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The Matador (2005)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  27 January 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 39,617 users   Metascore: 65/100
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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 movie was acquired by the Weinstein Company during the Sundance Film Festival in January 2005. See more »


When Julian is telling the story about his first mistake in Manila, the camera can be seen, hidden behind palm leaves and bamboo, when two guys holding a mirror are walking through the frame. See more »


Danny Wright: [after just learning Julian lied about having a wife] I mean, what else is a lie?
Bean: Are you even an assassin?
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 »


Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 7 January 2006 (2006) See more »


All These Things I've Done
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

"Brosnan, Pierce Brosnan," is not all you think...Matador is KILLER Comedy!!
7 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A Note: I think it's best if go to the theater thinking, "Pierce Brosnan = James Bond." This is what I was expecting. Normally, I will have seen the trailer before going to a film. In this instance, I saw an advance screening as a part of the Austin Film Festival and had only seen a promotional photo of Brosnan walking away from an exploding car. This reinforced the stereotype I had for Brosnan. I think the distributor of this film would have been wise to promote it in this manner, feeding people's stereotypes by using this James Bond-esquire image, for I think the effectiveness of the comedy may in large measure be a reaction to what a drastic departure it is for Brosnan. And this was, no doubt, his intention.

Plot Summary: The story is about hit man Julian Noble. Noble, on assignment in Mexico City, has somewhat of a meltdown when he realizes his nomadic existence has left him with no one -- no friends or family, not even a place to call home. Desperate for companionship, he starts up conversation with Danny Wright, a normal guy, with a normal life, in town on business. Unaccustomed to normal social etiquette he scares Wright off, but pleads for forgiveness the next day and requests that he accompany him to a bull fight. And the comedy begins as Julian decides to open up to his new friend more about what he does for a living. All is well until Julian realizes his "meltdown" is serious and he is having difficulty following through on his "assignments." He therefore has to ask for help from his new friend Danny.

Analysis: Brosnan took a substantial risk in signing on to this picture. Paying him less than he would normally receive, and requiring that he sport a creepy 'stache, a pot belly and trade in his custom- tailored Armani suits for tight-fitting-euro-pimp threads, you would think he would be out of his element. It turns out to be quite the contrary. Brosnan proves that he is more than James Bond or Thomas Crowne. He proves that he can be one of the most entertaining comedic actors working right now as well. The dynamic between Kinnear and Brosnan is delectable. Kinnear plays such a likable straight man cum everyman, and Brosnan plays such a likable hit man, and the combination of the two is irresistible. Their rapport with each other is so ripe for comedy that you want it in every scene.

While the film uses many conventional cinematic devices, I couldn't help but feel as if I was watching something very fresh and original. Largely, I can attribute this to the performance of Brosnan, but it was also interesting that the film maintained the feel of a fast passed action movie, in keeping with Brosnan's most notable genre.

I highly recommend this film.

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