Greg Kinnear and Pierce Brosnan in
Pierce Brosnan "obviously likes
playing an engaging sociopath, and heís good at it.
"'The Matador' arrives in theaters just in time to cop the prize as the
yearís oddest comedy - essentially a buddy movie about an assassin and his
unlikely friendship with a struggling, straight-arrow Denver businessman,
Greg Kinnearís Danny Wright."--Jack Mathews,
"Shepard's film is funny, stylish and
beguilinly dodgy, traits embodied by leading man Brosnan, delivering perhaps
the most impressive performance of his career as burnt-out hitman Julian
Noble."--Dan Dunn in the Boston Metro
"Julian Noble, the rude yet amiable
bisexual hit man he plays, is a slob, a drunk, and a loser. In the funniest
sight in the whole picture, the camera tracks him staggering drunk through a
posh hotel lobby in Mexico City wearing skimpy black underwear. He kicks off
his cowboy boots and plops into the pool, sounding the typical movie alarm
for midlife crisis.
* * *
"Hope Davis plays Danny's uptight wife, and when Brosnan arrives, her
performance heats up with carnal wonder. (Her disappointment that Julian is
packing only a .38 is hilarious.) Yet the movie doesn't give her, or anyone
else, a shot at real mischief. It's all talk.
"This is unfortunate, as Julian and Danny's relationship could head
anywhere. They could go into business together. They could hop into bed. But
'The Matador' is not that bold, even though it more or less shares a title
with Pedro Almodovar's wildly vulgar 1986 screwball comedy.
"Writer-director Richard Shepard's movie is just a sweet, broadly made buddy
picture that happens to look a lot like an Almodovar production. The film
has a vibrant pop style: The colors burst off the screen, the editing
rhythms are precise and absorbing, and you could almost cha-cha with the
camera's movement. Shepard's 'Matador' demonstrates what an Almodovar
picture would feel like without his gonzo sensibility. It's Almodovar for
--Wesley Morris in the Boston Globe.