Cry Macho (2021) Poster

(2021)

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8/10
A slow, gentle sort of road picture.
MartinHafer12 October 2021
"Cry Macho" is a pretty amazing film that in some ways reminds me of "Mackintosh and T. J.", Roy Rogers' last movie that he made when he was elderly. Both films are about aging cowboys who befriend kids who are about 13 and both have a very slow and deliberate pace....which is all you really should expect from aging actors.

Clint Eastwood directed and stars in this story. It begins with Mike (Eastwood) being asked by his boss (Dwight Yoakim) to go to Mexico City to bring back the boss' 13 year-old son who has been living off and on with his mother. I saw off and on because the boy often just wanders the streets because the abuse is so bad at home. The mother, at first, agrees to let Mike take the kid but later she changes her mind...apparently just to be a jerk! But because of the abuse, Mike takes the boy north...which isn't an easy thing because the mother is rich and has thugs looking for Mike and the kid. To make it worse, the kid is very street-wise and wild...and it seems doubtful he'll stay with Mike for long.

The film seems like at times there isn't much in the way of script....just a lot of small talk and small moments. This is NOT a complaint...and I actually liked these moments. The acting and direction really helped to carry the movie for me.

By the way, the film was not actually filmed in Mexico but in New Mexico...near Albuquerque (in Belen and Polvadera) .
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5/10
I Was Disappointed
boblipton18 September 2021
Clint Easwood is an old man, his career as a champion rodeo rider long vanished with a busted back, his wife and child decades dead in a car wreck. One day, Dwight Yoakum shows up and points out Eastwood owes him. He wants Eastwood to go down to Mexico City, where his 13-year-old son is living with his ex-wife. Bring the boy to the border, and they'll call it even. After some back and forth, Eastwood does. He discovers the situation is not as Yoakum portrayed it, but close enough. He talks the boy, Eduardo Minett into coming north, and they start an erratic road trip, pursued by the ex-wife's goons, back to the US border, accompanied by Minett's fighting bantam.

The problems with this movie are sizable, and they come down to the two leads. Clint Eastwood can't move with any sense of strength. He's in his 90s, and he walks like he's about to fall down and shatter into a million pieces. As for Minett, he delivers every line in English like he is laboriously translating it. That's probably not a bad decision for how a real person might speak, but for a lead role in what is essentially a buddy road movie, it palls very quickly.

Even with those two key flaws, I had a good time. Eastwood's line delivery is simple and elegant, the story makes a good deal of sense, both emotionally and in terms of character development, and Ben Davis' shooting of the high country in New Mexico as background, is quite lovely.

Given Eastwood's remarkable five-decade run as a director, including his last five all being great, it would have been nice to lengthen the string. However, the miscasting, and particularly Minett's awful acting choice -- or perhaps it was a directorial order -- make this one only watchable.
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4/10
Take him
nogodnomasters30 September 2021
Warning: Spoilers
The film takes place in 1979. Mike Milo (Clint Eastwood) is a washed up cowboy who had a bad rodeo fall. He is requested by a former boss to retrieve his son (Eduardo Minett) from his abusive mother in Mexico. He offers his son life on a big ranch with horses. The hobbling Milo manages to convince the son to come with him. Mom sends out goons to get him back. Most of the film consists of the two guys sitting and eating in a cantina off the main road.

I was thoroughly bored. It is nice to see that Eastwood finally sits in chairs as opposed to talking to them, although it may have more entertaining the other way.

Guide: No swearing, sex, or nudity.
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8/10
"Look where you're goin', and go where you're lookin'."
classicsoncall18 September 2021
Warning: Spoilers
As a Clint Eastwood fan, I keep looking for another film in the same league as "Unforgiven", "Million Dollar Baby", or "Gran Torino", but if the only pictures we get are those like "Trouble With the Curve", "The Mule" and this one, "Cry Macho", I'll still be a happy camper. And I don't use the word 'only' in a negative sense. The aging, or maybe I should say, aged actor, is still capable of producing entertaining and meaningful pictures now into his Nineties, and that is a mean feat for anyone. There's a scene in the picture where a Mexican woman brings a dog to Eastwood's character Mike Milo because he has a reputation for being good with animals. In an aside to young Rafo (Eduardo Minett), Mike says that he 'can't cure old'. I'm pretty sure that was Eastwood's way of describing the way he sees himself in a young person's world, making movies that appeal to his sense of good story telling without resorting to insane car chases and mind numbing explosions.

The movie in a way pays tribute to Eastwood's career as a Western TV and movie star, citing his character's status as a former champion rodeo rider, laid low by a career ending injury and the death of his wife and son many years prior. By returning a thirteen year old boy from Mexico back to his father in Texas, Mike Milo finds a sense of redemption to his wayward life as a ranch hand for Howard Polk (Dwight Yoakam). Their relationship grows throughout the journey, interrupted at one point when the father's hidden intentions are suddenly made known. The distrust this creates on the part of Rafo is slowly eroded by Mike's patient handling of the boy, along with the influence of a café and saloon owner who takes an interest in Mike. The age disparity between the two initially works against the idea of a romance, but the skillful handling of Eastwood's directorial hand eventually makes it seem credible. My favorite scenes were those in which Mike and Rafo mingled with Marta (Natalia Traven) and her surrogate daughters, taken in when Marta's sister passed away. They're humorous and charming in a way that helps Mike understand how much he's valued by coming into their life.

The 'macho' theme is consistently raised throughout the story, as all throughout, Mike by his words and actions, attempts to teach Rafo that being macho doesn't always have to mean being manly and strong, that it's alright to be emotional when situations warrant. Adding further resonance to the title of the picture, Rafo's pet rooster is named Macho, raised by the boy from a weak bird into a rugged cockfighting warrior. The rooster earns his wings so to speak, when he intervenes at a critical point with the strongarm thug sent by Rafo's mother (Fernanda Urrejola) to retrieve the boy back to Mexico. Successfully emerging from that altercation, the story ends with Rafo's reuniting with his father, although to be honest, it comes as sort of an underwhelming reconciliation. One's expectation is that the moment would be more of a triumph, although Mike's return to the little village which Marta calls home was to be fully anticipated. It brought to fruition what Mike once said to Rafo while on the road, and quoted in my summary line above.
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5/10
Cry Macho
jboothmillard21 November 2021
Warning: Spoilers
"Clint Baby" shows no signs of slowing down from filmmaking, even at the age of 91, so it was a pleasant surprise to see him returning to his routes, although at one point Arnold Schwarzenegger was connected to the project. It had been twenty-nine years since Unforgiven, and him acting in a film in the genre that made him world famous, I was hoping it would be good, produced and directed by Clint Eastwood (Play Misty for Me, High Plains Drifter, Million Dollar Baby, The Mule). Basically, in 1979, Texas, Mike Milo (Clint Eastwood) is an elderly former rodeo star who suffered a severe back injury being thrown from a horse some time ago and is forced to retire. The following year, his former boss Howard Polk (Dwight Yoakam) hires him to travel to Mexico City to bring back Howard's thirteen-year-old son Rafael, or "Rafo" (Eduardo Minett). Although reluctant, Mike is reminded that he owes Howard for his help in the past, and he agrees. After entering Mexico, Mike meets Rafo's mother and Howard's ex-wife Leta (Fernanda Urrejola), who tells him that Rafo is a troublemaker and has turned to a life of crime. She tells him her son will most likely be somewhere that a cockfight is being held. Indeed, Mike finds Rafo at a cockfight with a rooster named Macho. The police break up the scene, and Rafo hides. Mike speaks to the boy, telling him that his father wants to see him. Rafo is intrigued when Mike tells him his father owns a ranch, with stables and horses, and agrees to go with Mike back to Texas. Mike returns to a drunken Leta, who says she wants her son to stay in Mexico and tries to seduce him. Mike does not give in, and she threatens him, but he agrees to leave, and after doing so, she orders her henchmen to follow him. Driving back to Texas alone, Mike discovers that Rafo has snuck into his truck. Rafo steals Mike's wallet and makes a deal that he will return it if he takes him across the border to reunite with his father, to which he agrees. During the journey, the pair share stories about their lives, including how Leta's henchmen used to abuse Rafo, and discuss the meaning of being "macho". They stop at a restaurant and Mike phones Howard, telling him that he has found his son. Outside of the restaurant, one of Leta's henchmen, Aurelio (Horacio Garcia Rojas), tries to forcefully take Rafo and lies to the locals that Mike has kidnapped him. Rafo tells the locals that this is not true, and they beat up Aurelio. After Mike and Rafo leave, the pair have their truck stolen by thieves. Walking to the next town, they find and take an abandoned car. They stop at the next town and at a cantina, where they meet the owner Marta (Natalia Traven), who agrees to let them stay for the night. They realise that several police officers are searching for them but manage to evade them. The following day, Mike learns that Rafo has become friends with Marta. Continuing their journey, Mike tells Rafo that he lost his wife and children in a car accident. The following morning, Marta finds them in a shrine and brings them breakfast. Mike and Rafo then find that the car they drove has a leak and are forced to leave it. They come across a ranch, and Mike teaches Rafo how to ride a horse and shows his love for animals. The pair returns to Marta's café, and they begin spending time with her family and returning to the ranch. Howard calls Mike, expressing his concern that Mike has been in Mexico for two weeks. Eventually, the pair say goodbye to Marta and start their final drive to the border. With a new vehicle, the pair notice a patrol car following them and manage to avoid them. Mike reveals that Howard told him over the phone that he wants to see Rafo simply to battle Leta in court for her money. Rafo is angered and tries to leave but the police find them and search their vehicle looking for drugs. When the police officers find nothing, they leave, and the pair continues their journey. While driving, Mike tells Rafo that being "macho" is overrated and encourages him to make his own decisions in life. Rafo says he still wants to be with his father. Aurelio catches up to them and runs them off the road and holds them at gunpoint. However, Macho jumps at him and Mike steals his gun. The pair then use Aurelio's car to make it to the border where Howard is waiting for them. As a final goodbye, Rafo gives Macho to Mike before reuniting with his father. Mike ends up staying in Mexico and goes back to Marta's home and they share a dance together. Also starring Ivan Hernandez as Lucas. Eastwood plays his usual no-nonsense grouchy character fine, and young Minett does alright as his sidekick, I can see reasons why Mark Kermode said this film was dull, not very much happens, apart from horse riding and little bits of gangster confrontations. It is full of cliches, and it does have a predictable script with awkward dialogue, but you can enjoy the bonding between the lead characters and the cowboy stuff, an okay western drama. Worth watching, at least once!
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Engaging but not tear jerking
Gordon-1122 September 2021
The film is quite engaging, as there are two subplots about human connections. However, it is not a usual Clint Eastwood tear jerker.
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6/10
Eastwood about Eastwood by Eastwood starring Eastwood
searchanddestroy-110 November 2021
You have to be a die hard fan of Clint Eastwood, very very die hard buff of this icon of the movie industry to really appreciate this film where there is no surprise at all, unless you have never seen a movie with Eastwood as an actor. The directing and acting, of course, as usual with him, are flawless, I would say awesome, but sooo predictable. You can also see it as a kind of testament feature, as if he knew that it would be his last performance, at the age of 91. A kind of summary of his life and career. Some poignant moments between him and the young boy, no one could deny it. But for me it remains a film with, for and only about Eastwood. I will never say it's a bad film, no, but that's exactly what I was afraid of. Because I have never liked this actor, nearly always the same kinds of characters; ALWAYS. But he is a legend, a myth of the movie history. And an awesome director too, gifted, sensitive, unique.
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8/10
Clint's Back!!!
zardoz-1325 September 2021
Warning: Spoilers
Most Hollywood superstars aren't around long enough to topline as well as produce and direct their own films after celebrating their 90th birthday. Indisputably, Clint Eastwood is the exception. The "Rawhide" TV star filmed "Cry Macho" during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, with New Mexico standing in for Mexico. Not surprisingly, "Cry Macho" may contain Clint's final words on the subject of machismo. At one point, Clint's character complains, "This macho thing is overrated. Just people trying to show that they've got grit. That's about all they end up with. It's like anything else in life: you think you got all the answers, then you realize, as you get older, you don't have any of them." Front and center most of the time, Clint displays considerable physical agility for what this role demanded of the 90-year-old star. When he isn't cruising in vintage automobiles, he sits tall in the saddle and reminds us he punched Hollywood steers for eight seasons on CBS-TV's "Rawhide" from 1959 to 1966. He still makes a cowboy hat look good above his wizened scowl. Violence is held to a minimum in this laid-back, neo-western, but Eastwood also orchestrates it in ways you would least imagine. For the record, he does sucker punch one bad guy. However, he doesn't shoot anybody in the eye. At the same time, Clint corralled Albert S. Ruddy as a co-producer. A seasoned Hollywood veteran, Ruddy produced both versions of "The Longest Yard" (1974 & 2005) with Burt Reynolds as well as "The Cannonball Run" (1981), and Clint's Oscar-winning girl-fight epic "Million Dollar Baby" (2004). Ruddy's claim either to fame or infamy is as producer of "The Godfather" trilogy (1972, 1974, & 1990). Meantime, Clint doesn't cut himself any slack in this 104-minute, PG-rated, picaresque yarn about a broken-down rodeo rider who crosses the border to find his boss man's son and bring him home. Indeed, this constitutes a journey of hardship with our hero escorting an unruly teen and his game fighting rooster. Comparisons between the recent Liam Neeson road trip "The Marksman" are inevitable, but "Cry Macho" stands its own ground and engenders greater feelings of optimism at fadeout.

"Cry Macho" takes place between the late 1970s and the early 1980s. Michael Milo (Clint Eastwood of "Unforgiven") is a washed-up rodeo champ who has weathered his share of hard times. Not only did he break his back when a horse threw him at a rodeo, but he also lost his wife and son in a tragic auto accident. He squandered everything in his abysmal grief and relied on the charity of his few and far-between friends. Now, his friend and former boss Howard Polk (Dwight Yoakam of "Sling Blade") asks him to drive down to Mexico City and return with his 13-year-old son, Rafael (newcomer Eduardo Minett), so the latter can live with him on his sprawling ranch. Shifty-eyed Howard doesn't tell Milo that he dispatched two younger guys earlier to do the job. Neither made it back. First thing Milo does after he agrees reluctantly to embark on this odyssey is head straight to Mexico City in a late-model Chevy truck to see Howard's tempestuous ex-wife. Neither Howard nor Leta can stand the sight of each other, and Howard fears he would be incarcerated if he sets foot across the border. Turns out Rafael spends more time on the streets than he does with Leta in her palatial estate where the parties never cease. Leta (Fernanda Urrejola of "Bring Me The Head of the Machine Gun Woman") suspects Rafael frequents underground cock-fighting arenas. She sends two of her bodyguards to shadow Milo, but he eludes them. Milo ambles into one cock-fighting arena moments before the dreaded Federale Police raid it. Barely escaping arrest himself, Milo lucks up and finds Rafael hiding nearby with his fighting cock rooster named Macho. Milo is surprised when Rafael is eager to accompany him back to Texas. What neither realizes is they will become the object of a widespread manhunt because not only Leta but also the Federales want them. When they aren't dodging Leta's henchmen and the police, our heroes tangle with car thieves. The road back to Texas is no picnic. They encounter obstacles from the get-go and things grow even more complicated before Milo turns Rafael over to Howard. Ironically, the most surprising thing for Milo is his snake-bitten luck changes drastically when Rafael and he encounter a wise widow and her brood of motherless grandchildren.

"Cry Macho" benefits tremendously from British cinematographer Ben Davis's virtuoso lensing. Davis shot both "Doctor Strange" (2016) and "Captain Marvel" (2019). He makes the Mexican landscape look spectacular but forbidding. Moments arise when you can forget about the plot and savor the sentiments of the moment. For example, Milo races past a pasture and watches as a herd of galloping quarter horses gallop alongside him. "Grand Torino" scenarist Nick Schenk adapted N. Richard Nash's novel "Cry Macho" for Eastwood. The novel is far bleaker than the film. Just to show you the tortured trajectory some literary properties endure, Nash wrote his book as a screenplay initially, but 20th Century Fox turned it down in the 1970s. Later, he converted it into a novel. "Jaws" star Roy Scheider tried to make it in 1991, but the project lacked momentum. Similarly, Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted it as his comeback picture in 2011 after he finished his term as California's governor. Eastwood himself had a crack at it in 1988 but wound up making "The Dead Pool" (1988), the fifth "Dirty Harry" feature film. Earlier, Eastwood had expressed interest in helming it with actor Robert Mitchum who had starred in the neo-western rodeo epic "The Lusty Men" (1952). Whether Eastwood keeps on starring in his own movies or not remains to be seen. All in all, the predictable but entertaining "Cry Macho" captures the venerable spirit of those Saturday Evening Post magazine covers painted by Norman Rockwell about American culture in the 1930s.
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7/10
Clint's smaller less is more tale of redemption benefits from the legendary filmmaker's grace and grit.
george.schmidt21 September 2021
CRY MACHO (2021) *** CLINT EASTWOOD, DWIGHT YOAKAM, EDUARTO MINETT, NATALIA TRAVEN, FERNANDA URREJOLA. Eastwood, who also directs, stars as a has-been rodeo star whose checkered past and not too bright future is at a stalemate when his ex-boss Yoakam puts him to task to journey from Texas to Mexico to retrieve his estranged son (Minett), who has become troublesome for his wayward mother, by getting involved with the underbelly including cockfighting. While the bare bones of the adaptation by Nick Schenk & N. Richard Nash (based on his novel) becomes one of the filmmakers smaller less is more tales of redemption, the legendary actor none-the-less makes the most of it with his trademark dignified grit and undercurrent of decency thru out this road-trip familial bonding story.
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6/10
Likeable but not very credible
neil-47617 November 2021
Warning: Spoilers
Mike, an ageing ranchhand and onetime rodeo whiz (retired through grievous injury) is tasked by ex-boss Howard to go to Mexico and retrieve his teenage son Rafo from his mother and bring him back to Texas: the boy has fallen into dodgy ways. Mike falls foul of Rafo's mother, but retrieves the lad, and the two embark upon a road trip. And then events conspire to delay them.

What a strange film for Clint Eastwood, looking and sounding every one of his 90 years, to direct and star in. There is a LOT wrong with this movie. Let's start with two hot, if mature, women giving this old bloke the glad eye. Admittedly, Clint still oozes charisma, but even so, there is a distinct feeling of an old man's wish fulfilment. The jeopardy set up by the situation never really pays off, and the multiple problems the travellers encounter are usually solved by "and with one jump they were free." The other bit of the setup, Mike's and Howard's backstory, never goes anywhere. Macho the rooster does get a payoff, but is then more or less cast aside as the main payoff - Rafo's reunion with his father in the light of what he has discovered during the jorney - is offhandedly dismissed. And there is a huge second act which comes out of nowhere and turns out to be the main story.

And yet it is a likeable film, and I smiled most of the way through. It is perhaps of Eastwood's skill as actor and director that I came very close to accepting this frankly unbelievable tosh.
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6/10
respect towards Clint but his abilities limited this flick
trashgang18 November 2021
91 years old, it sometimes shows and sometimes it doesn't. It shows when Clint is dancing and walking, it doesn't shows when he is swearing all the time and being a prick.

Respect that he did it all by himself, priducing, directing and acting but the movie depends on his acting and all respect, he is maybe to old.

It's a lot of blah blah and here and there there's a bit of action going on but it reminded me a lot of Gran Torino and even The Mule.

Still, not a bad movie but sometimes it moves slow. But hey, even the flick itself had his issues being made after 30 years, so big thumbs up to Clint.

If you are into Clint, a must see.

Gore 0/5 Nudity 0/5 Effects 0/5 Story 3/5 Comedy 0/5.
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6/10
I was hoping for better coming from Clint Eastwood.
deloudelouvain18 October 2021
I think it's time for Clint Eastwood to enjoy his last years on earth in all tranquility and leave cinema forever. I love Clint Eastwood, as an actor and even more as a producer but Cry Macho is maybe the movie too much. The whole thing is too slow, kinda boring to be honest, and with actors that were not that great. I'm thinking about that kid played by Eduardo Minett which annoying to listen to, and the woman playing Martha wasn't that great either. The cinematography was good on the other hand, but that's not good enough to make Cry Macho standing out. We're used of much better from Clint Eastwood. It's time for him to take a step back.
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Classic Eastwood--minimalist and heartening.
jdesando19 September 2021
"I have no cure for old." Mike (Clint Eastwood)

Clint Eastwood's Cry Macho is a far cry from the transformative Unforgiven, where an entire Western genre shifted to a darker, redemptive world, non-glorified and decidedly less romantic than earlier Westerns. However, Cry is very much in the motif mainstream of current heroic films that are bringing family together, even saving civilizations, depending ultimately on parent's reconciling with their children.

Mike (Eastwood) is traveling south of the border (as he did in Mule) to retrieve his boss's (Dwight Yocum) young son, Rafa (Eduardo Minett), from evil influences, not the least of which is his debauched mother (Fernanda Urrejola). Nothing new here, Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) did the same kind of rescuing a few years ago. Eastwood, however, brings a layer of sweet reality in an old man doing a good deed that ultimately saves spiritual lives.

He's bent with Eastwood's 91 tears but still carrying the spirit of Mike's many rodeo triumphs and his personal integrity. After Mike finds the kid, he grows into a grandfatherly mode that makes his character a hero with only one punch but many good deeds such as curing injured animals. Eastwood's noted minimalism is a welcome antidote to overly-wrought modern heroism.

So good is Mike, he attracts the attention of widowed cantina owner, Marta (Natalia Traven), whose young daughters unite the two adults in sweetness and good deeds. Marta is interested romantically in Mike, and even Rafa's errant mother tries to seduce him, a signal that the elderly Eastwood is director and fulfilling any old fantasies of an old man.

Perhaps just as life-affirming is the night the Mike and Rafa spend in a shrine to the Virgin Mary-a bit corny and obvious but creative plotting with meaning.

Rafa's expertise using his fighting rooster show him to be a boy of substance and provides Mike with his best line, commenting on the implications of the title: "Guy wants to name his cock Macho, it's ok by me." A slow film with some grace notes like this plant us firmly in Eastwood land, where the director uses classical filmmaking touches to create a realistic and sentimental drama.

As always, the pace and the plot are classically contrived to put us in a squint-eyed mood, enough to obliquely point us in the direction of current immigration, family fragmentation, and male identity problems without explosions.

It's vintage Eastwood with little macho but much heart.
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3/10
Cried Wolf
thesar-218 September 2021
WOW. False advertising, indeed.

The trailers tell you all you need to know about the simple plot, but mislead you for the meaning. Of which, there is none. Just that simple plot remains.

Okay, you could say it "has lessons," but they're forced, like everything else in this A-B-C, clichéd movie. The most miraculous part of this was that Clint Eastwood directed, produced and starred in this at 90+ years old. That was part of the draw for me.

I recently watched another 90+ star, Harry Dean Stanton, in the masterful, wonderful "Lucky." Stanton gave a solid performance in a near-perfect film. It was his send-off, love letter to the movies, a lifetime career and his fans. I hoped the same for "Cry Macho." And that was a big, fat NOPE.

The other part I was looking forward to was the part in the trailer which suggested Eastwood played against type, his old "macho" ways in cowboy movies and, of course, "Dirty Harry." This is also mostly untrue. Just like the few seconds in the trailer that suggests that, you'll get just as much in this movie. And that was a disappointment.

It would be nice for him to show, don't tell the cost of being so shallow. Being macho is silly, sad, trite and makes the person look like a neanderthal, like we never evolved. So, don't go into this movie expecting Eastwood to finally teach against type.

Instead expect a very simple story of Texan wants his son back from his ex-wife in Mexico and hires Eastwood to go South of the border, literally kidnap him and take him back to the states. Along the way, they encounter all the stereotypical things "gringos" would encounter in Mexico (I definitely know that,) but also many, many, many outlandish opportunities and coincidences.

Since Eastwood's 90+ when he made this, everything was practically handed to him to make him look like the tough cowboy he once was. Normally, that wouldn't ever work with him being so old, slow and fragile. Ever hear about people pulling punches? They literally do that for every conflict he's in. Everything is so easy for him and you know he didn't perform 90% of what he showed his character do in this movie. Hell, once he was making a chicken dinner and another time training a horse and I didn't even buy either scene, especially since they were so comically edited around him doing them.

I will give the movie credit for being well shot and it was extremely funny at times. But the movie and characters were so bland, so by the numbers and predictable, I literally did doze off a few times. Admittedly, I've only seen a portion of his movies, and this definitely ranks near the bottom, sadly.

***

Final Thoughts: Normally, I try not to watch trailers, but I did catch this a few times in theatres. Boy that was a helluva more promising and interesting than the whole movie. And yes, I really did want a blossoming story of Eastwood attempting to teach the boy he kidnaps that being macho is NOT the way to go. I really thought this would be Eastwood's masterpiece and a great send off if this is his last film.

See why I try not to watch trailers? They either spoil scenes, endings or expectations.
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3/10
Cried Wolf
thesar-218 September 2021
WOW. False advertising, indeed.

The trailers tell you all you need to know about the simple plot, but mislead you for the meaning. Of which, there is none. Just that simple plot remains.

Okay, you could say it "has lessons," but they're forced, like everything else in this A-B-C, clichéd movie. The most miraculous part of this was that Clint Eastwood directed, produced and starred in this at 90+ years old. That was part of the draw for me.

I recently watched another 90+ star, Harry Dean Stanton, in the masterful, wonderful "Lucky." Stanton gave a solid performance in a near-perfect film. It was his send-off, love letter to the movies, a lifetime career and his fans. I hoped the same for "Cry Macho." And that was a big, fat NOPE.

The other part I was looking forward to was the part in the trailer which suggested Eastwood played against type, his old "macho" ways in cowboy movies and, of course, "Dirty Harry." This is also mostly untrue. Just like the few seconds in the trailer that suggests that, you'll get just as much in this movie. And that was a disappointment.

It would be nice for him to show, don't tell the cost of being so shallow. Being macho is silly, sad, trite and makes the person look like a neanderthal, like we never evolved. So, don't go into this movie expecting Eastwood to finally teach against type.

Instead expect a very simple story of Texan wants his son back from his ex-wife in Mexico and hires Eastwood to go South of the border, literally kidnap him and take him back to the states. Along the way, they encounter all the stereotypical things "gring0s" would encounter in Mexico (I definitely know that,) but also many, many, many outlandish opportunities and coincidences.

Since Eastwood's 90+ when he made this, everything was practically handed to him to make him look like the tough cowboy he once was. Normally, that wouldn't ever work with him being so old, slow and fragile. Ever hear about people pulling punches? They literally do that for every conflict he's in. Everything is so easy for him and you know he didn't perform 90% of what he showed his character do in this movie. Hell, once he was making a chicken dinner and another time training a horse and I didn't even buy either scene, especially since they were so comically edited around him doing them.

I will give the movie credit for being well shot and it was extremely funny at times. But the movie and characters were so bland, so by the numbers and predictable, I literally did doze off a few times. Admittedly, I've only seen a portion of his movies, and this definitely ranks near the bottom, sadly.

***

Final Thoughts: Normally, I try not to watch trailers, but I did catch this a few times in theatres. Boy that was a helluva more promising and interesting than the whole movie. And yes, I really did want a blossoming story of Eastwood attempting to teach the boy he kidnaps that being macho is NOT the way to go. I really thought this would be Eastwood's masterpiece and a great send off if this is his last film.

See why I try not to watch trailers? They either spoil scenes, endings or expectations.
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6/10
What a sad waste of a terrific title...
ElMaruecan8222 November 2021
"Cry Macho" is a sentimental ride that will content viewers who wouldn't miss a chance to be transported in places where old fashioned values prevailed and times deprived of intrusive social networking and electronic gadgets, when kids still dreamt of being cowboys, men were men and all cows well-guarded at each side of the Rio Grande. Clint Eastwood takes us as far back as 1979 to make such a world plausible; he plays Mike Milo, a former rodeo-star whose career was cut off after a severe injury and the ensuing drug addiction spiral, hardly original material but not surprising from the actor who's always played men hardened by a rough past.

Still, even from the no-nonsense director who open his films right away with expositions, it's perplexing that the first scene where he's fired by his rancher boss Howard (Dwight Yoakam) reveals all that is needed to be known about Mike instead of letting things unfold throughout the story. The trouble with minimalist films where characters hardly speak is that dialogues can't spill out all the backstory of your main character without undermining the intended level of realism. One simple glimpse at a gaunt and weak-looking Eastwood living in a ramshackle bungalow and with photographs of his family, his rodeo glory days and a newspaper clip would have been enough to get an idea about the man.

And then there's another pitfall that comes way too early: it's hard to believe that the same man who'd deliver such a reasons-you-suck speech would later assign him the mission of bringing his son from Mexico to Texas, because he's just the "right man" for the job. Mike has no reason to refuse as he feels he owes to the guy he keeps as his closest acquaintance and from that another journey across Mexican territory can pick up without the interference of a criminal subplot... though I had a déjà vu feeling with "The Mule" when Mike met the mother (Fernanda Urrejola) in a luxurious hacienda where he's warned about the kid being a hoodlum, specialized in organizing cockfights, another clumsy scene whose expositional purpose is way too on-the-nose even by Eastwoodian standards.

Now, Eastwood has often played mentor figures, from his "Honkytonk Man" when it was about making a kid (played by his son), discovering a far more entertaining world during the Depression or in "Gran Torino" where he taught a shy boy to man up a little, or his "Perfect World" where a young kid would befriend a fugitive, even in such movies as "Million Dollar Baby" or "The Rookie", there's that idea that an elder without any roots can be a salutary intrusion in a young person's life and create the kind of bonds that opens brand new horizons on life. The story is not too fresh but fans will trust Eastwood's capability to retell that same story and make it, if not entertaining, depository of new hidden life insights especially with the Tex-Mex no man's land that has been the theater of great introspective neo-westerns such as "No Country for Old Men" or "The Three Burials".

Unfortunately, signs of the director's fatigue show so soon you don't expect the film to play on that league, and given that Eastwood's can't really rely his charisma on physical skills, he just let the events flow in the most matter-of-factly way. He finds the kid (Eduardo Minett) and his rooster 'Macho' and talks him into crossing the border and the rest is just a linear trajectory with a few occasional obstacles and one higlight through the encounter with a restaurant owner named Marta (Natalia Traven) who seems to find a certain charm in the man who could be his grandfather. Why not? The two are lost souls, with tragic pasts etc. I didn't have much problem with her character but she was clearly established as a light of hope with a personality that served nothing but a narrative purpose.

Same goes with Rafo who's taken care from start to finish and is not given opportunities to play his age. He goes through monologues that don't shine for their originality and his expression consists of a long bewildered look and circumstantial smiles. Like Marta or Rafo, even the antagonists are bland and harmless... until we learn later that Howard's motivation weren't all pure and Rafo is the center of a family feud but that reveal comes way too late and is treated like a detail that doesn't advance the plot whatsoever. Like many plot points, it's all set-ups but no pay-offs.

The journey is touching in its simplicity but the treatment of the story make some elements feel way too forced. Something is missing, a sort of energy, passion that the kid could bring to the screen and contrast with Mike's disillusioned detachment. Eastwood still looks good for his age but maybe he just went too full sentimental here and well., I wish I could be more enthusiastic about "Cry Macho", if only for that title that had so much to promise coming from the last of the directing mohicans of cinema.

Yes, good old Clint is a living legend who could sit right now in a Pantheon occupied by distinguished names such as John Huston or John Ford, and "Cry Macho" resonated like a poignant swan song of a generation most of us look up to without having the guts to emulate or to a world that left its place to the kind of social justice rage that would make machos weep indeed.

Alas, the title is perhaps the best thing about the film which, despite its noble motives suffers from a rather pedestrian treatment and ends up being a lackluster, almost uneventful experience... maybe I expected more from Eastwood and I should consider that directors seldom make movies in their 90s and while being lower than his usual standards, it's still better than many movies coming from "lesser" directors. Still...
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5/10
Eastwood Continues to Get Mileage Out of His Macho Image
Cineanalyst17 September 2021
I assume when one is 90 years old (and since turned 91), there isn't much to do but look back, most of their life behind them. Most don't make it that far, although director-star Clint Eastwood has been playing on his iconic image created by a past oeuvre for some time now--at least since "Unforgiven" (1992), made when he was just a sexagenarian whippersnapper, and especially since he inverted even the image of that film and masculine persona in "Gran Torino" (2008). Remember when critics were speculating that'd be his last performance on screen? That was almost thirteen years ago, and this, "Cry Macho," is his third starring role since. All of those, including besides this one, "Trouble with the Curve" (2012) and "The Mule" (2018), are road trips of one sort or another concerning his coming to terms with his past and with a new generation as he continues his craft--whether baseball scouting, horticulture, or cowboying--long past the time people expected him to.

Far be it from me, then, to ponder whether this will be his last rodeo. I hope he keeps going, although it may be best if he hangs up the actual saddle, as it's too suspenseful merely to see a man of his age, hunched forward, shuffling gait, hand tremors an' all, on horseback, and the old tricks (distanced camera, low-key lighting, quick cuts, head down) to substitute a stunt double during the horse bucking are obvious. Ditto the unbelievable physical confrontations with young men or teenagers. Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro ("The Irishman" (2019)) and the MCU and Samuel L. Jackson ("Captain Marvel" (2019)) couldn't entirely convincingly pull off old men throwing punches and stomping bodies with all the CGI in the world and some concealing edits won't manage it, either. It's wonderful--inspiring even--to see actors of advancing years continue in such starring roles, but if you're 90 years old, perhaps act like you're 90 years old. It's hard enough as it is even with pharmaceutical advancements to buy a nonagenarian being of sexual interest to women up to a third that age.

Maybe that'll be another aspect of his macho image to deconstruct for the next road trip (although he rather did so already in "The Mule," on both accounts). This one does away, however, with the politically-incorrect humor of "Gran Torino" and "The Mule," among others. Eastwood making fun of the wordplay of the boy naming his, er, rooster "Macho" doesn't come close. Whether this absence is just playing the character, as based on a novel, part of the picture's calculated unraveling of the machismo, a continuation of such surely would've been met with increased controversy nowadays and for a narrative that is about reconsidering masculinity for a younger generation.

Much like the relationship between Eastwood's cowboy and the son of his former boss, "Cry Macho" is a bit awkward and a tough-go at first, although I appreciate the business with the news clippings on the wall extolling this version of Eastwood's past rodeo glory and how his downfall is rendered as a photograph-turned-motion picture. As well, their charms do eventually make for a breezy, neo-Western road trip in Eastwood's characteristically economical filmmaking style, especially after they settle down for a while in a sleepy, Mexican border town, although it'd hardly be of any interest without the great cinematic past that Eastwood brings to it.
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A Sobering Examination Of Masculinity & Machismo
CinemaClown13 November 2021
A simple, small-scale & straightforward story with low stakes, little conflicts & easy resolves, Cry Macho doesn't bother itself with anything fancy and narrates its plot in a gentle & genial fashion. There is barely any narrative here and not enough to hang on to but the mere image of 91-year old Clint Eastwood wearing a cowboy hat & riding a horse is enough to intrigue us.

Also directed by Eastwood (Gran Torino & The Mule), his economical style is evident here but it's also bothersome in a way his previous films weren't. The whole picture looks like it moved from one scene to next after filming just one take. There is hardly an effort from the actors to improve their inputs and even the legend is reliant on his on-screen presence to steer the film past the finish line.

The composed camerawork, pleasant score & moments of heartfelt tenderness infuse much welcome warmth to its imagery while the breezy pace makes sure it doesn't get stuck in one place for too long. Characters are uncomplicated, their interactions & bonding is depicted in sweet fashion but the performances are forgettable from most, especially the kid whose dull, awful act nearly ruins the ride.

Overall, Cry Macho does offer its take on masculinity & machismo but it is more about family, friendship & the delightful memories we make along as we journey through life. Although it is lacking the finesse of Eastwood's best-known directorial efforts, there is a kindness to it that will surprise some. A mellow, soft-hearted & unpretentious attempt from the toughest SOB in Hollywood, Cry Macho is worth a shot.
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2/10
Sorry Clint - Really Bad (Not Good Or Ugly)
westsideschl15 January 2022
The usual first indicator of cheap is overhead view of car on road - seldom fails. Only crying is me having to watch an aged Clint drive to Mexico to retrieve an obnoxious son of separated obnoxious parents. Teenage son is into cock fighting (which we never see) yet most of the movie stars the rooster being carried about as Clint & son head back to the U. S. chased, as usual, by mom's gangsters wanting son back (which made no sense as she OKed him leaving), and the usual bribed Mexican police. Besides the, doesn't make sense, journey & rooster we get endless scenes of riding a horse in a small circular training corral. Finally, Clint, despite his obvious age, falls for a Mexican restaurant owner half his age.
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6/10
I liked it...
Thanos_Alfie9 October 2021
"Cry Macho" is a Drama - Western movie in which we watch a former rodeo star going from Texas to Mexico City to take and save the son of a friend of his fro his alcoholic mother. On their journey they face many difficulties and obstacles but they have to surpass them in order to reach their destination.

I have to admit that I am a fan of Clint Eastwood and his movies so, I had high expectations from this movie. Despite its simple plot Clint Eastwood who directed and produced this movie presented it in a very good way without creating any confusion or plot holes. His interpretation was also very good as Mike Milo and he succeeded on presenting the bond that was created between him and Eduardo Minett who played as Rafo. In addition to this, I have to admit that I enjoyed the interpretation of Eduardo Minett and I cannot understand why some people in the reviews say that he was not good at all. Lastly, I have to say that "Cry Macho" is a nice movie and I recommend everyone to watch it especially the fans of Clint Eastwood. I am not saying that "Cry Macho" is the best movie of his but another good movie to spend your time with.
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6/10
Decent western drama that is slow and empty.
cruise0121 September 2021
3 out of 5 stars.

Cry Macho is a fair western drama film that follows Clint Eastwood who is a burnt out rodeo star. Giving one task to go to Mexico to bring back his boss teenage son. Which turns out to be a long road trip when him and the kid come across roadblocks.

Decent plot. The film does have some great characterization with Clint and that teenage boy. As they are learning from each other.

It is what you can expect from a Clint Eastwood movie. It is slow moving. Great acting with the cast. Decent story. And the script does not offer anything else with the journey these characters are going through. Not much happens throughout the film which can be boring when these characters dont face any challenges or conflict. Besides being a long road trip movie.
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3/10
All Caricature & Little Substance
zkonedog19 September 2021
Warning: Spoilers
Despite a few duds--Richard Jewell & The Mule--of late, the aura of Clint Eastwood (especially now as a nonagenarian!) is still enough to get me into the theater to see his works. Unfortunately, while Cry Macho isn't abjectly bad, it is far from great--or even good, really--due to its caricature approach to character, setting, and themes.

For a very basic overview, Cry Macho tells the story of Mike Milo (Eastwood), an age-appropriate ranch hand sent to Mexico to retrieve the estranged teenaged son (Eduardo Minett) of ranch owner Howard Polk (Dwight Yoakam). En route, Mike and the boy both learn a little about each other from their romp through Mexico.

The good news about Cry Macho? It isn't Eastwood wagging his finger at the younger generation (like in The Mule) or wearing his politics on his sleeve. No, here things are played pretty straight down the middle. Just seeing a 91-year old individual act is in part admirable, and there are a few solid cinematic shots or moments along the way.

The easily-identifiable problem in Cry Macho, however, is that nearly every character or scene is a caricature of the real thing. In other words, every interesting nugget is given no more than lip service and never really shown or developed in any meaningful way.

A few examples include:

-The father/son relationship the whole premise is building towards? Absolutely no payoff whatsoever.

-The son in question? Touted as a "rough kid", but once met is little more than flip-flopping between comically recalcitrant or moony-eyed over Mike's exploits.

-The portrayal of Mexico? As overly simplified as it can get.

Even Eastwood himself is essentially playing a caricature mashup, if you will, of performances both young and more recent. Truth be told, he is almost certainly too old to add anything to the part, yet his essence puts the film's onus squarely on his shoulders--which no longer are broad enough, metaphorically-speaking, to handle such a load. As much as I hate to say it, there is not one thing he does here--whether punching out men a quarter of his age, romancing a Mexican widow, or just going on the expedition in the first place, come to think of it--that is even remotely believable without taking into account his previous exploits and sort of transposing them over the plot.

In essence, Cry Macho largely consists of Eastwood doling out little pearls of wisdom (or humor) both reluctantly and through gritted teeth or with his traditional sneer. A little bit of everything is covered (family, legacy, aging, religion, love, etc.), but none of it adds up to anything in the end.

Like I said, Cry Macho is better than, say, The Mule simply because it tones down the harshness of the generational rhetoric quite a bit. It feels less like a lecture and more like a leisurely siesta, albeit one completely at odds with the thematic material. While not a fun or notable watch in any sense, it does just enough to keep itself from being truly terrible,.
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3/10
An embarrassing effort from Eastwood
eddie_baggins15 December 2021
After 70 plus years in the industry and after having a hand in some of the most beloved films of all time, it feels inherently wrong to not only not enjoy a Clint Eastwood film but to find little to no joy in it at all, a sad fact that exists in the 91 year old's latest misguided effort in front of and behind the camera, Cry Macho, another of his recent films that you wish had never seen the light of day.

Coming together in Eastwood's typically efficient time frame, that often see's the filmmaker get a film shot and completed for release in under 12 months time, Cry Macho once more see's Eastwood portray a grizzled old cowboy who knows his way around a fist fight and is irresistible to the ladies even at his ripe old age, as his ex-rodeo star/widower Mike Milo heads to Mexico at the request of his acquaintance Howard Polk (played with little gusto by Dwight Yoakam) to go and collect his estranged teenage son Rafo, played by relative newcomer Eduardo Minett.

It's a simplistic set-up and one that doesn't try to at any moment mess with any form of stereotypical scenarios found in this mismatched friendship tales, while screenwriters Nick Schenk and N. Richard Nash ensure Milo is very must quintessential Eastwood, all one-liners and wry looks, in what ends up being yet another version of his Gran Torino, The Mule and Trouble with the Curve caricatures, only this time around there is not even one moment that you feel as though Eastwood should be playing this role as his age becomes a consistent and glaringly off-putting presence throughout the film.

It's hard too know whether a change of lead actor with Eastwood behind the camera only would've done much for Cry Macho's chances of becoming something worthy of note however as there's little spark in the film in any areas other than extremely brief little instances of odd couple banter between Milo, Rafo and his best friend/rooster Macho but as you sit, watch and await the film to find its heart and soul or any type of creative mojo, you're left with nothing more than a meandering affair that takes a long pitstop on the way back to the border, seemingly leading to a big event that never eventuates.

It's best to describe the whole outing as hollow, nothing more than a shell of a potentially heartwarming or emotionally charged tale of friendship, love and life lessons with it unlikely that even the most forgiving and passionate supporters of Eastwood the man and the actor will find anything here to make them feel as though Cry Macho deserves to exist.

Final Say -

A sadly lifeless drama from one of Hollywood's greatest icons, who should really have known better than to act in this film and conjure up such a dull a dreary ride. Cry Macho could have perhaps been something special, as it stands, it's a road trip you're best off never jumping in for.

1 1/2 veterinarians out of 5.

Check my movie blog jordanandeddie for more reviews!
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5/10
Clint Eastwood can barely walk anymore. He looks like he needs to be in a care home.
imseeg4 October 2021
The bad: Clint Eastwood simply looks too old now to try and play strong macho cowboy characters. He can barely walk. I mean really, look how Eastwood is shuffling around the sets, trying not to fall...

More bad: there is a lack of chemistry between the leading kid actor and Eastwood.

Even more bad:the story is slowburning, bordering on tedious many times.

It would be advisable to retire gracefully, because Eastwood's macho character looks painfully ridiculous at his age...
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4/10
Very bland, and even boring
paul-allaer19 September 2021
As "Cry Macho" (2021 release; 104 min.) opens. It is "1979" and the Clint Eastwood character, a guy named Mike, arrives at a horse farm, only to find out that he's been let go as the horse trainer. We then go to "One Year Later", and Mike is approached by the very guy who fired him a year earlier to go to Mexico to retrieve that guy's 13 yr old son, who apparently is out of control. Mike reluctantly agrees and hits the road to Mexico City, where the 13 yr. Old and his mom live... At this point we are less than 15 min into the movie but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: Eastwood, now a crisp 91 yr. Young if you can believe it, directs, produces and stars in the big screen adaptation of the book of the same name by Richard Nash. I did not read the book so I can't comment how closely the movie sticks to the book. Eastwood's output over the last decade, when he was in his 80s, was remarkably solid, steady and diverse (think "American Sniper", 'Sully", "Jersey Boys", "The Mule", "Richard Jewell", etc). Eastwood's reputation as a director is frankly one that few directors could ever hope to achieve, and it long has surpassed his reputation as an actor. The is a long-winded intro to tell you that I was very surprised with "Cry Macho", which turns out to be a very bland, and frankly even boring, movie of an old guy teach some life lessons to a 13 yr old as they are driving north towards the US. There are no memorable scenes, the dialogue is ok but just ok. And Eastwood at this point should give up on the acting altogether. Bottom line: I was very disappointed with this film. One of the few times that I can remember watching an Eastwood-directed film that I felt I had wasted my time on.

"Cry Macho" opened in theaters this weekend but also started streaming on HBO Max, which is where I caught it. Eventually it will expand onto other streaming platforms and also as a DVD/Blu-ray. If you are a Clint Eastwood fan, I'd suggest you check this out, albeit with low expectations, and draw your own conclusion.
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