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Machete Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Back to the grindhouse. Read full review


Jen Yamato Profile

The Sweet Sweetback of Mexploitation flicks Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Frank Scheck

    The ensemble cast -- ranging from an Oscar winner (De Niro) and faded action star (Seagal) to a B-movie vet (Fahey) and tabloid fodder (Lindsay Lohan, not exactly playing against type as a drugged-out, hell-raising sexpot) -- pretty much offers something for everybody.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Danny Trejo plays the long-haired, craggy-faced titular Machete with a combination of swift ferocity and baleful kindliness. And the ladies love it.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    A gory, pulpy wink of an action thriller, was spun out of a parody trailer Rodriguez directed for the '70s-trash homage "Grindhouse" (2007). The trailer was sublime. As a feature, Machete is more fun than it isn't, but its deadpan mockery of exploitation clichés often slips a bit too close to being the real, schlocky thing.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Machete reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Extremely violent "grindhouse" actioner isn't for kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although Machete is directed by Spy Kids' Robert Rodriguez, this movie -- which is based on a fake trailer that Rodriguez created for the 2007 film Grindhouse -- is definitely not for kids. Like some of his other adult-oriented movies, it's filled with crazy violence, gratuitous nudity and sexual innuendo, and strong language (including "f--k" and "s--t"), as well as drinking and smoking. Though it's well made and actually has a very strong message about racial tolerance, this kind of extreme filmmaking is absolutely adults-only fare.

  • Families can talk about the movie's intentionally shocking material. Why would the extreme violence of this film be considered entertaining? Is it meant to be taken seriously? How can you tell?
  • Do you think films like this only appeal to a certain audience? Who is that audience, and why are they drawn to material like this? Are the vintage '60s and '70s exploitation movies that this one was inspired by still relevant today?
  • What's the significance of Machete being a Mexican-American action hero? Can you think of other non-white action heroes?
  • Machete has sex with several different women. What are the real-life consequences of that type of behavior?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Although there's an underlying message about racial tolerance, it's secondary to the constant violence (by both "good" and "bad" guys), sex, and language.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Machete fights against corruption and prejudice, but he's also a loner and incredibly violent, with a penchant for making love to whatever beautiful girl happens to be around. He's unfazed by the violence on one side but also apparently unmoved by the prospect of doing good on the other side. One of the women in the movie has created an alter ego for herself, "She," a revolutionary leader and a champion for immigrant rights. She's a more likely role model for teens, but she also ends up employing both sex and violence to achieve her goals. The heroes employ just as much violence as the bad guys do.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Tons of hyper-intense, hyper-stylized violence that pushs the envelope on splatter and gore. The hero kills many, many opponents, with few repercussions. Americans shoot Mexican innocents in cold blood at the border, including a pregnant girl. Viewers see severed heads, severed limbs, and punctured eyes. The hero uses a human intestine as a rope. A priest is crucified. Objects such as corkscrews, meat thermometers, weed whackers, broken glass, and high-heeled shoes are used as weapons, as well as lots and lots of big guns and knives. Cars are smashed up.

  • sex false4

    Sex: The main character sleeps with -- or almost sleeps with -- at least four different women. Machete rescues a naked girl in the opening scene; her breasts and bottom are visible. She conceals a phone in her vagina (she retrieves it offscreen). Two sexy nurses care for Machete in a hospital. He kisses girls in bed on two separate occasions and makes out with two naked women at once in a swimming pool. Jessica Alba is seen naked in the shower (side view). Michelle Rodriguez wears a sexy outfit -- leather bra, bare midriff, and leather pants. One adult male confesses to "impure thoughts" about his pretty daughter. Also sexual innuendo and sexual suggestion.

  • language false5

    Language: Non-stop strong language, starting with multiple uses of "f--k" and "s--t" (in various forms). Also "son of a bitch," "c--ksucker," "pecker," "balls," "p---y," "whore," "nuts," "damn," "goddamn," "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation), "hell," and "a--hole," plus Spanish curses like "cabrón" and "pendejo."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters smoke cigarettes and drink tequila. One character takes some kind of pills with booze. Lindsay Lohan plays a drug addict who also smokes cigarettes (she's discovered passed out at a "crack house," but viewers never see her taking any drugs).