Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Machete Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Extremely violent "grindhouse" actioner isn't for kids.
  • R
  • 2010
  • 105 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 19 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Although there's an underlying message about racial tolerance, it's secondary to the constant violence (by both "good" and "bad" guys), sex, and language.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Machete fights against corruption and prejudice, but he's also a loner and incredibly violent, with a penchant for making love to whatever beautiful girl happens to be around. He's unfazed by the violence on one side but also apparently unmoved by the prospect of doing good on the other side. One of the women in the movie has created an alter ego for herself, "She," a revolutionary leader and a champion for immigrant rights. She's a more likely role model for teens, but she also ends up employing both sex and violence to achieve her goals. The heroes employ just as much violence as the bad guys do.


Tons of hyper-intense, hyper-stylized violence that pushs the envelope on splatter and gore. The hero kills many, many opponents, with few repercussions. Americans shoot Mexican innocents in cold blood at the border, including a pregnant girl. Viewers see severed heads, severed limbs, and punctured eyes. The hero uses a human intestine as a rope. A priest is crucified. Objects such as corkscrews, meat thermometers, weed whackers, broken glass, and high-heeled shoes are used as weapons, as well as lots and lots of big guns and knives. Cars are smashed up.


The main character sleeps with -- or almost sleeps with -- at least four different women. Machete rescues a naked girl in the opening scene; her breasts and bottom are visible. She conceals a phone in her vagina (she retrieves it offscreen). Two sexy nurses care for Machete in a hospital. He kisses girls in bed on two separate occasions and makes out with two naked women at once in a swimming pool. Jessica Alba is seen naked in the shower (side view). Michelle Rodriguez wears a sexy outfit -- leather bra, bare midriff, and leather pants. One adult male confesses to "impure thoughts" about his pretty daughter. Also sexual innuendo and sexual suggestion.


Non-stop strong language, starting with multiple uses of "f--k" and "s--t" (in various forms). Also "son of a bitch," "c--ksucker," "pecker," "balls," "p---y," "whore," "nuts," "damn," "goddamn," "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation), "hell," and "a--hole," plus Spanish curses like "cabrón" and "pendejo."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters smoke cigarettes and drink tequila. One character takes some kind of pills with booze. Lindsay Lohan plays a drug addict who also smokes cigarettes (she's discovered passed out at a "crack house," but viewers never see her taking any drugs).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that although Machete is directed by Spy Kids' Robert Rodriguez, this movie -- which is based on a fake trailer that Rodriguez created for the 2007 film Grindhouse -- is definitely not for kids. Like some of his other adult-oriented movies, it's filled with crazy violence, gratuitous nudity and sexual innuendo, and strong language (including "f--k" and "s--t"), as well as drinking and smoking. Though it's well made and actually has a very strong message about racial tolerance, this kind of extreme filmmaking is absolutely adults-only fare.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byfonzieg April 3, 2015

Tons of bloody mayhem and action to make this movie tons of fun!

As a spin off to the Spy Kids movies, i say this is one of the best spin off movies i have ever seen! Machete is actually much better than Spy Kids, also for g... Continue reading
Adult Written byFighter2425 January 6, 2012

Nudity, F-bombs, and Guts galore!

Despite what many people have said about this movie, it really isn't that sexual. There is much nudity, but none of which is has much to do with sex. The s... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byClorox bleach June 5, 2021


This movie is very dumb and it got bad after the opening scene. The cover of the movie looked like it’s a fun action movie but it was an unrealistic mess. I giv... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bymr.filmrate October 9, 2015

Lots of action but not for kids.

Even though the film is made by Robert Rodriguez, the one who made the Spy Kids series and The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl, this movie contains strong s... Continue reading

What's the story?

Three years ago, a federale (Mexican federal police officer), called Machete (Danny Trejo) watched helplessly as a ruthless gangster (Steven Seagal) murdered his wife. Now, he works as a day laborer on the U.S. side of the border. Machete is hired to assassinate a U.S. senator (Robert De Niro) -- a stern advocate against Mexican immigrants -- but the job turns out to be a setup. Now Machete is on the run, but he has help from a pretty immigration agent (Jessica Alba) and an underground revolutionary leader (Michelle Rodriguez). Enter several nasty killers, a gun-toting priest, and a drug-addled daughter, and it all adds up to a bullet-ridden showdown, with Machete in the middle.

Is it any good?

Springing dubiously from one of the fake trailers in Grindhouse (2007), MACHETE brings director Robert Rodriguez's career full circle and emerges as one of his very best films. He began in 1992 with the low-budget Spanish-language action movie El Mariachi; Machete continues in that vein, but with more resources, more enthusiasm, and more guts.

Rodriguez can sometimes get a bit too carried away with his films and can sometimes forget to invite the audience into his fun -- but Machete captures exactly the right tone; it's fun, shocking, and even has some righteous ideals. Under any conditions, Rodriguez is one of the finest action directors in Hollywood, and his set pieces here are explosive. The amazing, oddball actors are perfectly placed, especially the tough, pockmarked Trejo, who usually plays character parts. All of that said, like the other "Grindhouse" films, Machete is way too violent and sexed up for anyone under 17 -- willfully so.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the movie's intentionally shocking material. Why would the extreme violence of this film be considered entertaining? Is it meant to be taken seriously? How can you tell?

  • Do you think films like this only appeal to a certain audience? Who is that audience, and why are they drawn to material like this? Are the vintage '60s and '70s exploitation movies that this one was inspired by still relevant today?

  • What's the significance of Machete being a Mexican-American action hero? Can you think of other non-white action heroes?

  • Machete has sex with several different women. What are the real-life consequences of that type of behavior?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

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