Cry Macho parents guide

Cry Macho Parent Guide

With dialogue that's serviceable at best and characters that don't grow or change, this movie is completely forgettable.

Overall C+

In Theaters & HBO Max: Clint Eastwood stars as a washed-up horse breeder and rodeo star in need of work. He accepts a job from a worried father to pick up his son from his alcoholic mother and bring him home. En route, Eastwood's character teaches the boy what it means to be a good man.

Release date September 17, 2021

Violence B
Sexual Content B
Profanity C
Substance Use B

Why is Cry Macho rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Cry Macho PG-13 for language and thematic elements

Run Time: 125 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Mike’s (Clint Eastwood) rodeo days are long behind him and, following the tragic deaths of his wife and son, he’s well on his way to being washed up. He’s just lost his job, but his former employer, Howard (Dwight Yoakam) has a favor to call in. Howard’s estranged wife lives in Mexico with their son, Rufo (Eduardo Minett), and Howard hasn’t seen the boy since he was an infant. Rufo is now 13, and Howard feels like he ought to spend some time with his son. However, since Howard has some ongoing legal issues in Mexico, he needs Mike to cross the border and pick him up. The only problem? Rufo’s been getting a little wild, and even his mother isn’t sure where to find him…or if he’ll even want to come.

I’m going to start with the content concerns because, frankly, there aren’t very many of them. There’s some brief scatological profanity, some off-screen violence, and a little bit of social drinking. That’s about it. As Clint Eastwood movies go, that’s a remarkably mild list.

Unfortunately, Cry Macho is also lethally boring. The story is supposed to be another wholesome “crotchety old man finds redemption after spending time with an initially annoying kid” plot, but it doesn’t work for the simple reason that none of these characters change. Sure, different things happen to them, and they are forced into situations where they have to make new choices. But they aren’t fundamentally different people, and it’s unclear what, if anything, the characters or the audience are supposed to learn from any of this.

On top of that, the dialogue is…serviceable. At best. It’s also unbelievably forgettable. Now, the movie might be able to save that with the right casting, but none of these performances are phenomenal either. Clint Eastwood wanders around looking like a geriatric escapee from the local care home squinting at everyone, presumably because he forgot his bifocals. Sometimes he just looks vaguely lost – a feeling I could relate to all too easily. This isn’t a long film, but it’s so drastically uninteresting that I frequently forgot why I was watching it.

In fact, I think the kindest thing I can say about this film is that it’s completely unmemorable. It’s bland, but not aggravating enough to stand out in your memory. As the credits started rolling, I could feel every detail of the film oozing slug-like out of my brain, leaving little more than the image of Eastwood’s lost face behind. Save your money and watch something worth remembering – or, at least, something you’re capable of remembering.

Directed by Clint Eastwood. Starring Clint Eastwood, Dwight Yoakam, Fernanda Urrejola, Eduardo Minett. Running time: 125 minutes. Theatrical release September 17, 2021. Updated

Watch the trailer for Cry Macho

Cry Macho
Rating & Content Info

Why is Cry Macho rated PG-13? Cry Macho is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for language and thematic elements

Violence: An individual is beaten off-screen. There are references to child abuse and domestic violence with no on-screen activity. Some animals are seen with minor injuries.
Sexual Content: There are a few brief non-explicit references to sexual abuse. One adult character behaves in a suggestive manner.
Profanity: There are 15 scatological profanities and occasional uses of mild curses and terms of deity in both English and Spanish.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are shown drinking socially. There are references to prescription drug abuse and drug smuggling.

Page last updated

Cry Macho Parents' Guide

What are Howard’s motives for wanting to see Rufo? How does his mother feel about this? How does their relationship affect Rufo? What does Rufo learn from them, and what does he learn from Mike? How do you think things will go between Rufo and Howard in Texas?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

Clint Eastwood isn’t new to the grouchy old man redemption story – he plays a similar, if grouchier, character in Gran Torino. Other films with a similar redemptive story include The Marksman, The Mule, The Old Man and the Gun, and St. Vincent.