Starring: Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Peña, Dianne Wiest, Andy García, Alison Eastwood, Taissa Farmiga, Ignacio Serricchio, Loren Dean, Victor Rasuk
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Crime drama directed by Clint Eastwood. Inspired by the true story of Leo Sharp, a World War II veteran in his 80s who became a drug dealer and courier for the Sinaloa Cartel. The Mule follows Earl Stone (Clint Eastwood), a man in his 80s who is broke, alone, and facing foreclosure of his business when he is offered a job that simply requires him to drive. But unbeknownst to Earl, he’s just signed on as a drug courier for a Mexican cartel. He isn’t the only one keeping tabs on Earl, he’s also hit the radar of hard-charging DEA agent Colin Bates (Bradley Cooper). And even as his money problems become a thing of the past, Earl’s past mistakes start to weigh heavily on him, and it’s uncertain if he’ll have time to right those wrongs before law enforcement, or the cartel’s enforcers, catch up to him.
Our Favorite Quotes:'Family is the most important thing.' - Earl Stone (The Mule) Click To Tweet 'I thought it was more important to be somebody out there than the damn failure I was here at my own home.' - Earl Stone (The Mule) Click To Tweet
Computer Daylily Guy: It’s literally so easy, my niece set this up for me. You just click one button and you can buy whatever you want. With one click from home, you get a choice of everything on our line. All the information is sent and the flowers arrive to you just two days later. The first person to sign up gets a twenty percent discount off their first order.
Earl Stone: Internet. Who needs it?
Earl Stone: Damn Internet, it ruins everything.
Farmhand: So what are you going to do?
Earl Stone: I don’t know. I’ve never been a plan B type of guy.
Earl Stone: [as Emilio breaks his cellphone] Hey, that was a perfectly good phone. What’s going on?
Emilio: Earl, you throw your phone away when your run is done. I don’t suppose you learned how to text yet either, huh?
Earl Stone: [Emilio hands Earl a new phone] I can text. I’ll be able to. Next time you see me, I’ll be texting. Texting my brains out.
[after Earl has found out that there are drugs in the bag in the back of his car]
Texas State Trooper: Need help, sir?
Earl Stone: Oh, officer, hi.
Texas State Trooper: Do you need any help?
Earl Stone: No, no, I’m fine. Thank you.
Texas State Trooper: What you got there?
Earl Stone: Pecans. I deliver pecans to my niece.
Texas State Trooper: Pecans?
Earl Stone: Yeah, pecans. She makes the worst pecan pie you’ve ever tasted. I feel sorry for her husband, but and I feel sorry for the pecans too.
Texas State Trooper: [the cop’s dogs start barking] I don’t know what’s wrong with him now, but this dog has to pee every fifteen minutes.
Earl Stone: [to himself as the cop goes to get the dogs] Dogs. S**t.
Julio: You’ve been entrusted with a very valuable cargo, and I don’t trust you. You do as you’re told. Take the routes I say. No unauthorized roads, no unexpected stops. My schedule, my timetable. Is that clear?
Earl Stone: Are you sure you’re Mexican? You’re playing like you’re the Führer, or something like that.
Earl Stone: Yes. “Show me your papers at the border.” Yeah.
Julio: [takes his gun out and points it at Earl’s chest] Yeah. I’ll show you my papers. Here are my papers. Don’t underestimate how seriously I take my work, Mr. Stone.
Earl Stone: I’ve been in combat before. I’m not intimidated by you, mocoso. Sonny.
Earl Stone: How you folks doing?
Young Wife: Not so good. We got a flat.
Earl Stone: A flat tire?
Young Wife: Yeah. And my husband isn’t too handy, so.
Earl Stone: Didn’t your daddy teach you how to change a tire?
Nerdy Husband: No. That’s why I’m Googling it. I don’t have any reception.
Earl Stone: Yeah, well, that’s the trouble with this generation. If you can’t open a fruit box without calling the Internet. Anyway, you want a hand? I’ll give you a hand.
Nerdy Husband: Oh, okay.
Earl Stone: [helping a young couple change their tyre] Well, this is good. Helping you N**** folks out.
Young Wife: N****? Sir, we don’t say that anymore.
Nerdy Husband: Yeah, we prefer black.
Young Wife: Black or…
Nerdy Husband: Or just people.
Young Wife: People.
Nerdy Husband: Yeah. I’m black, you’re white.
Earl Stone: No s**t.
Nerdy Husband: Yeah, no s**t.
Earl Stone: [chuckling] Okay. Let me give you a hand here.
Agent Colin Bates: [checks his phone] S**t. It’s the fifth. S**t.
Earl Stone: I know a lot about, “Oh, s**ts.” Is that a missed birthday, or what?
Agent Colin Bates: Anniversary. Jesus, I’m an idiot.
Earl Stone: Yeah.
Agent Colin Bates: Yeah, I am.
Earl Stone: Sure.
Agent Colin Bates: [laughs] Yeah, you know, she didn’t say, “Happy anniversary.” You know, she’s, just let it sit out there, waiting for me to remember.
Earl Stone: Well, you got to think about the family.
Agent Colin Bates: Yeah.
Earl Stone: Each anniversary’s important. But you’ve got to think about it because women love that s**t, you know? But, you know, I’m the king of missing anniversaries. That’s the problem.
Agent Colin Bates: Oh, yeah?
Earl Stone: Yes.
Agent Colin Bates: Well, it’s the first one I’ve missed, so.
Earl Stone: Good luck. Don’t follow my footsteps and do what I did. I put work in front of family. Family is the most important thing. Work’s fine, if it’s in second position, but first position should be family. I’ve learned that the hard way. My daughter won’t even speak to me. I haven’t talked to her in twelve and a half years.
Agent Colin Bates: Jesus.
Earl Stone: Twelve and a half years. It’s like I never, like they were never there, or something.
Earl Stone: Just what you needed, some a**hole sitting here, telling you about what you should do in your personal life.
Agent Colin Bates: No, not at all.
Earl Stone: Anyway, I want to wish you good luck. You’ll need it.
Agent Colin Bates: And thank you for the advice. It’s good to talk to one of you guys once in a while.
Earl Stone: You guys?
Agent Colin Bates: You know.
Earl Stone: What kind of guys?
Agent Colin Bates: Well, you’re just willing to, you know, you’ve lived so long, I think you’ve probably lost your filter.
Earl Stone: Really? I never realized I ever had one. Alright. Take it easy.
Agent Colin Bates: You, too.
Earl Stone: Hello, Mary.
Mary: Earl, what do you want? You’re not in the will or anything. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to say that. I’m just scared, is all.
Earl Stone: Yeah. Well, the only person who wants to live to a hundred is a ninety-nine year-old anyway. I’m sorry, Mary. I’m sorry for everything.
Mary: You lived to get back out there. All the conventions, and the socializing, and being the center of attention. And they got the fun, wonderful man that you are. And we got the Earl who just couldn’t wait to get back out there.
Earl Stone: Yeah. Well, you’re right. I thought it was more important to be somebody out there than the damn failure I was here at my own home. Anyway, for what it’s worth, I’m here now.
Mary: I don’t know why, but for some reason, I’m so glad you’re here.
Earl Stone: Yeah.
Mary: Thank you.
Mary: How did you come into all that money?
Earl Stone: Well, I just, well, I’m not going to lie to you. I’m a high-end gigolo. Bounty hunter?
Mary: Come on. Seriously, come on.
Earl Stone: Alright, seriously. I’ve become a drug mule for the cartel. I’ve got three hundred and five kilos of cocaine sitting right in the back of my truck out there.
Mary: [laughs, not believing him] You’re never going to tell me. Well, whatever you did, you didn’t have to get rich for us to want you around.
Earl Stone: Yeah.
Iris: I see you finally came out here. See, she didn’t completely throw you away.
Earl Stone: No. I failed you, Iris. I was a terrible father, a terrible husband. I just blew it, that’s all. Blew my chance.
Iris: I don’t think so. I think you’re just a late bloomer.
Earl Stone: Yeah.
Mary: [Earl is sat by Mary’s bedside] You were the love of my life, and the pain of my life. And I need you to know, it’s all the world to me that you’re here.
Earl Stone: I love you, Mary.
Mary: More today than yesterday?
Earl Stone: But not as much as tomorrow.
Pastor: [at Mary’s funeral] I knew Mary well enough to know that there was no better friend, no better mother, no better mentor, no better listener to those in need. The light that she carried through in her soul and her spirit is something that we should carry on in our own daily lives. The optimism, the hopefulness, even at the end of her days. “Everything works out better than expected,” she always used to say. We will miss her, but she would not want us to mourn today.
Agent Colin Bates: [after Earl’s been caught and arrested by the DEA agents] What happened to your face?
Earl Stone: Nothing. I just got what I damn well deserved, is all.
Agent Colin Bates: And the suit?
Earl Stone: Went to a funeral. My ex-wife’s funeral.
Agent Colin Bates: I’m sorry.
Earl Stone: Lucky, actually. I got to spend some time with her. She let me in, and my whole family let me in. My daughter, everybody.
Agent Colin Bates: Is this the daughter that wouldn’t talk to you?
Earl Stone: Yeah. That’s right. You remember that, huh?
Agent Colin Bates: I do.
Earl Stone: Well, am I the guy who’s responsible for you missing your anniversary?
Agent Colin Bates: You know, it’s funny, after all this work and the time away, you, of all people, were right.
Earl Stone: I ain’t been right about much in life.
Agent Colin Bates: Well, you made things straight with your family.
Earl Stone: Yeah.
Agent Colin Bates: I’m glad for you.
Earl Stone: That’s the thing. You just remember that. You remember that with your family. You don’t need all that other s**t.
Agent Colin Bates: I’ll try to. You take care of yourself, okay?
Earl Stone: You too.
Agent Colin Bates: Yeah. Hang in there.
Attorney: Earl Stone is a man who served his country, fought for our freedom, and now faces the loss of his own. Murdering cartel thugs, who not only took advantage of his good nature, but also his advanced age, his vulnerability. Your Honor…
Earl Stone: Guilty.
Attorney: Earl. Earl.
Judge: Mr. Stone, you should talk to your attorney.
Attorney: Earl, don’t do this. Earl…
Earl Stone: Guilty, Your Honor. I did it.
Judge: Mr. Stone, are you pleading guilty on all charges?
Earl Stone: Yes
Judge: Bailiff, take him into custody. Mr. Stone, you are remanded into federal prison.
Earl Stone: [to his attorney] You did a good job.
Iris: [as Earl is being handcuffed to be taken away to prison] We’ll come visit you every chance we can.
Earl Stone: Thanks.
Ginny: Mike and I will look after the farm. Don’t you worry, Grandpa.
Earl Stone: I know you will. It’s just time, is all. I could buy anything, but I couldn’t buy time.
Iris: It’s okay. We love you.
Earl Stone: [Iris and Ginny kiss him goodbye] Alright. Thank you.
Iris: At least we’ll always know where you are.
Judge: [Earl is led away] Court is adjourned.
Special Agent in Charge: Good work, Special Agent.
Agent Colin Bates: Thank you, sir.