Cry Macho, a self-congratulatory, sentimental, and rather lovely road film, gets a review.

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Cry Macho, a self-congratulatory, sentimental, and rather lovely road movie, gets a review.

A weary cowboy tries to find redemption by teaching a young boy the meaning of manhood.

Cry Macho is a salutary and rather tender minor-key road movie of sorts, shot in what often feels and looks like the fading amber light of a late summer afternoon.

Without Clint Eastwood, the 91-year-old national institution who directs, produces, and stars in the film, none of it would work.

It still doesn’t work for some people.

Nonetheless, the story of an old cowboy preparing a young ‘un to live a good and righteous life without him feels more than the sum of its parts, and it could serve as a rather lovely send-off for the aged movie hero if he so chooses.

The plot is simple: it’s 1979, and Mike Milo (Eastwood), a broken-down rodeo hero, is asked to return a favor by his ranch-owner boss and longtime pal Howard (Dwight Yoakam).

It’s a big one: the bossman has a half-Mexican son, Rafael (Eduardo Minnett), who he hasn’t seen in years, somewhere south of the border.

Rafael is now 13 years old, and his life appears to be heading in the wrong direction: he is already drinking, sleeping on the streets, and participating in the local cockfighting tradition with his favorite rooster, “Macho.”

Howard requests that Mike transport the child back to Texas, away from his overbearing mother and toward his estranged father.

This proves to be an unexpectedly difficult task, and the journey turns into a surprisingly sweet odd-couple adventure, devoid of the urgency or violence that one might expect from an Eastwood film.

Instead, on the road, an obnoxious old man and a rambunctious adolescent discover something akin to kinship.

Cry Macho is an uneven film; it’s sentimental at times, and it makes a few puzzling decisions (why would Howard send a man of Mike’s age on such a mission, and why is Mike irresistible to women decades younger despite being 91 years old?)

But its allure is undeniable, providing us with the legendary scowling outlaw, tough as a two-dollar steak but with a soft underbelly and genuine regret.

A brief scene between the old man and the boy reveals the film’s not-so-secret heart.

Rafael claims this.

UK news summary from Infosurhoy.

Cry Macho, a self-congratulatory, sentimental, and rather lovely road film, gets a review.

Cry Macho, review: A self-congratulatory, sentimental and rather lovely road movie

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Cry Macho, review: A self-congratulatory, sentimental and rather lovely road movie

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