‘Cry Macho’ Proves That Clint Eastwood Is Still A Star, Even At 91 Years Old

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The general online consensus about Clint Eastwood’s new, modern Western, Cry Macho, seems to essentially be: “Dang, Clint Eastwood is really freaking old!”

And it’s true, the man himself turned 91 just this past summer. Based on my first viewing as someone who hasn’t read N. Richard Nash’s 1975 novel with the same title, I have to assume Eastwood’s protagonist is probably closer to 70 years old. He’s old, but isn’t viewed or treated entirely geriatric. But because it’s Clint, who has been his own boss for quite a long time, he’s going to continue playing leading men for however long he darn well likes.


In 1980 Texas, former rodeo star Michael Milo (Eastwood) is all but washed up and retired after a dangerous stunt accident causes a bad back injury. His old boss, Howard (Dwight Yoakam), puts his bitterness with the rider aside to convince him to drive into Mexico and save Howard’s secret teenage son, Rafael (Eduardo Minett), from the boy’s mother, Leta (Fernanda Urrejola). Leta has crime connections in Mexico City which Howard believes are a bad influence on Rafo, and he thinks the teen would be better off in the US. Things go relatively smoothly when Mike shows up in the country, until Leta’s gang quickly find Mike and Rafo, and the duo have to hide out in a small town following car trouble. The title, Cry Macho, refers to Rafo’s special pet rooster who is very good at self-defense.

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While most people are pointing out how ridiculous it is to see 91-year-old Clint Eastwood have a fight scene, for me the most far-fetched aspect of the film is that a good looking, much younger woman—played by Natalia Traven—would be romantically interested in someone Eastwood’s age. Since I can’t find a source for Traven’s real age and the characters’ own ages are purposely left ambiguous, I assume the love interest is somewhere in her 50s. Still, even in middle age, I can’t imagine any stable, working woman would be interested in an ordinary old man who looks close to 100.

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That aside, I found Cry Macho to be mostly a quaint, endearing buddy picture that would work well alongside Michael Sarnoski’s Pig from a couple months ago (though for a slightly more family appropriate audience than the latter). Had Eastwood shot Cry Macho back in the late 1990s or early 2000s, I think the age comments wouldn’t be so apparent and the theoretical result would probably be considered one of his average efforts.

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Like with most of Eastwood’s contemporary features, the dialogue and exposition in Cry Macho are a little stilted, particularly during Yoakam’s introduction. But as is also the case with Eastwood’s more recent movies, the acting and direction usually make up for the shortcomings. Eastwood clearly enjoys working with brand new, fresh talent, such as unknowns like Minett here or the young cast in Gran Torino (2008). Fortunately, Eastwood somehow makes the combo of newcomer and living legend work and not come across as awkward.

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Cry Macho isn’t revolutionary or a huge disappointment, but more a decent viewing for when you’re lounging around at home.


Did you see Clint Eastwood’s Cry Macho? How does it compare to some of his earlier works? Let us know in the comments!

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