By James Davidson
“Cry Macho” is a new drama film starring and directed by Clint Eastwood. It was released on September 17th 2021 and is available in theaters and the HBO Max streaming app. The story follows Mike Milo (Eastwood), a washed up, former rodeo star who takes a job from his former boss Howard Polk (Dwight Yoakam) to bring Polk’s estranged son to him from Mexico. Polk’s son, Rafo, (Eduardo Minett) is currently living with his irresponsible mother and allegedly being abused by her and her boyfriends. On their journey to the United States, the two form a bond and learn from each other as Rafo learns how to be a man and Milo earns some sort of redemption from his past. I was interested in this film primarily because it involved Clint Eastswood. Most of Eastwood’s films are quite good, unfortunately, I think this one might be the exception.
The acting in this movie is incredible, of course Eastwood does an amazing job portraying his character, even if he is a bit typecast. Eduardo Minett, who plays Rafo, does a fantastic job portraying the troubled teen. The two actually have great chemistry and work well together on screen. The one issue I had with the acting was with the chemistry between Eastwood and Natalie Traven, who plays Marta, the supposed love interest. I just didn’t buy these two as a romantic couple. They worked fine together, just not as lovers in my opinion.
While the acting was great, the plot was a bit unoriginal. It seems to be the same as most of Eastwood’s films, a grumpy old man with a dark past meets a young man and they both help each other. While the story is fine, I would have liked to see a bit more originality. As it is, this film is very similar to many of Eastwood’s other films such as Gran Torino and Trouble With the Curve.
I also had an issue with the pacing of this film. It is incredibly slow with a lot of dialogue. Since the plot is a bit derivative of other films, it struggled to hold my attention. It needed something to make the story more gripping and exciting in my opinion.
While the story is slow, the cinematography is beautifully shot. The scenery of rural Mexico is beautiful and the camera work is superb. Unfortunately this wasn’t enough to hold my attention due to the slow pacing of the film.
This movie is rated PG-13 for language and thematic elements. Other than a few naughty words and some adult themes this wouldn’t be bad for a family film, if it can hold the attention of younger viewers. If you are a huge Clint Eastwood fan, this would probably make a nice date night film, though I would leave the children at home.
“Cry Macho” is a slightly disappointing dramatic film that has some incredible cinematography and acting, but struggles to find originality and hold the attention of it’s audience. I will probably not watch this film again, there are just too many better Clint Eastwood films out there. However if you are a fan of Eastwood’s work, this movie is worth at least one watch. It earns 3 out of 5 stars.