Arriaga's script (a prize at Cannes) has a lovely, fascinating shape to it, even if his crushing portrayal of white Americans--all of them, even Jones, suffering from a zombified affect and crippling shortsightedness--is somewhat counterset against his Mexicans, who are all morally balanced, if not always happy or nice.
Scott TobiasThe A.V. Club
Jones directs with all the grit that's associated with his onscreen persona, but Peckinpah would never allow this degree of sentimentality to slip into one of his Westerns. A better comparison might be to Clint Eastwood, another tough-guy actor whose work as a director is often a little soft at the center.
The film comes uncomfortably close to risible. But it also achieves moments of real power. It's worth a wary look before it attains midnight cult-movie status.
Owen GleibermanEntertainment Weekly
An unabashed descendant of "Bring Me the Head." This time, though, it's an entire corpse that gets hauled through the desert, and that's not all that's being toted. So is a hefty parcel of racial correctness.