Parents' Guide to


By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Graphic violence, language in '90s action-thriller.

Movie R 1995 104 minutes
Desperado movie poster: Antonio Banderas with a gun

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While there was some disappointment for those who loved Robert Rodriguez' first movie El Mariachi, Desperado has stood the test of time. After the shoestring budget of El Mariachi, Desperado had major studio backing, and Rodriguez made the most of it. So much of the humor and style comes from over-the-top exaggeration in the violence, characters, and conflicts. It takes all the exaggeration of a genre that was already exaggerated, the traditional Western movie, and the result is a crazed sample of ‘90s cinema at its best.

As Mariachi, Antonio Banderas manages the balance between the "strong silent" archetype while also embracing the humor of the picture. The supporting cast is comprised of either all-stars or soon-to-be stars, everyone from Steve Buscemi to Cheech Marin to Salma Hayek to Danny Trejo, and each one turns in an appropriately preposterous performance to an enjoyably preposterous movie.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: August 25, 1995
  • On DVD or streaming: June 27, 1997
  • Cast: Antonio Banderas , Salma Hayek , Steve Buscemi
  • Director: Robert Rodriguez
  • Inclusion Information: Latino directors, Female actors, Latino actors, Middle Eastern/North African actors
  • Studio: Columbia Pictures
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Run time: 104 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: Strong bloody violence, a strong sex sequence and language.
  • Last updated: November 9, 2023

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