Prayer Focus
Click here to watch THE HOPE on-line!
Movie Review

The Mexican

MPAA Rating: R for violence and language

Reviewed by: Artie Megibben

Very Offensive
Add to your list?
View your list
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Crime Adventure Comedy
2 hr. 3 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
March 2, 2001
Copyright, Dreamworks click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Dreamworks Copyright, Dreamworks Copyright, Dreamworks
Relevant Issues
James Gandolfini in “The Mexican”

living a life of crime

sin and the fall of man

goodness and righteousness

FILM VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer

Under what conditions may Christians divorce and remarry? Answer

Do you know the truth about…

Biblical love: What is it? Answer

Sex: Why should it be saved for marriage? Answer

Homosexuality: What does the Bible say about same sex marriages? Answer

Featuring: Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, James Gandolfini, Bob Balaban, J.K. Simmons.
Director: Gore Verbinski
Producer: John Baldecchi, Lawrence Bender
Distributor: Dreamworks SKG

Director Gore Verbinski’s first Dreamworks’ outing was a story about a mischievous mouse (“Mousehunt”). Full of clever special effects, nifty cinematography and a fine comedic performances by Nathan Lane and Christopher Walken—the net effect of “Mousehunt” was alas, singularly unfunny. Which only goes to show that without good writing, this most visual of mediums rarely delivers. Verbinski’s latest film, “The Mexican”, happily is a different story.

In place of a rascally rodent, the star of this movie is an antique hand-tooled pistol known as “the Mexican.” It is the Golden Fleece, if you will, that a hapless L.A. loser named Jerry Welbach (Brad Pitt) has been sent in quest of. This Lawrence Bender-produced film tells the tale in as entertaining a way as any of his Quentin Tarantino opuses (“Pulp Fiction,” “Reservoir Dogs”). Thankfully, with a whole lot less gore. (By the way, how come Christopher Walken was in “Mousehunt” instead of this mobster-filled film?)

Jerry, it seems, has a debt to pay off to a underworld boss by the name of Margolese. Margolese has been sent up the river through a providential fender-bender with young Welbach. (Something about a guy locked in Margolese’ trunk.) Anyway, Margolese is set to come out of prison in a few days and that makes Jerry’s errand to Mexico all the more urgent. In an elaborate plot full of crosses and double-crosses, we learn the legend of the Mexican pistol’s star-crossed lovers in dribs and drabs. Each subsequent rendition giving you more details about this gun that has apparently never shot straight. So why is it so darn valuable? Beats me.

One of the many subplots of the movie deals with Jerry’s pop-psychology girlfiend Sam, played by Julia Roberts in all her wide-mouthed glory. Jerry’s unforeseen gun run to Mexico comes at a very dicey time in their very dicey relationship. One of the funniest scenes in the movie show the couple trying to deal with this bump in their partnership. As a ranting Sam throws all of his belongings into the street, Jerry calmly attempts to frame this full-tilt argument in the psychologically-correct language of their group therapist.

There are some outstanding performances matched by an outstanding screenplay by J.H. Wyman. (That good writing thing, I mentioned.) Brad Pitt gives his best comedic performance since “12 Monkeys”. And “The Soprano’s” star James Gandolfini gives a terrific performance as Leon, a homosexual hit man with a heart of gold.

From a Christian perspective what I found truly wonderful about this movie, replete with gangland slayings and “alternate” lifestyles, was its oddly biblical view of love. Leon asks his conflicted hostage Sam, “If people truly love each other, when do you say enough is enough?” Sam comes back with some therapist-endorsed drivel about needing her space, dead-end relationships, topped off with some flowery language about needing “sunshine to grow.” “THAT”S your answer?” asks a bewildered Leon. “Naw, the right answer is NEVER!” Never is enough, enough. True love, Christ-like love, is unrelenting.

TRUE LOVE—What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

Now many in the contemporary Christian community will fault this movie for its wanton violence, profanity (70+ F-words) and sexual perversion. But in a day when the rate of Christian divorce EXCEEDS the divorce rate of the general public, “The Mexican” is a movie with a message that is sorely needed. A message that is perhaps more biblical than some of the felt needs psycho-babble that many “Christian” counselors are dispensing to our troubled marriages.

There are plenty of movies out there with happy endings. It is truly refreshing to find one where happiness is framed in biblical dimensions. Love is more than hormonal infatuation or a state of mutual back-scratching. Real love, true love is about enduring trials, sacrificing one’s self and being so totally committed to the other person that “enough is never enough.” And that, folks, is worth the price of admission.

Viewer Comments
A very disappointing movie which is sure to offend Christians with its portrayal of homosexuality and senseless violence… Then there is the so called adult language and a questionable prejudicial look at Mexicans. Many will attend to see heart throbs Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt. However, they are rarely together and the story about the return of a Mexican pistol is poorly done and has enough plot holes to drive a truck through. Typical of most low budget movies, the film depends on senseless violence and a homosexual relationship for entertainment. Topping it off most Mexicans will be appalled at how they and their cities are shown. The relationship between the two homosexuals is almost humorous. The viewer has to buy the idea that a casual love affair turns into a long lasting relationship after one night in the sack. Personally, I am tiring of homosexual affairs. Being a Christian I cringe at Hollywood’s attempts to make these relationships acceptable. It seems many in the theater agreed. During several scripted male romance scenes groans were heard. If you are a Julia Roberts fan rent “Erin Brokovich”. don’t waste your money on this “dog and pony” show!
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 1½]
—David Athis, age 58
I thought that this would be a funny action adventure type movie, but I was very wrong. It is basically a commercial for gay rights. The only character in the movie that was decent was the gay hitman. In other words the liberal movie industry was trying to tell the audience that gays are more normal and nice than hetero people. They want us to believe that the gay lifestyle is normal and acceptable. It seems that you cannot go to a major motion picture without having to endure the pro-gay propaganda. What percent of the population are they? Less than 1% and yet in every new movie and television series there is at least one gay character. I was very disappointed in this movie. Also it dragged on forever and ever. I felt as if I were in hell for 2 hours.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 4]
—Terry Dean Stout, age 38
I was fully aware that I was going to see a movie that had a lot of language and violence when I went to “The Mexican”. I had read the reviews on this Web site and still wanted to go. I must say that I loved this movie. I liked the setting of Mexico, and the legend of the gun. Pitt and Roberts both delivered great performances. There were plot twists like crazy in this movie. You never knew who could be trusted. I personally love a movie that keeps you guessing until the end of what exactly is going to happen. I recommend this movie if you like Julia Roberts and/or Brad Pitt. If you are easily offended, then take my advice and stay away from this one so that people don’t have to read one more “shocked at a rated R movie” review.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 5]
—Emanon, age 21
I do not generally go to R rated movies but made an exception to see “The Mexican”… What a disappointment! The language was incredibly offensive, it was pro-homosexualty, pro-premarital sex, pro-living-together apart from marriage. The characters in the movie were idiots. This movie had no redeeming qualities whatsoever. There was no nudity but there were sexual situations. The entire movie was tasteless and a total waste of money and time. I would not recommend this movie to anyone at any time for any reason and if I were Julia Roberts I would be to embarrassed to talk about it or admit I was in it.
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 1]
—Polly Tree, age 44
This is a true representation of the worldly mind set people live… in this movie there were cases of cussing. murder… and homosexuality…! There were countless number of times the f-word was used! In the first 2 min. it seemed to have been used about 6 times! Julia Roberts being one of my favorite actresses… seemed not quite the type for this movie. in my opinion I think this was her least good film… the story line and point was, probably not worth making a 2 hour movie on! don’t see it.
—RN, age 17
First off, I would say I disagree with the critics on this one. Most people rate a movie on offensiveness and storyline. If it doesn’t have swearing or sex, and if it has a plot, they like it. Otherwise, they trash the whole movie. From a filmmaking perspective, the production was incredible. Realize that this was done by Dreamworks, co-owned by none other than Spielberg himself, as was produced by Lawrence Bender, who has produced wonderful films. The casting, plot, videography, and post-production choices were well-done. As far as offensiveness goes, you should know going into a rated R movie probably shouldn’t be a film on ethics, morals, and biblical love. don’t complain if you walk into a film expecting Hollywood to throw you morality, and they don’t come through for you!
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 4]
—D. Stuart, age 20
This was a great film. Sure there are objections I had with the storyline (LeRoy’s “alternative lifestyle”) but overall, the performances Julia and Brad gave overwrote the objections I had. I admit that I was also expecting a quirky romantic comedy, but my expectations were exceeded. This is truly an accomplishment for both Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts. It shows that she can succeed in any genre…
My Ratings: [Average / 3½]
—Jordan Strong, age 17
I went to the theatre expecting a light hearted comedy as portrayed in the commercials for it. HARDLY! One gay man is encouraged to get a partner. Tons of dirty language including about 65 f-words! There is also talk about sex and pornography. This film was awful, trashy, and immoral!
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 2½]
—K.E., teen
This movie looked like a comedy on the previews. I was wrong! It was full of profanity, violence and worldly behaviors. Homosexuality was clumsily inserted into this movie in an attempt to make an obvious point that it is an acceptable lifestyle. This movie highlighted violence and is just another way of numbing us all to it. Jesus died for all the sins that were glorified in this movie and as a Christian I feel sorry that I supported that sin by paying to see it. Please consider staying far from this movie and encourage all you friends to do the same!
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 2]
—Ron Pierotti, age 41
I thought the movie was good overall. There were some very funny parts in the movie, but I did find the homosexuality and the cussing very offensive. I think I learned more about gay men than I ever wanted to. If you are very offended by that sort of thing, I don’t recommend it. But if you can overlook that, it’s a very good movie.
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 2]
—Melissa, age 16
The pleasant personalities of Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt were not enough to hold my attention and concern in this puzzle-like confusion movie. None of the characters were really likeable, the nice one of the bunch is a hitman who happens to be gay—he’s the one that tries to get everything to work along. The story focuses around Brad Pitt bringing back a “cursed” pistol from Mexico and all the calamaties which happen along the way. The best part of the movie is the dog and his flat football…
My Ratings: [Very Offensive / 2]
—Stephanie Hanson, age 43
An unfortunate choice for us since we only made it through the first 30 minutes and regretted that we stayed that long. Just kept hoping that all the trash would end and movie would become funny and entertaining and clean. Gave up when way too many unnecessary curse words and offensive sexual references were made. When will film makers learn that a good story line, proven actors, great scenery, and good comedy can be ruined by poor taste in dialogue and immoral leading characters?
My Ratings: [Extremely Offensive / 1]
—Judy Webb, age 57
I’m sorry to disagree with many of the others who have seen the movie, but I liked it a lot. I thought it was endearing to be honest. I’m not sure I understand where the one reviewer got “pleasant personality” for Brad Pitt, whose best films include Se7en, Fight Club, and most recently Snatch. None of which are pleasant movies. I really enjoyed the movie. I thought it was smart because it knew when to advance the plot and when to advance the characters. I especially liked the scene in which Jerry and Ted talk about “doing your part.” I found it rather insightful. I agree there’s a lot of bad language in the movie, which I didn’t expect sonce I read that it was rated R for primarily violence. But even with that I thought it was very good, though I understand that many will want to pass on it.
My Ratings: [Somewhat Offensive / 4½]
—Jason Eaken, age 17
It wasn’t the best but it wasn’t the worse either. The script lacked oomph but Roberts and Pitt did a good job bringing the characters to the screen.
My Ratings: [Average / 4]
—Kyla Montano, age 20, non-Christian
…In a convoluted tale of double-crosses, stolen identities, Mexican curses, language barriers, and closeted homosexuality…
—Christopher Null, FilmCritic.Com
Movie Critics
…people being purposefully and accidentally killed with guns, occasionally with rather bloody results…
…This is the first pairing of sex symbols Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts, and the two are better apart than together…