Clint Eastwood (left) and Eduardo Minett star in "Cry Macho." The movie debuts in theaters, including Gateway Cinema in Wenatchee and Mirage Theater in Omak, on Friday.

Macho is the name of a rooster, an expert cockfighter and a plucky companion to a wayward teenager named Rafo (Eduardo Minett). Rafo, in turn, finds himself playing sidekick to Mike Milo, a faded rodeo star played with a familiar dyspeptic wince by Clint Eastwood, now 91. Making their way from Mexico to Texas in a rusty old truck sometime in 1980, the three travelers get off to a rough start, with lots of literally and figuratively ruffled feathers, before settling into a sturdy groove. Mike and Rafo, in particular, generate an affectionate rapport that implicitly rebukes the kind of aggressive male posturing summed up by the rooster’s name.

“Cry Macho,” a creaky, semi-sweet, unavoidably sentimental adaptation of a 1975 novel by N. Richard Nash, can thus be seen as Eastwood’s latest reckoning with certain wrongheaded assumptions about masculinity, and with a particular tough-guy ethos that he has both defined and subverted over his six-decade career.

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