Once Upon a Time in Mexico

September 12th, 2003


Once Upon a Time in Mexico

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Still of Robert Rodriguez in Once Upon a Time in MexicoStill of Danny Trejo in Once Upon a Time in MexicoJohnny Depp at event of Once Upon a Time in MexicoStill of Mickey Rourke in Once Upon a Time in MexicoStill of Johnny Depp and Eva Mendes in Once Upon a Time in MexicoStill of Cheech Marin in Once Upon a Time in Mexico

Hitman "El Mariachi" becomes involved in international espionage involving a psychotic CIA agent and a corrupt Mexican general.

Release Year: 2003

Rating: 6.3/10 (73,363 voted)

Critic's Score: 56/100

Director: Robert Rodriguez

Stars: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Johnny Depp

In the third movie of Rodriguez's "Mariachi" trilogy, a Mexican drug lord pretends to overthrow the Mexican government, and is connected to a corrupt CIA agent who at that time, demands retribution from his worst enemy to carry out the drug lord's uprising against the government.

Antonio Banderas - El Mariachi
Salma Hayek - Carolina
Johnny Depp - Sands
Mickey Rourke - Billy
Eva Mendes - Ajedrez
Danny Trejo - Cucuy
Enrique Iglesias - Lorenzo
Marco Leonardi - Fideo
Cheech Marin - Belini
Rubén Blades - Jorge FBI
Willem Dafoe - Barillo
Gerardo Vigil - Marquez
Pedro Armendáriz Jr. - El Presidente (as Pedro Armendariz)
Julio Oscar Mechoso - Advisor
Tito Larriva - Cab Driver

Taglines: The Time Has Come.


Official Website: Official site | Terra [Spain] |

Release Date: 12 September 2003

Filming Locations: Guanajuato, Mexico

Box Office Details

Budget: $29,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $23,424,118 (USA) (14 September 2003) (3282 Screens)

Gross: $55,845,943 (USA) (26 October 2003)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The idea of a rifle concealed in a guitar that shoots out the neck (as in the opening flashback in this film) was previously used by Roy Rogers in the Bob Hope comedy Son of Paleface

Revealing mistakes: When Sands gets shot in the arm toward the end, the squib is clearly visible.

[first lines]
Agent Sands: I never heard of him.
Belini: Who?
Agent Sands: The man you recommended.
Belini: The guitar fighter?

User Review



I really enjoyed this film, and while many people say its not got as strong a plotline as El Mariachi and Desperado, I wholeheartedly disagree.

Both El Mariachi & Desperado had rather thin plots with interesting characters and set pieces. While Once upon... hasnt got the same indepth characters as the first 2, it does have a couple of interesting ones. But the actual plot is the difference.

I think the plot is much stronger than people give it credit for and people look down on it because its so different from the first 2.

Its a fairly complex plot, in which a corrupt CIA agent enlists El Mariachi (to kill the General) while informing A drug baron that El Mariachi has resurfaced... The same drug baron has enlisted a rogue General (see above)to overthrow the peoples president who has sworn to put an end to the drug baron... all this and the same CIA agent has convinced a retired FBI agent to put an end to the drug baron who eluded him and both killed and tortured his best friend... and while this is going on El Mariachi goes to get his trusty guitar case and best friends, 2 fellow mariachi's. Finally to add another spin, the CIA agent gets some information which he passes on to his 'friend', a special forces agent, so as to get her a huge commendation if she can take out the drug baron.

Sound confusing? It is, and roll on double cross after double cross. However watch it once or twice and it does make sense, just dont expect your normal 'Mariachi' revenge movie, because its not and infact everyone plays second fiddle to a fantastic Johnny Depp, whose CIA agent is by far the central character.

Much is also made of the 'missing' Salma Hayek who isnt in it nearly enough, now this I do disagree with. Firstly there is the absolutely gorgeous Eva Mendes, who would blow Hayek off the screen anyday of the week, and should be enough for people who only go to see a beautiful girl, and secondly there is no need for her in the plot other than when she does appear.

Personally I would say, you will enjoy this film if its approached right. And I think you would enjoy it more IF you do buy it rather than rent it or watch it on TV as it allows for repeat viewing which is needed for complete clarity!


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