The Mule (2018) Poster

(2018)

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10/10
Clint Eastwood's slow burn of a film....
terceira82915 December 2018
In my personal opinion no one does a slow burn better then Mr. Eastwood. His cinematography, lighting and ambience develops slowly... he's in no hurry to tell his story and that's what makes him such a great storyteller. We experience the anxiety of his first few trips and along with everyone else in the theatre...we wait for the other shoe to drop. His showcased advanced age along with his hunched posture and shuffled walk in this film is the perfect antagonist for what is expected and asked of him. We are privy to comparisons of his choices of work over family. Eastwood seems to have no regret or recollection of his daughters wedding whilst receiving an award for his prized lilies. He continues to be the "Mule" knowing all too well the consequences of his actions. Redemption is a very big price. Eastwood shines here. Don't expect a lot of action... but this film is a study in character... which is what Eastwood does best.
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10/10
So Eastwood
nrapny-0169416 December 2018
The Mule is the definition of an Eastwood directed film.

Dont expect action packed. This is raw and real crime drama. There are some beautiful moments and always a strong moral. Definitely a must see!
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9/10
Eastwood crime drama, his best film in many years
PotassiumMan15 December 2018
A Clint Eastwood film is sometimes all you need to remember how much you love great cinema and that's especially true in this case. It's the real life story of an 80-year-old war veteran who, as he finds his livelihood threatened, manages to cross paths with a Mexican drug cartel and winds up transporting their product across the Midwest. As he demonstrates value, his runs become larger and more lucrative each time.

Eastwood portrays Earl Stone, a mild-mannered hardworking horticulturalist who became a champion drug mule for the cartels as law enforcement was completely blind to his low-key but highly effective operations. Enter Bradley Cooper as the dedicated DEA agent who has to muster considerable time and resources to even begin to piece things together and Michael Pena as his partner. Dianne Weist offers a sympathetic turn as Stone's long-suffering ex-wife. Andy Garcia is good fun as the drug lord who is pleased with the old mercenary's hard work.

Although this film covers a grim story, it has a light-hearted feel for many stretches and a refreshing sense of humor. Eastwood himself is absolutely compelling as an old man who suddenly finds himself awash in money from an illegal enterprise and seeing the world from a different angle; here, Clint reminds us how huge a screen presence he has no matter how old he gets.

I'm not sure what many critics have missed with this film but hopefully audiences will take note. Eastwood has given us another great film and one of his best performances ever in this crackerjack drama. Highly recommended.
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9/10
Clint Eastwood shines in what might be his final acting role!
b_kite29 December 2018
Without a doubt weather you love him or hate him Clint Eastwood is definitely one of the most iconic figures in movie cinema. Eastwood's ability to keep directing movies at near 90 years of age is just astonishing to me. While he's definitely slowed down his acting in the last decade (I figured Gran Torino would have been his sawn song) he actually managed to put out a baseball movie and now The Mule the true story of a 90 year old man who became the Mexican drug cartals best carrier. While critics have been rather skeptical towards the movie anyone who knows Eastwood can relate to the movie itself, the main story here is that Eastwood's character has never really been there for his family, which in turn has turned his ex wife and daughter against him. When one thinks it makes you wonder if this isn't a real play on Eastwood's real life. After all the man fathered at least 8 known children from 6 different women. I won't ramble on, but, there's enough comedic moments here to level out the dramatic moments. It's a role I believe Eastwood turned into a play on his actual life in some instances and if this is his swan song in acting then what a way to go.
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9/10
D I F F E R E N T
ronin-1928814 December 2018
Truly one of the best movies of the year. It is nerving that the golden globes didn't give Clint Eastwood a nomination for best actor he gave a great preformance and his ensemble gave a solid story a solid story well told.
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8/10
I believe Clint Eastwood still rocks on-screen, so what if he is 90, "The Mule" is still a good movie with good story
svhot14 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
"The Mule" has Clint Eastwood playing his age , which is in his nineties. Therefore, viewers should not put unnecessary expectations on the old man's shoulders. I mean, what do you expect him to do at that age - jump off a plane onto Eiffel tower, and then stand up and continue smiling? Come on, people - give the veteran actor the credit that he deserves. Clint Eastwood is still a good actor and director, and I recommend this movie should be watched at least once by the millions of Clint Eastwood fans around the world.

This new movie , directed and featuring Clint Eastwood, has a good enough story. Eastwood plays a 90 year old man who becomes a mule for a drug cartel, driving and delivering large quantities of cocaine. He begins this job to earn enough money to pay for his family member's expenses, so that he can win their trust again. Later on , he decides to continue with it because the drug cartel bosses and members also seem to respect him, and , and like him. "The Mule" likes to be the centre of attention - something which all the senior people crave for. Cheers , Mr Clint Eastwood, you still shine brightly enough on-screen.
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10/10
Cant get enough of his movies
sandrashockey31 December 2018
This movie has so many great life lessons and insights. I was upset at the ending of the movie then realized that it was yet another lesson. Great movie, great cast and i hope to see more clint eastwoods movies. Very talented man
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10/10
A Movie of Regrets and Hard truth
timeblank16 December 2018
Clint Eastwood is a wonderful actor and director. He tells a story of a 90 year old man facing money and family issues. However, when he works for the wrong people, he may have money coming in so he can enjoy life but the consequences at the end will hit him hard.

This movie was pretty entertaining, their some scenes I enjoyed laughing and some I was sad. Regret hurts. You wish you could turn back the clock. Clint Eastwood presents that wonderfully in this movie. This is a great film to see.
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10/10
If you like Gran Tourino and Clint Eastwood buckle up and enjoy the ride!
perseus_pinoykid15 December 2018
What as solid performance from the cast and Clint Eastwood. Story was moving and realistic. You've gotta wait for the ending! Watch it with the whole family! Punchlines were on spot and warning: No Political Correctness Zone. Wish there's a sequel?
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8/10
like gran torino ..
sandhya6015 December 2018
Saw The Mule today. First show of the first day with the Mom who appreciates seeing movies made by her generation. I will give this a solid 8.5 out of 10. First off, its nice to see an older actor playing (and producing and directing of course) an older person from (their own) generation and era. No Hollywood play ups (with PC actors acting parts that would have never been filled by someone other than who it would have been in real life!) or PC. If you liked Gran Torino, you will like this one too. Written about a World War 2 gen and his life as a Drug Mule in the Modern World. Young people who are not familiar with this generation, because they are so far removed from it, probably will not understand the sociology of the greatest generation. This would be their great great grand fathers. So probably good idea to (have them) watch movies about this generation before seeing this one. Like I said, youngsters are too far removed to understand the way of the older generation. What makes this movie good is based on a true story, with some human events sprinkled through to add texture and dimension to the character. Older folks will appreciate seeing someone their own age, doing something daring, and illegal, rather than watching some youngster. Good adult entertainment and examination of society and what folks will do if they are driven to do something or given the chance to do something they would have never done, read the NY times article on the guy this is based on. Take your grandparent.....This is classic modern Eastwood.
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10/10
Clint Eastwood's Best Acting Performance
singersongwriter-0685715 December 2018
This has got to be one of Eastwood's best films. In every way it is great, from the acting to the story to the pacing, etc. Was gripping and engaging from the very start to the powerful ending.

The Mule is up there with his best films such as Million Dollar Baby, Unforgiven, Letters from Iwo Jima, American Sniper and Mystic River. The Mule is an Instant classic. At his age of 88, it is hard to imagine he has many more great films left in him but if not, he will certainly go out on a high note with this masterpiece!

This is one not to be missed. It deserves a lot of attention come Oscar time!
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10/10
Terrific Movie
ricramey200016 December 2018
I truly loved this film. Funny all the way to tears. I'm already going to see it again. I missed a bit because of the laughter. The ending was moving yet beautiful. I'm old enough to have seen all of his films and this film is among his very best. Retired Dirty Harry without a gun. Wonderful film and I really see it doing very well at the Oscars. Congratulations Mr. Eastwood.
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10/10
Superb
supersaiyanwarrior14 December 2018
Absolute Eastwood style, just watch it. ONE Of the best eastwood performance.
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10/10
Eastwood Does it Again!
mkelly5416 December 2018
Clint Eastwood continues to excel as actor and director in his latest production, The Mule. The story appears simple: a 90-year-old man serves as a drug mole for the Mexican Drug Cartel. But as we all know, the real story is in the details and that's where Eastwood's craft shines. Issues of family separation, lost career, and maneuvering through the harsh realities of the underworld drug trade provide viewers with the winding road of a mule. The major cast members - Alison Eastwood, Dianne Weist ,Taissa Farmiga, Michael Pena, Laurence Fishburne and Andy Garcia - serve as major family, drug cartel and DEA functionary characters, with Bradley Cooper portrays the second male lead with quiet efficiency. The remaining cast appears as almost faceless characters conducting tedious details of life, work and drug world enforcement. The key to the success of The Mule is that we know the ending, but, again, the details are the magic attracting audiences. I'm sure viewers will thoroughly enjoy this new masterpiece from Eastwood.
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7/10
Not bad..
bdolloff-6390528 December 2018
I'll keep it short. Not a bad movie, a little slow but just enough to keep you interested. Good acting, funny wise cracks, ending kind of a let down. Still better than 90% of the movie out there. 7/10
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10/10
The Mule...Clint Eastwood has done it again
codywkansas31 December 2018
I recently went to see the mule and other than the woman sitting in front of me, with which must be the biggest head ever, which blocked off the entire left side of the screen. And which caused me to have to leave my perfectly centered chair and abandon my friends, because when I watch a movie I want to see the movie, nothing else. OTHER THAN THAT I LOVED THE MULE. It is not as action packed as you may think and thus actually reveals a bit more realistic approach then the generic drug movie would convey. It takes its time to show how the hero (Clint Eastwood) a 90 year old has made mistakes in his life and is going through a bit of exceptance in the sorta way that captures our attention. This along with extraordinary acting by Eastwood makes this a movie that I will be buying on blue ray AND HONESTLY... I love it more than Grand Torino. Thank you Mr. Eastwood for letting me be able to watch a movie that I will Cherish for as long as I will live. From now on... when I ask about a good movie I'll think...how close does it come to being as good as The Mule.

-Cody W. Kipp
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10/10
Love Clint
jennifercarlton29 December 2018
The best movie I believe Clint Eastwood has ever done. It was funny and sweet and sad and full of drama. I can't wait to watch it again.
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10/10
It's actually good
seanfitz-5199815 December 2018
For those of you who like Ozark unforgiven and 99 homes this the movie for you . It's a slow burner but a good one. The fact that Eastwood made a film of this quality at his age is brilliant . Well done to him . His experience has helped him
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10/10
Thankfully not a typical PC fantasy out of Hollywood
biztricityrv17 December 2018
Excellent, raw, intelligent directing and a realistic portrayal of a 90 something year olds view on the situation he is in. Will not win awards though because Eastwood has never bowed to the liberal elite but always seems to capture a story with a realistic persona.
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10/10
A Great Story About Regret of Time, Love and Family Lost
tubewatch-115 December 2018
The story is about a geriatric drug mule. The theme is one of regret and loss. It's beautifully told through the old drug mule' eyes as he continues to search, through illegal ways, for what he thinks his family wants of him. It's really a great movie. I'm going back to see it again... with my wife.
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4/10
A directoral disappointment
aschmidt-0559016 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I went into this movie with high expectations. This is not a critique of Eastwood's performance. It's just that the whole movie left so many plot holes unaddressed, it was a disappointment from such a talented and skilled director.

A man whose life as a glad-handed flirt is bankrupt when a complete stranger approaches him with a job offer. First the good-ol'-boy follows up on this with no other information that 'he will be driving.' Then the good-ol'-boy starts throwing around wads of CASH, and no one seems the least bit suspicious. Until his ex-wife is on her death-bed. Only then is the question raised.

The foreclosure is paid off - in CASH, and the bank does not question. Huge red flag of illegal activity.

The whole encounter with the K9 officer was unbelievable. The dog gives an alert, but the handler is impatient with him. No K9 handler would be so dismissive of his partner. And no K9 would approach a suspect when on alert. And no handler would not have his dog on voice control.

The granddaughter has a comfortable relationship with her grandfather, despite the estrangement of her mother and grandmother. No back story to account for how this happens.

Granddaughter graduates from cosmetology school (paid by grandfather, of course) with a cap and gown ceremony!

Police officer in Missouri is easily distracted from his inquiries by tubs of popcorn!

Second set of cartel handlers goes from threats and intimidations on first meeting to empathy after their mule has been off the grid for more than a week.

There are more and more. I am generally of the school of thought that 'suspension of disbelief' can be a huge factor in enjoying movies. But there were just too many holes in this movie to sustain this.
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9/10
Best Film of 2018?
makleen218 December 2018
When 90-year-old Earl Stone loses everything he loves, can he use ill-gotten gains to win it back before the DEA, or the cartel, takes him down?

Written by Nick Schenk and directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, The Mule (2018) was inspired by a New York Times article "The Sinaloa Cartel's 90-Year Old Drug Mule" by Sam Dolnick. The Mule uses true events to frame a much more compelling story. Bucking the current trend of emotionally monochrome dramas, this film is a rich tapestry of triumph and tragedy, humor and sadness, and guilt and forgiveness.

Earl Stone (Clint Eastwood) is a successful horticulturalist in Peoria, Illinois but neglectful of his family. He finds himself estranged from his wife Mary (Dianne Wiest) and daughter Iris (Alison Eastwood), but is still admired by his granddaughter Ginny (Taissa Farmiga). Mary and he divorce, and after failing to embrace the digital age, Stone's business falls on hard times. He takes a mysterious offer to deliver a package from Mexico to Chicago. With his newfound income, he rebuilds the local VFW after a fire and helps pay for his granddaughter's cosmetology tuition. Meanwhile, he frustrates his cartel handler, Julio (Ignacio Serricchio) with his unpredictable behavior.

Things get complicated when DEA agent Colin Bates (Bradley Cooper) and his partner Trevino (Michael Peña) flip a cartel employee and he tips them off about a successful drug mule known as "Tata", or grandfather. The unassuming elderly white man with a clean record was able to slip under law enforcement's radar. At 90 years of age and with the DEA on his tail, Earl Stone is running out of time to reverse his fortunes and reconcile with his family.

The Mule is loosely based on the life of Leo Sharp, a WW2 veteran and Detroit-based horticulturalist and daylily farmer who began working as a drug mule for the Sinaloa cartel after his business fell on hard times. His life of crime made him a millionaire. Sharp was finally caught in 2011 at the age of 87, pled guilty to drug conspiracy, and served one year in prison before being let out due to his declining health. He died in December 2016.

Most of the events depicting Earl Stone's family life were not based on his historic counterpart. Sharp had a wife and three children, and was still married when he died. The filmmakers changed the years in which the events took place, and changed Sharp's home state from Michigan to Illinois. These changes, particularly when it comes to the main character's personal life, substantially improved the story and added much-needed depth, drama, and substance. The filmmakers didn't set out to tell Leo Sharp's story; they used it as a springboard to tell their own.

It's difficult not to compare The Mule with Clint Eastwood's 2008 film Gran Torino. We don't see many elderly protagonists on screen anymore, and Eastwood seems to have carved a new niche for himself late in his career. Like the character of Walt Kowalski, Leo Sharp is an emotionally reserved and politically-incorrect elderly white man having a difficult time adjusting to the modern world. Both are Korean War veterans, and both experience the loss of a spouse.

While Kowalski sacrifices himself to remove a threat to his community, Sharp embraces a life of crime to improve his financial situation and help others in need. Sharp is no hero, but he learns the importance of placing family before his own ambition, finds forgiveness, and rekindles his relationship with his family. The Mule's message is deeply personal, and therefore is the more emotionally impactful of the two films.

The Mule opened to mostly favorable reviews from critics and audiences alike. Cynical viewers might dismiss parts of this film as overly sentimental, but you'd have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by some aspect of the story. It has a 60% rating from critics and 72% audience favorability on RottenTomatoes, and pulled in $17.5 million in its opening weekend (finishing second at the box office). With what might be his last film, 88-year-old Clint Eastwood cements his place as one of the greatest actors and directors of our time.
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9/10
Eastwood In A Very Vulnerable Place: A Drug Runner
virek21327 December 2018
Although he has had this reputation as a hard-assed political right-winger, and an image either as "The Man With No Name" or Dirty Harry, Clint Eastwood, as both an actor and a director, has also shown a penchant for taking on challenging material. If anyone looks at what he has done as a director especially, whether it is only in that capacity or simultaneously as an actor, that ability to be challenged and succeed is particularly evident, beginning with 1971's PLAY MISTY FOR ME, and continuing with a huge filmography that includes HGIH PLAINS DRIFTER, THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES, UNFORGIVEN, THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, AMERICAN SNIPER, and SULLY, to name just a few. And at the end of 2018, he really flexed himself on both sides of the camera with THE MULE.

Eastwood's second film of 2018 as a director (after THE 15:17 TO PARIS), THE MULE is based on a true story written by Sam Dolnick of the New York Times . Eastwood portrays Earl Stone, a Korean war veteran who, in his pursuit of horticulture, has failed his own family as a father and a husband, missing important weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries. And unfortunately, his life is about to take a dark, nightmarish turn as, being strapped for cash, he takes on the job of a "mule", or drug-runner, for a sinister Mexican drug cartel kingpin (Andy Garcia), Garcia's "crew", such as it is, operates out of a garage in El Paso, just a few miles from the Mexican border, and they force him to transport their sinister "product" through the heartland of the U.S. to Chicago, and to do so as to not to attract any unwanted attention from the DEA. Paralleling this, two DEA agents (Bradley Cooper; Michael Pena) are tracking the activities of Garcia's cartel; but it is only late in the game that the DEA, and Cooper in particular, realize that Eastwood (referred to as "Tata" by Garcia's employees) is the one being forced to run those drugs, to the tune of a couple of hundred kilograms per month on average. In the meantime, Eastwood tries to patch things up with his family, particularly with his dying ex-wife (Dianne Wiest), all the while being watched and then hunted by the cartel and the DEA.

Nick Schenk, who wrote the screenplay for Eastwood's 2008 acting/directing hit GRAN TORINO, handles the screenwriting chores here; and while there are quite a few ethnic slurs and a certain amount of misogyny, THE MULE in general is a deeply humanistic film about a totally inhumane situation in which Eastwood has to do the one thing that his most hard-edged fans sometimes have had a difficult time accepting, which is to show a lot of vulnerability. Frequently, his character has guns pointed at him, as opposed to the other way around; and he can't do a whole lot about that except to follow orders, even though he knows he'll be going to jail for life (at the age of 90) if he's caught. Cooper (who was the star of AMERICAN SNIPER) does an extremely credible performance as the DEA agent, as does Pena as his partner. The film also features solid supporting turns from Laurence Fishburne, Alison Eastwood (Clint's real-life daughter), Richard Herd, and Loren Dean.

One must go after Eastwood's films, regardless of what capacity he serves in, because he is not going to be around forever. And while many might find THE MULE to be a touch offensive, ethnically speaking (which it is, but it befits the situation), even with that said, it is another notch in Eastwood's belt, both in terms of his acting and his directing.
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10/10
Clinton Eastwood is a master with directing
lamisharochelle16 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Clinton Eastwood is a master at directing. What is unique is this 88 year old actor/director is still in going strong in the acting world. He did a great job as an 90 year old workaholic man, who neglected his family. However, when he loss his business and home out of desperation he became a Mule. This movie is comically and dramatic. I really enjoyed this movie and glad I saw it.
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10/10
Loved this movie
baileyed-0733616 December 2018
Clint Eastwood is still the best. The story is based on true events and has terrific songs for the musical background. The final song by Toby Keith runs during the credits, and you see that Eastwood's daughter played one of the roles in the movie. This is not the high action of the Dirty Harry movies, but more along the line of Pink Cadillac or Grand Torino.
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