9 user 6 critic

El Cortez (2006)

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A man just released from a mental institution gets involved in a gold mine scheme while trying to avoid the cops, a wrathful drug dealer, and a sultry femme fatale.


Stephen Purvis


Chris Haddock





Cast overview, first billed only:
Lou Diamond Phillips ... Manny DeSilva
Bruce Weitz ... Popcorn
Glenn Plummer ... Jack Clay
Tracy Middendorf ... Theda
James McDaniel ... Arnie
Peter Onorati ... Carlo Russo
Shelley Malil ... Prison Doctor
David Johann David Johann ... Prison Guard
Robin Adair ... Cecile
Kathleen LaGue ... Waitress
Joseph Griffin ... Frank
Deborah Cresswell ... Hotel Clerk
Edoardo Ballerini ... Roy Morrison
Josh Estrada Josh Estrada ... Sam
Pat Crawford Brown ... Helena


A man just released from a mental institution gets involved in a gold mine scheme while trying to avoid the cops, a wrathful drug dealer, and a sultry femme fatale.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Come to a place where secrets lie. See more »


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, sexuality, some violence and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official MySpace | Official site | See more »





Release Date:

27 January 2007 (Hungary) See more »

Also Known As:

Three for the Devil See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Manny: What goes around, comes around. I believe in that.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This movie is dedicated to people affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders See more »

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User Reviews

A very average thriller
21 January 2007 | by inteleartsSee all my reviews

Neither really a thriller, or mystery, nor clever enough in its plot, twists, or script El Cortez is a pleasant enough diversion but lacks any real distinction.

The plot is nothing you haven't seen before, the characters are OK, but really below par. The fault may lie with Lou Diamond Philips. He is not a character actor in the mould of Edward Norton and the way he plays Manny is too off-balance for the material. The fact that he plays the ex-com hotel desk clerk like Edward Norton would have just doesn't ring true somehow.

The rest of the cast are good, especially James McDaniel as the cop, but the material is somehow flat. The real fault lies in the way it is shot: too light, and bright. I would have liked the lighting and shooting to have been less TV movie mode and more film noir: more shadows, and less claustrophobic. I felt Stephen Purvis wanted it to be a small tale, which is right, but would have liked to have built more atmosphere. A soundtrack would have helped enormously.

There is nothing spectacularly wrong with El Cortez it just is what it is: a small theatrical thriller that would work well as a stage piece and fails to translate its convictions and menace to film.

Overall, worth watching if you like the genre, but don't expect too much.

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