The Matador

Rated 4.0

At a hotel in Mexico City, a businessman (Greg Kinnear) in crisis meets a professional killer (Pierce Brosnan) suffering from career burnout; from there, their association takes a series of surprising turns, culminating six months later, when the hit man shows up on the other man’s Denver doorstep. Director Richard Shepard’s script starts out looking like a deadpan rehash of The Whole Nine Yards, but before we can roll our eyes at the familiarity of it, he moves into very unfamiliar territory indeed. The surprises keep coming, and Shepard provides a satisfying double-twist ending—more satisfying, in fact, than we would have thought possible even five minutes before. Brosnan gives perhaps the performance of his career, matched by Kinnear and by Hope Davis as Kinnear’s wife.