The Mule (2018)


Critic Consensus: A flawed yet enjoyable late-period Eastwood entry, The Mule stubbornly retains its footing despite a few missteps on its occasionally unpredictable path.


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Earl Stone, a man in his 80s who is broke, alone, and facing foreclosure of his business when he is offered a job that simply requires him to drive. Easy enough, but, unbeknownst to Earl, he's just signed on as a drug courier for a Mexican cartel. He does well -- so well, in fact, that his cargo increases exponentially, and Earl is assigned a handler. But he isn't the only one keeping tabs on Earl; the mysterious new drug mule has also hit the radar of hard-charging DEA agent Colin Bates. And even as his money problems become a thing of the past, Earl's past mistakes start to weigh heavily on him, and it's uncertain if he'll have time to right those wrongs before law enforcement, or the cartel's enforcers, catch up to him.

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Critic Reviews for The Mule

All Critics (63) | Top Critics (24)

Tonally, this thing is a disaster, and you can only conclude that its maker, capable of sharp ironies as recently as 2014's American Sniper, didn't fully digest the material.

Dec 14, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

There's nothing heroic about Earl, but in Eastwood's 38th film as a director, he makes the character a felonious centerpiece as likable as anyone could ever imagine.

Dec 14, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The story at its core deals with matters that have long been Mr. Eastwood's professional, and clearly personal, concern... When the old man finally mans up to his failings, the movie succeeds with special poignancy.

Dec 14, 2018 | Full Review…

The Mule repeatedly spells out and hammers home its message about the importance of family, but it ultimately rings hollow.

Dec 14, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

There's an interesting movie, or five movies, stashed away somewhere in The Mule. Good luck to those hoping to sniff it out.

Dec 14, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

It's the detours on Eastwood's road movie- the stops along the way that show an old man dealing with the dim possibilities of change near the end of his life - that reveal this drug-mule-in-winter drama as a deeply personal reckoning.

Dec 13, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

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