The Mule (2018) Poster

(2018)

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10/10
Clint Eastwood's slow burn of a film....
terceira82915 December 2018
In my personal opinion no one does a slow burn better then Mr. Eastwood. His cinematography, lighting and ambience develops slowly... he's in no hurry to tell his story and that's what makes him such a great storyteller. We experience the anxiety of his first few trips and along with everyone else in the theatre...we wait for the other shoe to drop. His showcased advanced age along with his hunched posture and shuffled walk in this film is the perfect antagonist for what is expected and asked of him. We are privy to comparisons of his choices of work over family. Eastwood seems to have no regret or recollection of his daughters wedding whilst receiving an award for his prized lilies. He continues to be the "Mule" knowing all too well the consequences of his actions. Redemption is a very big price. Eastwood shines here. Don't expect a lot of action... but this film is a study in character... which is what Eastwood does best.
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9/10
Clint Eastwood shines in what might be his final acting role!
b_kite29 December 2018
Without a doubt weather you love him or hate him Clint Eastwood is definitely one of the most iconic figures in movie cinema. Eastwood's ability to keep directing movies at near 90 years of age is just astonishing to me. While he's definitely slowed down his acting in the last decade (I figured Gran Torino would have been his sawn song) he actually managed to put out a baseball movie and now The Mule the true story of a 90 year old man who became the Mexican drug cartals best carrier. While critics have been rather skeptical towards the movie anyone who knows Eastwood can relate to the movie itself, the main story here is that Eastwood's character has never really been there for his family, which in turn has turned his ex wife and daughter against him. When one thinks it makes you wonder if this isn't a real play on Eastwood's real life. After all the man fathered at least 8 known children from 6 different women. I won't ramble on, but, there's enough comedic moments here to level out the dramatic moments. It's a role I believe Eastwood turned into a play on his actual life in some instances and if this is his swan song in acting then what a way to go.
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9/10
Eastwood crime drama, his best film in many years
PotassiumMan15 December 2018
A Clint Eastwood film is sometimes all you need to remember how much you love great cinema and that's especially true in this case. It's the real life story of an 80-year-old war veteran who, as he finds his livelihood threatened, manages to cross paths with a Mexican drug cartel and winds up transporting their product across the Midwest. As he demonstrates value, his runs become larger and more lucrative each time.

Eastwood portrays Earl Stone, a mild-mannered hardworking horticulturalist who became a champion drug mule for the cartels as law enforcement was completely blind to his low-key but highly effective operations. Enter Bradley Cooper as the dedicated DEA agent who has to muster considerable time and resources to even begin to piece things together and Michael Pena as his partner. Dianne Weist offers a sympathetic turn as Stone's long-suffering ex-wife. Andy Garcia is good fun as the drug lord who is pleased with the old mercenary's hard work.

Although this film covers a grim story, it has a light-hearted feel for many stretches and a refreshing sense of humor. Eastwood himself is absolutely compelling as an old man who suddenly finds himself awash in money from an illegal enterprise and seeing the world from a different angle; here, Clint reminds us how huge a screen presence he has no matter how old he gets.

I'm not sure what many critics have missed with this film but hopefully audiences will take note. Eastwood has given us another great film and one of his best performances ever in this crackerjack drama. Highly recommended.
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10/10
So Eastwood
nrapny-0169416 December 2018
The Mule is the definition of an Eastwood directed film.

Dont expect action packed. This is raw and real crime drama. There are some beautiful moments and always a strong moral. Definitely a must see!
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8/10
I believe Clint Eastwood still rocks on-screen, so what if he is 90, "The Mule" is still a good movie with good story
svhot14 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
"The Mule" has Clint Eastwood playing his age , which is in his nineties. Therefore, viewers should not put unnecessary expectations on the old man's shoulders. I mean, what do you expect him to do at that age - jump off a plane onto Eiffel tower, and then stand up and continue smiling? Come on, people - give the veteran actor the credit that he deserves. Clint Eastwood is still a good actor and director, and I recommend this movie should be watched at least once by the millions of Clint Eastwood fans around the world.

This new movie , directed and featuring Clint Eastwood, has a good enough story. Eastwood plays a 90 year old man who becomes a mule for a drug cartel, driving and delivering large quantities of cocaine. He begins this job to earn enough money to pay for his family member's expenses, so that he can win their trust again. Later on , he decides to continue with it because the drug cartel bosses and members also seem to respect him, and , and like him. "The Mule" likes to be the centre of attention - something which all the senior people crave for. Cheers , Mr Clint Eastwood, you still shine brightly enough on-screen.
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9/10
D I F F E R E N T
ronin-1928814 December 2018
Truly one of the best movies of the year. It is nerving that the golden globes didn't give Clint Eastwood a nomination for best actor he gave a great preformance and his ensemble gave a solid story a solid story well told.
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10/10
A Movie of Regrets and Hard truth
timeblank16 December 2018
Clint Eastwood is a wonderful actor and director. He tells a story of a 90 year old man facing money and family issues. However, when he works for the wrong people, he may have money coming in so he can enjoy life but the consequences at the end will hit him hard.

This movie was pretty entertaining, their some scenes I enjoyed laughing and some I was sad. Regret hurts. You wish you could turn back the clock. Clint Eastwood presents that wonderfully in this movie. This is a great film to see.
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7/10
Far from a classic, but an OK Eastwood flick
umimelectric20 March 2019
You could say I'm a considerably huge Clint Eastwood fan, I celebrate the man's whole career and love most of his work. As a director, I think he's been solid overall, making a handful of classic films along the way. As watchable as it is, The Mule is not one of them. It could be the last big thing we see from Eastwood's career, and if so, then it's not a bad note to go out on, but it's not his best, and it doesn't have to be. He's proven himself a hundred times over, and this is the film he wanted to make. The Mule is a fine movie to watch, and Eastwood plays a very subdued character, unlike his role in Gran Tarino where he still had shades of his bad boy past. He's softer, he's passive, he's what you expect a man of this age to be...and in that way, he played it perfectly.
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7/10
Not bad..
bdolloff-6390528 December 2018
I'll keep it short. Not a bad movie, a little slow but just enough to keep you interested. Good acting, funny wise cracks, ending kind of a let down. Still better than 90% of the movie out there. 7/10
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8/10
like gran torino ..
sandhya6015 December 2018
Saw The Mule today. First show of the first day with the Mom who appreciates seeing movies made by her generation. I will give this a solid 8.5 out of 10. First off, its nice to see an older actor playing (and producing and directing of course) an older person from (their own) generation and era. No Hollywood play ups (with PC actors acting parts that would have never been filled by someone other than who it would have been in real life!) or PC. If you liked Gran Torino, you will like this one too. Written about a World War 2 gen and his life as a Drug Mule in the Modern World. Young people who are not familiar with this generation, because they are so far removed from it, probably will not understand the sociology of the greatest generation. This would be their great great grand fathers. So probably good idea to (have them) watch movies about this generation before seeing this one. Like I said, youngsters are too far removed to understand the way of the older generation. What makes this movie good is based on a true story, with some human events sprinkled through to add texture and dimension to the character. Older folks will appreciate seeing someone their own age, doing something daring, and illegal, rather than watching some youngster. Good adult entertainment and examination of society and what folks will do if they are driven to do something or given the chance to do something they would have never done, read the NY times article on the guy this is based on. Take your grandparent.....This is classic modern Eastwood.
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7/10
Swan Song
ThomasDrufke27 December 2018
A marketing campaign coming in at the 12th hour and a film that's still been surprisingly hidden by Warner Bros, The Mule could be a fitting end to a storied Hollywood career from Clint Eastwood. In many ways mirroring his life, The Mule gives insight into Eastwood's inner psyche, as he has navigated being an in demand actor for over 60 years whilst having a large family to look after as well. So if you're looking at the film in that way, it's a sharp and poignant apology Eastwood is sending to his family after all these years. It's not a perfect film, but it's tightly directed, at times brilliantly intense, and even emotionally moving. Even if it is a ultimately predictable and unsurprising drama. If it is Eastwood's last hoorah, it's been one hell of a run.

7.7/10
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10/10
Clint Eastwood's Best Acting Performance
singersongwriter-0685715 December 2018
This has got to be one of Eastwood's best films. In every way it is great, from the acting to the story to the pacing, etc. Was gripping and engaging from the very start to the powerful ending.

The Mule is up there with his best films such as Million Dollar Baby, Unforgiven, Letters from Iwo Jima, American Sniper and Mystic River. The Mule is an Instant classic. At his age of 88, it is hard to imagine he has many more great films left in him but if not, he will certainly go out on a high note with this masterpiece!

This is one not to be missed. It deserves a lot of attention come Oscar time!
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5/10
Shallow, Overly Simplistic, and Lacking Creativity
tbrown876 January 2019
I was preparing an in-depth review, but this film doesn't deserve one.

The good: -Clint Eastwood -Supporting cast -Music score and soundtrack -A couple strong moments (Earl and Mary's last convo, Earl and Agent Bates' last convo)

The bad: -Shallow characters -Story lacks detail and complexity -Tonally uneven -The purpose and message of the film was conveyed in an unimaginative and cliche manner

If you love Eastwood, check it out. You might enjoy it. Sadly, his character is the only one with any nuance, substance, or layers. The plot is developed poorly without enough detail to make the viewer feel immersed or invested in what's going on.
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7/10
Great movie, horribly lame ending.
KatoC27 March 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Since i.m.o. this is a classic parable kind of story (with his mule experience being allegorical for an entire life, not necessarily his), it could easily have ended with some sort of a bang. Like, after the phone call he receives from his niece on his ex-wifes stage, he could have hidden the load, and later would have went on to pick it up from the hiding place, but got intercepted by the cops, who than would have had no case against him. He could have made his last delivery in the later course and then had made a deal with the police, leading them to the bad guys. Instead, Eastwood decides it is time to walk the crime-doesn't-pay-high road in a very abrupt and swift right turn, only to put an Porsche-breaks-like full stop to what could have ended rather happily, or at least with a smile. Aside from this, I found the movie very entertaining. Some unfortunate amateur acting mishaps, but totally neglect-able.
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10/10
If you like Gran Tourino and Clint Eastwood buckle up and enjoy the ride!
perseus_pinoykid15 December 2018
What as solid performance from the cast and Clint Eastwood. Story was moving and realistic. You've gotta wait for the ending! Watch it with the whole family! Punchlines were on spot and warning: No Political Correctness Zone. Wish there's a sequel?
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10/10
Superb
supersaiyanwarrior14 December 2018
Absolute Eastwood style, just watch it. ONE Of the best eastwood performance.
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4/10
Please stop with the Gran Torino comparisons
jfhartwig18 December 2018
Dialogue seemed awkward, unbelievable, and forced. There was some character development that just sort of stopped and never picked back up. Even the cinematography was awkward, following characters out of the room or watching them walk down a hallway at the end of a scene for no reason. I really enjoyed Gran Torino despite some of its cheesy parts, but The Mule just isn't a good movie. People who claim to love it were going to love it no matter what. Extremely disappointing.
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4/10
A directoral disappointment
aschmidt-0559016 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I went into this movie with high expectations. This is not a critique of Eastwood's performance. It's just that the whole movie left so many plot holes unaddressed, it was a disappointment from such a talented and skilled director.

A man whose life as a glad-handed flirt is bankrupt when a complete stranger approaches him with a job offer. First the good-ol'-boy follows up on this with no other information that 'he will be driving.' Then the good-ol'-boy starts throwing around wads of CASH, and no one seems the least bit suspicious. Until his ex-wife is on her death-bed. Only then is the question raised.

The foreclosure is paid off - in CASH, and the bank does not question. Huge red flag of illegal activity.

The whole encounter with the K9 officer was unbelievable. The dog gives an alert, but the handler is impatient with him. No K9 handler would be so dismissive of his partner. And no K9 would approach a suspect when on alert. And no handler would not have his dog on voice control.

The granddaughter has a comfortable relationship with her grandfather, despite the estrangement of her mother and grandmother. No back story to account for how this happens.

Granddaughter graduates from cosmetology school (paid by grandfather, of course) with a cap and gown ceremony!

Police officer in Missouri is easily distracted from his inquiries by tubs of popcorn!

Second set of cartel handlers goes from threats and intimidations on first meeting to empathy after their mule has been off the grid for more than a week.

There are more and more. I am generally of the school of thought that 'suspension of disbelief' can be a huge factor in enjoying movies. But there were just too many holes in this movie to sustain this.
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10/10
Cant get enough of his movies
sandrashockey31 December 2018
This movie has so many great life lessons and insights. I was upset at the ending of the movie then realized that it was yet another lesson. Great movie, great cast and i hope to see more clint eastwoods movies. Very talented man
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10/10
Terrific Movie
ricramey200016 December 2018
I truly loved this film. Funny all the way to tears. I'm already going to see it again. I missed a bit because of the laughter. The ending was moving yet beautiful. I'm old enough to have seen all of his films and this film is among his very best. Retired Dirty Harry without a gun. Wonderful film and I really see it doing very well at the Oscars. Congratulations Mr. Eastwood.
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4/10
The plot has more holes than an adandoned crack house
webmaster-110021 March 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I'm not gonna lie. This is one weird-ass movie. Clint Eastwood as a 90-year old drug mule is indeed a bizarre proposition but that actually makes more sense than most of what happens in the movie itself.

How does he become a drug runner? Glad you asked. When Clint's character Earl is visiting his granddaughter for a pre-wedding brunch, a random guest at the gathering walks up to Earl as he is leaving and, based on a super short conversation about his truck, asks him if he wants the gig. Makes sense. They've never met before. Why not ask the 90-year old granddad of the bride if he wants to be a drug mule? Makes sense. And he accepts! Sure! Why not.

So after the pick-up at a tire place, Earl does his first run for a mexican cartel. They have no idea who the guy is, but they gladly shove millions of dollars worth of drugs into his beat-up truck and send him on his way. When he completes the job (driving from one city to another), he spends all his newfound cash on a fancy new, juiced-up truck.

Later, he pays off a large bill to get his foreclosed home back; the time after that he spends at least 25 g's to pay off debts to re-open a restaurant he likes. You'd think the cartel would caution him not to spend all his drug money at once and so lavishly, to avoid raising suspicion, given he is officially broke. Instead, they praise him on his new wheels. Sure, makes sense.

On his fifth run, where he is transporting an exceptionally big 'ol load of drugs, his new handler follows him the whole way. What do they need Earl for, then, if the men from the cartel drive the exact same route anyway?

It's also more than a bit odd for them to entrust a 90-year old stranger with a valuable payload given the fact that he could drop dead at any moment, for one, with his advanced age and all.

At one point he has $12 million worth of drugs and they (the cartel) can't find him for over a week as he attends to his dying ex-wife. Hmm. Maybe put a tail on him or place a GPS tracker with the dope? Or, hey, maybe check if he is with a family member such as the mother of his daughter? Just an idea.

As he does more runs, the cartel alternates between wanting him to follow orders to the letter and saying it might be less suspicious that he sometimes takes alternate routes and such. Hmm. They also threaten him, even though he shows repeatedly that he doesn't care about their intimidation or what they may do to him.

Despite his right-wing nutty political views I actually like Clint. He is obviously a legendary actor and he's good in this movie too. Even while pushing ninety in real life he seems to be enjoying himself with this character.

Bradley Cooper mostly phones in his performance as a tough DEA dude, while most of the other characters are also caricatures. Michael Peña, usually great, is particularly bad in this film.

Earl's granddaughter, played by Taissa Farmiga, looks like she's around fourteen at her own wedding but that may just be Farmiga having exceptionally youthful looks.

It's a really odd movie, but worth a watch for Clint's (presumably last) performance as an actor.
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7/10
The Mule presents a fascinating, yet flawed story about work and family.
eparazak21 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The Mule is directed by Clint Eastwood and stars him as 90-year-old drug runner Earl Stone. After years of family neglect and being a workaholic, he begins to go through foreclosure. Fortunately, he gains a job to transport drugs worth a lot of money. At the same time however, he is being followed by a DEA team run by Bradley Cooper.

I was interested in seeing this movie since I don't have much experience with watching Eastwood movies and this may end up being his last movie. Either way, this movie is actually pretty good. It was well-acted, well-shot and had a mostly well-told story. Clint Eastwood is great in this. I just love his performance of this man with an attitude and yet he's still fairly likable. We want him to succeed despite his quirks; he felt believable in his need for survival. I also thought Bradley Cooper was great in this performance. He felt intimidating, for instance there is a scene with him and Earl before the third act which made me feel uncomfortable since they were both unaware that they were going against each other. This movie also has a good moral regarding work and families, which in this day and age feels especially needed.

The biggest problem that does bring this movie down for me however would have to be the pacing of the first half. It felt really slow in my eyes and in general had very little tension between Stone and Cooper's character. It felt really long and drawn-out and I was genuinely bored throughout it. It's at least nice that the second half really picks things up.

Despite a rough start, I did enjoy what this film has to offer. I feel like Clint Eastwood fans would enjoy it as well as those who are fans of crime thrillers. 7/10
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7/10
Yet another great Eastwood movie
sun-creek15 December 2018
Another well made movie from Clint Eastwood. His performance is top notch as well. Not his best, but well worth watching. Thanks Clint!
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10/10
Thankfully not a typical PC fantasy out of Hollywood
biztricityrv17 December 2018
Excellent, raw, intelligent directing and a realistic portrayal of a 90 something year olds view on the situation he is in. Will not win awards though because Eastwood has never bowed to the liberal elite but always seems to capture a story with a realistic persona.
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6/10
A predictable pattern
SlyGuy2118 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is under 2 hours long, yet it feels like 3 hours. It's a slow-burning thriller that burns too long. The movie goes like this: family drama, driving, delivering drugs, driving, DEA agents. Repeat that for 2 hours and you have "The Mule". I liked parts of it, and I can respect Clint Eastwood's work ethic at his age. The guy's practically a Disney sweatshop for movies. There are some funny moments, but the movie lacks any tension because it follows the pattern and nothing else. Even when they try to change it up by killing Laton, the pattern repeats itself. Even when they have Clint's ex-wife die of cancer, the pattern repeats. There's no big shootouts, there no dramatic music, it's just an old guy delivering drugs with some jokes put in to keep you awake. I know it's a Clint Eastwood movie, but a little suspense, or tension would've really helped. Cooper and Peña are OK, so is Fishburne, but they don't really elevate the movie. The biggest positives were the back-and-forth between Clint and the cartel, and a very attractive black woman with almost no clothes on. That's what elevated this movie past mediocre.
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