Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Dean Essner - Entertainment Weekly
Mr. Rodriguez may be good enough to make a film about anything, but Desperado would collapse if its characters had to do anything but play with guns.
Janet Maslin - New York Times
Desperado, which is nothing but set pieces, snoozes between its scenes of carnage.
Mike Clark - USA Today
On the whole, watching the film is about as much fun as sitting on a cactus.
Rita Kempley - Washington Post
In this movie, words and actions speak equally loudly.
Desson Thomson - Washington Post
What happens looks terrific. Now if [Rodriguez] can harness that technical facility to a screenplay that's more story than setup, he might really have something.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Todd McCarthy - Variety
Bloated and overlong.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Desperado is best when Rodriguez lets his playful side cut through the blare of a born filmmaker indulging his first chance at high-end Hollywood fireworks.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
What Rodriguez has essentially done in Desperado is make a slicker, more expensive copy of what came before. And what looked promising for $7,000 looks tiresome for a whole lot more.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
Within Rodriguez' pulp formula stories are little pockets of ingenuity.
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Rodriguez's follow-up is unquestionably formulaic but mercifully free of the flat dialogue and arch one-liners that undermine so many action films.
Dean Essner - TV Guide's Movie Guide
A slicker, more expensive version than El Mariach, except that what was promising and charming for $7,000 now looks tiresome and repetitious for $7 million
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
Rodriguez's second feature may be a rambling, derivative exercise in gratuitous violence, but its determination to proceed as if the word 'restraint' never existed makes for gleeful entertainment.
Geoff Andrew - Time Out
An incredibly violent and infinitely entertaining shoot-'em-up.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
A supreme example of style vs. substance - and style wins!
Brian Mckay - eFilmCritic.com
Bill Chambers - Film Freak Central
Desperado has merit as a guilty pleasure, but when the violence and action grow tiresome, the film has nothing to hang its hat on.
Forrest Hartman - Reno Gazette-Journal
Slick, funny and exciting, but falls apart in the end.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - San Francisco Examiner
A zesty action thriller that recycles the best of the B genres and rolls them into a big-budget, pistol-packing extravaganza that in its best moments leaves you breathless with wonder.
Jeanne Aufmuth - Palo Alto Weekly
Rebecca Murray - About.com
Brilliantly made, if not especially deep, actioneer with nice cast.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
James O'Ehley - Sci-Fi Movie Page
I love Rodriguez' style, and his film is always fun. Too bad he didn't bother giving his story and characters more depth.
Kevin N. Laforest - Montreal Film Journal
Many characters and situations are repetitive and the film is overlong, and at times even boring.
Dragan Antulov - rec.arts.movies.reviews
The routine gets tiresome for the Mariachi, and for the audience, too, after about an hour.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
Banderas oozes sexual charisma and strength, and the supporting cast is strong all around, especially a wily Steve Buscemi as the Mariachi's friend.
Lael Loewenstein - Boxoffice Magazine
A movie that was probably more fun to make than it is to watch.
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie - Film Scouts
If Rodriguez is still stumbling forward, finding his way, at least he's got panache and character. Sometimes, that is enough.
Jeremiah Kipp - ToxicUniverse.com
Enough blood to fill a swimming pool!
Christopher Null - Filmcritic.com
It's violence as a dance.
Cynthia Fuchs - Philadelphia City Paper
As movies go, Desperado is a great big assault weapon with the trigger squeezed hard. It's effective, but it crosses a line -- there's only so much of the same old rat-a-tat-a-tat that you can really take.
Bryant Frazer - Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus
There's plenty of action and will keep Banderas fans happy, but somehow lacks the charm of the original.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
Around the halfway or two-thirds mark, the bloody killings become far too redundant, the best supporting characters are gone and Rodriguez rapidly runs out of fresh ideas.
Chris Hicks - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
There's nothing like going into a movie with high expectations and coming out in awe....What (Rodriguez) can do with $7 million would make big-budget action directors cry.
Rob Blackwelder - SPLICEDWire
On the one hand, Rodriguez sticks with what he knows -- screwball action-adventure. On the other hand, he seems to have shot the same movie twice.
Barbara Shulgasser - San Francisco Examiner
It's big, it's daft, but Desperado is confident and hugely entertaining filmmaking.
Bob McCabe - Empire Magazine
A wonderfully exciting and hypnotic action film.
Madeleine Williams - Cinematter
A bust-a-gut film experience that reveals Rodriguez as both a stylist versed in the mechanics of popular storytelling and a maverick whose ingenuity guides him along a singular path.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle