News

El Camino First Reviews: A Cinematic Gift to Breaking Bad Fans

Aaron Paul's reunion with writer-director Vince Gilligan -- and some familiar faces -- is a wholly satisfying epilogue that reminds us why the groundbreaking series was so good.

by | October 11, 2019 | Comments

What Will Happen to Jesse in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie?

What’s in store for Jesse Pinkman? And will we see Walter White? We explore everything the brand new trailer tells us about El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.

Posted by The Rotten Tomatoes Channel on Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Six years after Jesse Pinkman drove off into the New Mexico night, Aaron Paul returns to reprise the role that made him a star in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. We last saw Pinkman breaking free from Jack’s (Michael Bowen) Nazi compound. He was held prisoner by the group with the sole purpose of creating Heisenberg’s signature meth until Walter White (Bryan Cranston) mowed the clan down with a semi-automatic weapon attached to the trunk of his car, liberating Jesse in the process.

Vince Gilligan decided a proper send-off was in order for White’s former protégé, penning the script and stepping behind the camera to direct the final leg in Pinkman’s emotional journey. But is El Camino a necessary story to add to Gilligan’s Breaking Bad universe? That depends on who you talk to.

Die-hard fans will surely relish in the cameos that pop up during the movie’s two-hour running time. We already knew Skinny Pete (Charles Baker) and Badger (Matthew Lee Jones) would make an appearance, but some of the other characters who make appearances will probably keep people talking.

This type of fan service may not please every viewer who watches the sequel — whether they choose to tune in to Netflix or head out to watch the movie on the big screen on opening weekend. But this is a Vince Gilligan joint, so obviously there’s going to be more to El Camino than these juicy aesthetic tidbits.

Here’s what critics are saying about El Camino: A Breaking Bad Film:


El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie keyart, Aaron Paul stars (Netflix)
(Photo by Netflix)

IS AARON PAUL’S PERFORMANCE WORTHY OF ANOTHER EMMY?

Paul earned three Emmys for his supporting role on Breaking Bad, and in El Camino he delivers a mesmerizing lead performance that proves he deserves a spot on Hollywood’s A-list.
– Judy Berman, Time

Paul impressively juggles multiple eras of Pinkmania: “Yeah, bitch!”-ing meth student, wuvvy romantic, wrecking ball of soul-scabbed vengeance.
– Darren Franich, Entertainment Weekly

Aaron Paul is fantastic in his return to his most famous role.
– Nick Harley, Den of Geek

He’s again great here, capturing the push-and-pull of trauma and need within Jesse.
– Brian Tallerico, Roger Ebert

And as ever, Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman is one of the most tragic, moving, emotional performances on television.
– Linda Holmes, NPR



WHAT ABOUT VINCE GILLIGAN’S RETURN AS WRITER AND DIRECTOR?

Gilligan remains a precise and complicated visual stylist.
– Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter

Vince Gilligan, the show’s creator and the film’s director and writer, makes use of a presumably robust budget and of the fact that El Camino will be exhibited on some big screens with some genuinely gorgeous shot making.
– Daniel D’addario, Variety

Gilligan – who reprises his own role as writer and director – has always been good at keeping his audience on their toes.
– Paul MacInnes, The Guardian


El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie SEASON A Netflix Television Event PHOTO CREDIT Ben Rothstein/Netflix PICTURED Aaron Paul COPYRIGHT © 2019 Netflix
(Photo by Netflix)

IS THERE MORE HERE THAN NOSTALGIC FAN SERVICE?

Breaking Bad fans won’t be disappointed if they’re feeling sentimental and nostalgic for the good old Bad days.
– Michael Starr, New York Post

El Camino is fan service executed at a very high level.
– Matt Zoller Seitz, Vulture

Old friends are trotted out for special appearances like Love Boat guest stars.
– Jason Bailey, The Playlist

El Camino is a mostly tension-free traipse around the show’s old haunts and a few of the surviving characters.
– Philip De Semlyen, Time Out

It’s likely to delight fans who’ve yearned to return to a memorable time and place.
– Matt Roush, TV Insider

Breaking Bad was already an ice cream sundae. Simply think of El Camino as the cherry on top.
– Adam Graham, Detroit News


IS IT EVEN NECESSARY?

El Camino didn’t need to exist – but for fans who craved extra Jesse Pinkman in their lives, it hits the spot.
– Ed Power, The Daily Telegraph

El Camino mainly just fills space, and likely time – something Breaking Bad never did.
– Dominic Patton, Deadline

El Camino provides a way to return to the world of Breaking Bad even if it’s not quite up to the level of the TV series.
– Matt Goldberg, Collider

Where El Camino struggles is in the nagging sense that it has no business being two hours long, because there’s not nearly enough reason to expand a fairly brief, tense adventure into feature length.
– Josh Spiegel, SlashFilm

Massively enjoyable wrap to the Jesse Pinkman story, and better still, the right one.
– Verne Gay, Newsday


El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie launches on Friday, October 11 on Netflix.

#1
Adjusted Score: 95.851%
Critics Consensus: Entertaining if not essential, El Camino adds a satisfying belated coda to the Breaking Bad story -- led by a career-best performance from Aaron Paul.
Synopsis: The Netflix Television Event EL CAMINO: A BREAKING BAD MOVIE reunites fans with Jesse Pinkman (Emmy-winner Aaron Paul). In the... [More]
Directed By: Vince Gilligan

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

Dark Horse Comics travel HBO Cannes dceu witnail BET YouTube Premium 2020 Marvel Studios docudrama Amazon Prime Video Acorn TV Grammys breaking bad dramedy Baby Yoda name the review richard e. Grant TNT streaming psycho Premiere Dates Amazon YA dragons true crime A24 disaster Reality HBO Max hispanic The Witch Certified Fresh serial killer Paramount Network Red Carpet singing competition Trophy Talk natural history Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt The Walking Dead Paramount jamie lee curtis crime thriller Nickelodeon Stephen King Women's History Month USA Network TV 2015 sag awards VH1 Apple TV Plus Brie Larson GIFs animated Rocketman DC streaming service Adult Swim harry potter Action Tarantino Christmas festivals ABC President 2016 DirecTV Rocky Disney+ Disney Plus zero dark thirty Musical Quiz teaser BBC Awards Tour 2018 science fiction 71st Emmy Awards Lucasfilm ESPN renewed TV shows binge golden globes cops discovery Disney Plus screen actors guild quibi miniseries Winter TV Disney WarnerMedia award winner TIFF Sundance mutant Extras blaxploitation Toys Pop Interview Syfy unscripted Best and Worst Heroines Emmy Nominations Crunchyroll Schedule TCA Discovery Channel Holiday Lifetime Christmas movies Hulu Mystery dc Animation RT21 Year in Review spy thriller cooking batman TBS Black Mirror TCA Winter 2020 E3 diversity 2019 politics Sneak Peek SDCC based on movie Ghostbusters Universal spider-man TV Land CBS All Access Superheroes police drama supernatural Star Wars spanish language YouTube Red Nat Geo Cosplay Hallmark period drama New York Comic Con Biopics MSNBC war boxoffice Turner Classic Movies Epix Pet Sematary historical drama transformers FXX Fantasy social media canceled TV shows independent Podcast GoT Comedy Comedy Central CW Seed IFC toy story Nominations OWN Family Disney streaming service RT History Academy Awards Anna Paquin Martial Arts latino sports Comic Book Arrowverse Mary Tyler Moore TLC anthology MCU TV renewals Columbia Pictures talk show Apple Winners Food Network Comics on TV YouTube FX ABC Family Captain marvel Tumblr foreign Summer The CW Crackle versus Mindy Kaling El Rey San Diego Comic-Con theme song Apple TV+ robots werewolf what to watch Super Bowl 21st Century Fox blockbuster Mary Poppins Returns Pixar The Arrangement sitcom composers Rock DC Comics PBS SundanceTV 2017 Set visit E! adventure mockumentary Film Festival television 24 frames facebook Spike Watching Series Film Writers Guild of America Amazon Prime romance TCM finale Pirates TruTV elevated horror WGN Song of Ice and Fire PaleyFest Starz psychological thriller First Look zombie tv talk Esquire Hallmark Christmas movies movies American Society of Cinematographers Fall TV revenge Spring TV 45 Music DC Universe series See It Skip It Ovation Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Opinion Trailer Netflix Christmas movies Showtime children's TV space game show Shondaland Kids & Family free movies Photos crime drama slashers Superheroe anime OneApp ratings comic medical drama Musicals Walt Disney Pictures History Countdown Video Games Marvel Teen Marvel Television Logo 007 Marathons south america Disney Channel LGBT rotten movies we love Infographic Holidays thriller Oscars Sundance Now Valentine's Day comiccon green book Rom-Com sequel Netflix NYCC Elton John Horror Britbox Bravo hist directors USA IFC Films screenings NBC Reality Competition LGBTQ Western First Reviews Chernobyl zombies joker Vudu Character Guide CNN 20th Century Fox justice league kids nature The Purge book video biography Ellie Kemper cartoon Television Academy CBS Sci-Fi cancelled television Warner Bros. Box Office Pride Month BBC America Lionsgate crime A&E Fox News Election adaptation spain Sundance TV ghosts FOX Lifetime Peacock crossover christmas movies canceled APB cars casting ITV stand-up comedy spinoff VICE technology Endgame Sony Pictures Awards Mudbound Star Trek Shudder National Geographic reboot cancelled doctor who Tomatazos Binge Guide political drama Avengers Tubi Mary poppins AMC strong female leads Masterpiece aliens Spectrum Originals Creative Arts Emmys SXSW cats Polls and Games DGA Freeform cancelled TV shows Drama cinemax Thanksgiving GLAAD Classic Film romantic comedy TCA 2017 vampires CMT indie Cartoon Network X-Men Turner cancelled TV series cults Emmys comics Country halloween Calendar MTV Trivia game of thrones