- Anticlimax Boss: The governor. Reza on the other hand...
- Awesome Music: Ennio Morricone at his usual finest throughout—albeit with a rather "trippy" twist. It's worth noting the score has often received more recognition than the actual movie.
- Complete Monster: Colonel Günther "Gutierez" Reza is a silent villain who, throughout the movie, doesn't express a single emotion beyond self-satisfaction. He tortures Dr. Villega into identifying various members of a crowd as revolutionaries, then has them shot in front of him, smiling a little wider with each body that hits the ground. He's also the man responsible for the deaths of Juan's children and father; leads an army—based on Italian fascist stormtroopers—that seems intent on killing or imprisoning everyone they meet; and, in the climax, guns down Mallory from behind.
- Ending Fatigue: Especially in the restored version, with a final flashback that interrupts the climactic battle for several minutes.
- Faux Symbolism: According to Leone, the girl John and his friend shared in Ireland stands for revolution itself - or rather a particular rose-tinted view of it.
- Genius Bonus: John Mallory's obsession with dynamite becomes much more understandable once you learn of the tactics of radical Irish republicans in 1880s (which might have been precisely the years when John was active in Irish underground).
- Jerkass Woobie: Juan, who had been established previously as a bandit, rapist and highwayman, is also subjected to bullying and brutal verbal abuse from a group of racists while riding in the same stage coach as them. He fully crosses into this in the second act, after seeing his family killed.
- Moral Event Horizon: Colonel Reza and the Mexican army cross it with the murder of Juan's children.
- Narm: Despite Ennio Morricone delivering his typical Awesome Music...the "Sean-Sean" song can really ruin the moment with just how trippy it is!
- It might be a bit intended though, as the song is played during the flashbacks.
- The whole ending can be this for some, with its liberal use of slow motion and "What about me?"
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Has the misfortune of falling in between two of Leone's most celebrated films.
- Vindicated by History: The film is much more recognized now than at the time of its debut: in 1970s it was panned as the weakest Leone, especially in US (the fact that the film was severely cut for American screenings certainly didn't help). Nowadays it is generally considered to be at least on par with the others, and some even think it's Leone's best film.
YMMV / A Fistful of Dynamite