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Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)

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


2,990 ( 362)
3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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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)


$55,845,943 (USA) (24 October 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the sidewalk café scene after Johnny Depp walks away, Rubén Blades pours the first drink of his wine on the ground. This is a symbolic gesture meaning "for those who have gone before" and is a salute to his murdered partner. See more »


Bullet holes are missing from the roof of the bus when El Mariachi and Carolina run across it, just before it collides with the tanker truck. 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

Special Thanks - Quentin Tarantino See more »


References Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) See more »


Bolero Ranchero
Written and Performed by Omar Ortiz
Under license from Cabaret Records
See more »

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User Reviews

22 April 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I think this will be remembered as Rodriguez's vanity project, a film so indulgent it makes a strong case for studio control. Its narrative is feeble, its caricatures squeezed into the plot, and even much of the action is repetitive. Rodriguez is an inventive filmmaker, but he's certainly no artist, as this, the third part of his personal Mariachi trilogy, proves.

Of the cast, Ruben Blades is good as an ex-FBI agent persuaded to avenge his partner, while Johnny Depp steals the film from just about everyone, including the director. The rest of this bloodbath is pretty much a bore. Banderas' character is reduced to an extremely silly comic book hero - more interested in his guitar than he is of avenging his woman (a redundant cameo from Salma Hayek).

Rodriguez intended this as his Leone trilogy, but as over the top as those Dollars films were, there was more gravitas in one frame than in the whole of this daft pastiche.

Overstuffed and very silly, this is a disappointing effort.

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