Movie Review, Cry Macho


Story by Alex Paulino, Staff Writer

Clint Eastwood’s career can only be described as a long stream of excellency. Whether it be his iconic performance as the Man with No Name in Sergio Leone’s Dollars Trilogy or his masterful direction in films like Unforgiven. However, Eastwood’s career has been on some thin ice. Though his legacy is never forgotten, Eastwood’s newest films have been under scrutiny. Many critique his disjointed and buggy performances in films like Trouble with the Curve and The Mule. Others have criticised his style of directing before in films like Sully. Nevertheless, nothing can distract from Eastwood’s previous outings that solidified him as a blockbuster legend.

“I love him in Gran Torino and I feel like he’s aged really well,” said guidance counselor Ms. Reagan. “I think he truly is extremely talented to be acting in every decade of his life.”

Eastwood is returning to his roots in the form of Cry Macho, a neo-western that calls back to his previous films that his fans remember too well.

“Howard, I always thought of you as a small, weak, and gutless man. But there’s no need to be rude.” -Mike Milo

Cry Macho takes place in 1980 Texas and Mexico. It follows Mike Milo, a former rodeo star who had to retire due to a significant back injury that has made him a shadow of what he once was. After being called back by his former boss, Howard Polk, Milo is assigned a new excursion. Polk wants him to drive to Mexico and recover his long lost son Rafo, in which he claims that he is being abused by his mother. Milo reluctantly agrees, and finds Rafo working for crime lords in which he spectates cage matches between animals. After some quarreling, Milo makes it his mission to drive Rafo back to Texas for a potentially better life.

It’s hard to determine whether Cry Macho is a stroke of genius or lunacy. On one hand, there’s a refreshing amount of new ideas and concepts that can be interpreted in several different ways but on the other it’s tough to say if those concepts are even intentional. There is a mix between very fun and energetic moments that shine with decent performances from both Eastwood and Eduardo Minett (Rafo). 

There’s also a fair amount of silly scenes. Rafo has a pet chicken named “Macho” who, at one point, saves the duo from a firearm confrontation. Rafo’s mother, Leta, is so comically evil that it’s almost embarrassing. 

For what it’s worth, Cry Macho does have its moments. There’s great cinematography in the form of several gorgeous landscapes and dolly shots. There’s a beautiful scene where Milo rests beneath a sunset, representing how his age is slowly getting the best of him. There’s several moments where Milo and Raph just talk about the strengths and detriments of life, and those scenes are often complimented with good cinematography.


The main point of contention in Cry Macho for most audiences, is the ending. Some will claim that the ending of this film completely contradicts everything the story has built up to that point. 

In a sense, that claim seems agreeable. However, the ending of Cry Macho offers the possibility of so much more than what is given. Some could see the ending as Milo’s true desire, perhaps a dream sequence with no conclusion. 

Is it really too unreasonable to assume that perhaps the film is trying to portray false events? This is a common film trick that misleads the audience into accepting what is presented in front of them;it’s hard to tell in Cry Macho if it truly is intentional. Rafo leaves the good life he could’ve had in Marta’s Cafe to be with his father, which is odd because of how apprehensive he was about the idea before. There isn’t enough development for Rafo to truly believe that his decision is rational. What’s worse is that Milo goes along with it, and just accepts his decision.

 Beforehand, Milo and Raph were being confronted by a hired gunman before being saved by a chicken, so perhaps we’re being led to believe that this is what actually happened when in reality something much darker occurred. It’s interesting to poke fun at, but there really is no definitive answer.

Perhaps Cry Macho is being given too much credit. However, the director, Clint Eastwood, still delivers a fun and wholesome experience, even if the journey can be tainted with some silly characters or sequences. The fundamental issue with Cry Macho is solely how underdeveloped it’s concepts are, for example building the relationship between Rafo and Milo. There’s a good base for Cry Macho, but at the end of the day there is simply too much holding it down.


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