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.


Richard Shepard


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





Cast overview, first billed only:
Pierce Brosnan ... Julian Noble
Arlin Miller Arlin Miller ... Radio DJ (voice)
Azucena Medina Azucena Medina ... Young Denver Fling
Jonah Meyerson ... Ten Year Old Boy
Wiveca Bonerais Wiveca Bonerais ... Ten Year Old Boy's Mother
Greg Kinnear ... Danny Wright
Hope Davis ... Carolyn 'Bean' Wright
Adam Scott ... Phil Garrison
Portia Dawson ... Genevive
Roberto Sosa ... Skinny Mexican Man
Antonio Zavala Kugler Antonio Zavala Kugler ... Hotel Bartender 1
Ramon Alvarez Ramon Alvarez ... Shooting Stand Owner
Luz Maria Molina Luz Maria Molina ... School Girl
Philip Baker Hall ... Mr. Randy
Carolyn Horwitz 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


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


Comedy | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


This film features a character named "Mr. Stick", portrayed by William Raymond. In Stick (1985), Burt Reynolds portrayed Ernest Stickley, whose nickname was "Stick". See more »


During the car explosion scene in Denver, palm trees are present. There are no palm trees in Denver. They are present due to the fact that the movie was filmed in Mexico City. See more »


Julian Noble: I'm a big fan of 'the gotta pee' theory of assassination.
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 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #18.37 (2010) See more »


Bahia Blanca
Written by Daniel Indart
Performed by Ramon Stagnaro
Courtesy of LMS Records
See more »

User Reviews

"Just consider me the best cocktail party story you ever met."
12 December 2019 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

Star / producer Pierce Brosnan exercises his comedic chops in this rather nuanced look at the life and career of a veteran hitman. Julian Noble (Brosnan) meets a struggling businessman, Danny Wright (Greg Kinnear) when their paths cross in Mexico City. The two become good friends - better friends than we even realize at first, because after Julian has botched more than one job, he becomes a dead man walking. And it is Danny to whom he turns for help. While Danny and his wife "Bean" (Hope Davis) are understandably dismayed at the presence of a professional killer in their home, they get over it, becoming rather intrigued by this charming, eccentric individual.

The supporting cast features some solid actors - Philip Baker Hall, Dylan Baker, Adam Scott - and Davis is enchanting as the loving wife, but the main reason that "The Matador" works as well as it does is due to the interplay between two interesting characters. Brosnan and Kinnear play this extremely well; indeed, Brosnan has never been quite this endearing or amusing before. Also, "The Matador" is a highly offbeat affair, foregoing some of the trappings that one might expect from a tale about a hitman. It forgets about violence (for the most part) and action set pieces, concentrating on its poignant moments and its humour.

Written and directed by the talented Richard Shepard, "The Matador" spends some time globe trotting and offering up some international locales. The title stems from Julians' enjoyment of watching bullfights, and belief that the spectacle is not without honour. The struggle of our haunted main character to overcome his mental blocks and emotional problems does make him vulnerable, and certainly as likeable as any person could be who earns their living killing people.

The brief sight of Brosnan in a cheerleaders' outfit is absolutely priceless. He'd made a good living playing debonair types, but here he really cuts loose for once, and the film is all the better for it. But this is not meant to sell Kinnear short, as he does an excellent job at playing the "straight man" with a tragic past and uncertain present.

Seven out of 10.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:

Production Notes


Ireland | Mexico | Germany | USA


English | Spanish

Release Date:

27 January 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Matador See more »


Box Office


$12,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$69,100, 1 January 2006

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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