of Rodriguez's "Mariachi" trilogy, a Mexican drug lord pretends to overthrow the Mexican government, and is connected to a corrupt CIA agent who at that time, demands retribution from his worst enemy to carry out the drug lord's uprising against the government. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Time Has Come.


Action | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »




Release Date:

12 September 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El Mariachi 3  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$29,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$23,424,118 (USA) (12 September 2003)


$3,112,845 (Japan) (2 April 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The real guns the filmmakers intended to use were delayed at the Mexican border for two weeks, so for the first two weeks of filming only rubber prop guns were used, with all the visual effects added digitally in post production. At first, Antonio Banderas was so thrown off by using silent prop guns that he was mouthing "bam" noises as he fired off fake shots. See more »


When Sands first meets the bubblegum-selling boy, the shots of the boy have been flipped - the writing on the pack is backwards. See more »


[first lines]
Agent Sands: I never heard of him.
Belini: Who?
Agent Sands: The man you recommended.
Belini: The guitar fighter?
See more »

Crazy Credits

After all the credits, we are treated to one last quick image of Agent Sands (Johnny Depp) with no eyes. See more »


Referenced in Sin City (2005) See more »


Written by Ben Watkins and Steve Stevens
Performed by Juno Reactor
Courtesy of Melt 2000/Sound Reproductions Limited
See more »

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User Reviews

Muy caliente!
16 September 2003 | by (fairview, nj) – See all my reviews

ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO (2003) *** Antonio Banderas, Johnny Depp, Salma Hayek, Mickey Rourke, Ruben Blades, Eva Mendes, Willem Dafoe, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo, Enrique Iglesias, Marco Leonardi, Gerardo Vigil, Pedro Armendariz Jr., Julio Oscar Mechoso, Tito Larriva. Wunderkind Robert Rodriguez' grand finale - Sergio Leone-style - of his South of the Border trilogy of El Mariachi, the lone assassin for hire cum renegade (Banderas once again) who is out for revenge (natch) for the murder of his beloved (the achingly gorgeous Hayek in flashbacks) while being ‘hired' by gonzo-crazed CIA man Depp (in Walken mode) involving a corrupt federale (the heavenly femme fatale Mendes), a retired FBI agent (Blades) and a nasty presidente-wanna-be madman (Dafoe in heavy bronzer) resulting in a digital bloodbath with flying corpses, gravity defying stunts (and women to boot!) and much tongue-thru-cheek take-no-prisoners guerilla filmmaking Rodriguez has made a trademark for (writing, ‘chopping' and directing) with more of the same to the nth degree. Bloody good carnage and suspension of disbelief should be checked at the door. And for the record: that is Rourke's own Chihuahua.

67 of 108 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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