The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News


This poll has ended.

Do you treat student evaluations seriously?


Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.

Loading Recent Classifieds...

COLUMN: ‘The Mule’ is unique, but missing pieces

Ashanti Thomas
Staff profile for Cam’ron.

“The Mule” has a somewhat unique plotline but feels like something is missing.

Released in 2018, The Mule stars Clint Eastwood as Earl Stone who is a lonely 90-year-old man who is reserved from his family. When his money starts to run low, he begins to transport drugs for the Mexican cartel.

After a few successful trips, he jumps the ranks as one of the top mules in the business, which begins to draw attention to him from DEA agent Colin Bates, Bradley Cooper.

Based on the true story of war veteran Leo Sharp and “The Sinaloa Cartel’s 90-Year-Old Drug Mule” by Sam Dolnick.

The plot is unique. Having a 90-year-old man transporting drugs that late in his life was interesting to see at first, but then as the movie continued, there was nothing that really kept me interested.

The beginning of the film was very captivating. It had a very story strong hook that easily grabbed the attention of viewers.

After watching, I did not know that it was based on a true story, but after doing research I had a different opinion on it.

It is hard to say how a movie could have been better when it is based on a true story since it is the actual story and truth being told, unless it is fabricated for entertainment purposes.

In that case, giving an opinion on what false information could have been included is just saying how to write your own movie.

As stated previously, the idea and story were very interesting it just failed to keep me entertained the entire time.

With an hour and 57-minute run-time, the movie ends at the perfect time before things get exhausting and boring to the point where I was waiting for the movie to go off.

The acting was nothing to celebrate. Eastwood’s character acts grumpy the entire time, which from an outsider’s perspective, does not seem that challenging or impressive in this setting.

With his character being young, Bradley Cooper brought a little bit of fun to the film by him playing the main detective. His character’s storyline was repetitive and not very different.

He played the typical trope of a cop trying to crack a case, but the higher ups want him to move on because it is taking too long, but at the last minute he finally gets evidence and catches the bad guy after his boss gives him a thousand chances.

I wish Laurence Fishburne had more screen time. His part is so small that it is easy to forget that he was even in the movie.

I think if the film showed more of the conflict within the family, that could have kept things more interesting. The family dilemma was already an interesting aspect, but it is only shown for a little amount of time due to the film focusing on the drug dealing and police storylines.

Trying to make up for his poor performance as a father, Stone gives the drug money he makes to his granddaughter so he can fund family functions and other things she has going on in her life.

With a budget of $50M, the film grossed $103.8M at the box office in the United States and Canada, and $69.8M in other territories, according to Also according to, the film grossed $174,804,407 during its opening weekend.

The movie was not disappointing, it just was not as exciting as I hoped it would be, but honestly, how exciting could a realistic movie about a 90-year-old be?

Rate: 3/5

Cam’ron Hardy can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Cam'ron Hardy
Cam'ron Hardy, News Editor
Cam'ron is a junior journalism major. He previously served news editor and campus editor at The News. 
Ashanti Thomas
Ashanti Thomas, Photographer
Ashanti Thomas is a senior digital media major. She previously served as photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

Comments (0)

Commenting on the Daily Eastern News web site is a privilege, not a right. We reserve the right to remove comments that contain obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language. Also, comments containing personal attacks or threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
All The Daily Eastern News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest