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The Mule

also known as “A csempész,” “A Mula,” “Correio de Droga,” “Il corriere - The Mule,” “La mule,” “Mula,” «Наркокур'eр», «Наркокурьер»
MPAA Rating: R-Rating (MPAA) for language throughout and brief sexuality/nudity.
not reviewed
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Crime Mystery Drama
1 hr. 56 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
December 14, 2018 (wide—2,588 theaters)
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Relevant Issues
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A man who is guilty of neglecting his family and being a terrible father—and the enormous guilt one feels when they fully realize what they have done and its ramifications

Money can’t make up for being a poor husband and father

You can’t buy time—or love


SEXUAL LUST—Why does God strongly warn us about it? Answer

CONSEQUENCES—What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer

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What is SIN AND WICKEDNESS? Is it just “bad people” that are sinners, or are YOU a sinner? Answer

Do Not Enter

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POVERTY—What does the Bible say about the poor? Answer

Poor in the Bible

Being too quick to fire off an insensitive joke

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Dealing with the many hard difficulties of old age

Memory problems

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The War on Drugs

DEA agents

Sinaloa drug cartel

Drug mules

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“The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23)

DEATH—WHY does it exist? Answer

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What is the FINAL JUDGMENT for breaking God’s laws? and WHAT do you need to know about it? Answer

What is ETERNAL LIFE? Answer

What is ETERNAL DEATH? Answer

Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer

How good is good enough? Answer

Featuring: Clint EastwoodEarl Stone
Bradley CooperColin Bates
Taissa Farmiga … Ginny
Michael PeñaEnforcer
Andy Garcia
Laurence FishburneDEA Special Agent
Alison Eastwood … Iris
Dianne WiestMary
Clifton Collins Jr. …
Manny Montana … Axl
See all »
Director: Clint Eastwood
Producer: Warner Bros.
Imperative Entertainment
See all »
Distributor: Distributor: Warner Brothers Pictures. Trademark logo.
Warner Bros.
Copyrighted, Warner Bros.

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “A 90-year-old horticulturist and WWII veteran is caught transporting $3 million worth of cocaine through Michigan for a Mexican drug cartel. This film is based on the true story of Leo Sharp. Clint Eastwood plays ‘Earl Stone’ (based on Leo Sharp) and Bradley Cooper plays ‘Colin Bates’ (based on DEA agent Jeff Moore).”

Earl Stone, a man in his 80s who is broke, alone, and facing foreclosure of his business when he is offered a job that simply requires him to drive. Easy enough, but, unbeknownst to Earl, he’s just signed on as a drug courier for a Mexican cartel. He does well—so well, in fact, that his cargo increases exponentially, and Earl is assigned a handler. But he isn’t the only one keeping tabs on Earl; the mysterious new drug mule has also hit the radar of hard-charging DEA agent Colin Bates. And even as his money problems become a thing of the past, Earl’s past mistakes start to weigh heavily on him, and it’s uncertain if he’ll have time to right those wrongs before law enforcement, or the cartel’s enforcers, catch up to him.

“The Mule” marks Oscar-winner Eastwood’s first time on both sides of the camera since he starred in 2009’s critically acclaimed “Gran Torino.”

Cooper, who stars as Bates, received his most recent Oscar nominations for his work with Eastwood, acting in and producing “American Sniper”. Oscar nominee Fishburne (“What’s Love Got to Do with It,” TV’s “Black-ish”) plays a DEA special agent in charge; Peña (“Ant-Man and the Wasp,” Netflix’s “Narcos”) plays a fellow agent; Oscar winner Dianne Wiest (“Bullets Over Broadway,” “Hannah and Her Sisters,” TV’s “Life in Pieces”) plays Earl’s ex-wife; Oscar nominee Andy Garcia (“The Godfather: Part III”) plays a cartel boss; Alison Eastwood (“Rails & Ties”) plays Earl’s daughter; Farmiga (“The Nun”) plays the role of Earl’s granddaughter; Serricchio (Netflix’s “Lost in Space,” “The Wedding Ringer”) plays Earl’s cartel handler; Dean (“Space Cowboys”) plays another agent; and Cordero (“Kong: Skull Island”) plays a cartel member.

This film was inspired by a true story told by the New York Times Magazine article “The Sinaloa Cartel’s 90-Year Old Drug Mule.”

  • Violence: Heavy
  • Profane language: • motherf****r • other f-words (35+) • middle-finger shown to man • s-words (17+), including “Holy sh*t” • a**hole (4) • a** (7) • b*tch (2) • son of a b*tch (2) • cr*p • p*ssed • gigolo
  • Vulgar/Crude language:J*sus (3) • G*d d*mn (2) • Oh my G*d (3) • h*ll (7) • d*mn (5)
  • Nudity: • bare breasts (once) in a sexual situation • cleavage • women in bikinis (one in a thong)
  • Sex: • sexual comments • women dancing sexually • sex activity implied by situation on 2 occasions (not graphic) • song with the words “gonorrhea” and “can’t pee-a”
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See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

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Secular Movie Critics
…Clint Eastwood contemplates death, racism, pulled pork and gives one of his best performances… a spry, funny, moving film that never heads in the direction in which it looks like it’s about to head…
Keith Phipps, Slate
…This old mule is still kicking… persuasively expressive in conveying an old man’s regrets along with his desire to improve himself even in late age, “The Mule” shows that Eastwood's still got it, both as a director and actor. …Eastwood has made some slack and overlong pictures over the years, but this is not one of them, and there is visual vitality here…
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
…“The Mule” feels like Clint Eastwood’s magnum opus… What I find thrilling is the perception, precision, and immediacy—Eastwood’s unparalleled ability to craft arguments out of images, each shot slipping firmly into place with a lockstep sense of order that somehow leaves room for uncertainty. …
K. Austin Collins, Vanity Fair
…this movie is as much a eulogy for a country that Eastwood sees as slowly crumbling as it is for the life Earl chose to lead…
David Sims, The Atlantic
…thoughtful, bumpy crime tale…
Robert Abele, The Wrap
…it exerts a hard-to-ignore power… Though marketed by Warner Bros. as a brooding thriller, Clint Eastwood’s “The Mule” is actually something closer to a bawdy black comedy. …Earl is a lover of simple things and a judicious sniffer of bullsh*t…
Carson Lund, Slant
…the story shifts and lumbers toward redemption that Earl doesn’t earn and that sentimentalizes a movie that is never especially good and often teasingly offensive but also fitfully entertaining and willfully perverse…
Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
…a movie that feels dodgy and false at every turn… It’s easy to see why Eastwood was attracted to the story, but with Schenk’s rote tick-tock of a script, “The Mule” struggles to find a rhythm. …
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune