80

Chicago Reader

By Jonathan Rosenbaum
Juicy, adroit, and likable.
Full Review
80

Washington Post

By Hal Hinson
This brilliantly naive, low-budget shoot-'em-up presents every action as if it were brand spanking new.
Full Review
78

Austin Chronicle

By Marc Savlov
While the story may be a common one (for the action genre, at least), Rodriguez, who wrote, produced, shot and edited the entire film himself, has a uniquely straightforward wit that makes what might otherwise have been just another shoot-'em-up something more than that.
Full Review
75

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
Enormously entertaining.
Full Review
75

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
A gripping, tautly-paced action flick that outdoes most of Hollywood's similar output. This is clear evidence that film quality often has little to do with a production's budget.
Full Review
70

The New York Times

By Elvis Mitchell
Mythic pulp has its allure, and it also has its limitations. El Mariachi displays no real emotion except a profound appreciation for the genre film making that has inspired it, and a delight in manipulating the elements of such stories.
Full Review
70

Variety

Spanish lingo crime meller has a verve and cheekiness that's partly a smart wedding of such influences as Sergio Leone, George Miller and south-of-the-border noir.
Full Review
70

TV Guide

The unrelenting tempo is bolstered by Rodriguez's camera work and editing: nearly every frame seems to have been shot with a careening, handheld camera, and they're cut together in a skillful, fluid fashion that enhances the tension and pace of the 80-minute chase.
Full Review
67

Entertainment Weekly

By Ty Burr
Rodriguez makes the same mistake as other first-time auteurs: The world of this movie exists only in relation to other movies, particularly the Sergio Leone-Clint Eastwood spaghetti Westerns of the early '60s.
Full Review
73 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.