The Matador (2005)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  27 January 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 39,650 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 234 user | 191 critic | 36 from

A globetrotting hitman and a crestfallen businessman meet in a hotel bar in Mexico City in an encounter that draws them together in a way neither expected.



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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Arlin Miller ...
Radio DJ (voice)
Azucena Medina ...
Wiveca Bonerais ...
Skinny Mexican Man
Hotel Bartender 1
Ramon Alvarez ...
Shooting Stand Owner
Luz Maria Molina ...
School Girl
Carolyn Horwitz ...
Cantina Turista #1


A chance encounter between a travelling salesman and a lonely hitman triggers a strangely profound relationship which provokes each to act in ways neither would have imagined possible. Fate steps in to form a friendship between two men from irreconcilable worlds that will alter the lives of both forever. Written by Arclight Films

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hitman | mexico city | bar | mexico | luck | See All (291) »


A hitman and a salesman walk into a bar...

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |



Release Date:

27 January 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Matador  »

Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$92,312 (USA) (30 December 2005)


$12,570,442 (USA) (17 March 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The sombrero worn by Pierce Brosnan in the film was sold at auction for $22,000. See more »


When Julian first meets Danny at the hotel bar in one shot he is seen smoking his cigarette, but when the camera angle changes he is not any more. See more »


Mr. Randy: Goddamn it, Julian, you leave the game, even for a while, I don't know if they'll gonna let you back in. And then what the hell are you gonna do? Waste your days picking up illiterate teenagers for suck-and-fuck sessions behind the Old Navy store?
Julian Noble: Sounds delightful to me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"The filmmakers do not condone bullfighting, but respect its long tradition in the Mexican culture. It was extremely important to the producers that no bulls were harmed because of the production of 'The Matador'. In no way did the producers of this film create, arrange or organize any of the bullfights seen within this movie. Sequences staged by the producers employed fake and computer-generated bulls exclusively. Absolutely no animals were harmed by the production of this movie." See more »


Referenced in Yes Man (2008) See more »


A Town Called Malice
Written by Paul Weller
Performed by The Jam
Courtesy of Polydor Ltd. (U.K.)
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Entertaining crime comedy with Pierce Brosnan in a very successful comic turn
15 November 2006 | by (The Dutch Mountains) – See all my reviews

Pierce Brosnan has sipped his last Martini and returns, in an outrageous self-parody, as the aging foul-mouthed boozy assassin Julian Noble, who has a particular fondness for teenage girls, bullfights and tacky clothes. During a job in Mexico City he meets Danny (Greg Kinnear), a straight-faced Denver suburban business-man, who's in town to make his deal of-a-life-time, in a hotel bar. Despite their completely different personalities and Julian's crude and insensible remarks, they become friends.

Largely carried by the performances of Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear, director Richard Shepard revealed that he didn't write the film with Pierce Brosnan in mind , but I can hardly imagine this without him. He proves to have a real talent for comedy and can be more than just James Bond or cold-war spies. The scene in which the two meet at a glossy hotel bar (stunning sets and beautifully photographed) really is a bravura piece of acting skills. The scene lasts almost fifteen minutes, and although it was probably carefully scripted, the two actors are largely improvising, but they succeed wonderfully! It almost feels like a new standard in screen acting. Think of Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel in MEAN STEETS improvising and add one of the most subtle underpinnings of many genre clichés and the actors' own typecasting (Brosnan's James Bond in particular), and you got one of the most delightful pairings in recent Hollywood.

Sadly, the story wears thin after a while. After an hour, the film just runs out of steam. Nevertheless, and I can't put my finger on it exactly, I did enjoy this very much. It just feels very fresh and original, with some imaginative use of sets and lighting, and some hints to Seijun Suzuki and Jean-Pierre Melville. The other characters aren't given much to do, but this film does offer something new, in that respect it almost effortlessly succeeds in blending all conventional genres into quite an entertaining spoof. Very amusing.

Camera Obscura --- 7/10

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