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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 122,739 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?


Johnny Depp shot all of his scenes in 8 days, but after his filming was done he didn't want to leave. So he suggested to Robert Rodriguez that he play a small part, the priest that Antonio Banderas talks to in the church, and use his Marlon Brando impression. See more »


When Lorenzo is practicing shooting, he takes his brother's bottle of alcohol and places it on the wall to shoot. The drunk picks the bottle up, and while he holds it, Lorenzo shoots it. They cut away to show Lorenzo, and when they cut back to the brother holding the bottle, the bottle has broken differently, and had a label. 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 »


Featured in Hollywood's Top Ten: Bombshells (2010) See more »


Cuka Rocka
Arranged and Performed by Chingón
See more »

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User Reviews

30 April 2004 | by (New Jersey) – See all my reviews

Like "Desperado," the film offers nonstop action and a gargantuan body count. Robert Rodriguez knows how to please his audience, and the movie does work for the most part. As expected in a Rodriguez film, the action scenes are very well-choreographed and all possess a certain slickness and originality. Johnny Depp steals the show in his supporting role, and seems to be having the most fun. I actually looked at him as more of an action hero than Antonio Banderas. Then again, Banderas seems to be going through the motions. After all, he has played roles of this type many times before and is probably almost bored. I like how most of the movie is in subtitles. As I heard in the commentary, the reason for that was because most of the cast only spoke Spanish. But I'd rather see Mexican characters speaking in their native language, and having to read the subtitles, than them speaking in a second language that they obviously haven't mastered totally. Hollywood appears to have a fear of subtitles, and it's a stupid fear. Now onto what I didn't like about the movie...I'm not exaggerating when I say that it has nonstop violence. I'm not one of these people who gets bothered by excessive violence, but after a while all that action and killing can get a little dull. You just sit there waiting for the next body to fall to the ground. The story isn't non-existent, but I think if Rodriguez paid a little more attention to developing characters and story, his films might be even more interesting. But altogether, I was entertained. You don't view a film like this in the same way you view a Kubrick film. So what you see is what you get.

My score: 7 (out of 10)

34 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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