Cocaine Cowboys


Action / Crime / Documentary / History

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Fresh69%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright79%
IMDb Rating7.81013451

drug dealercocaine

Plot summary

Uploaded by: OTTO


Top cast

Don Johnson Photo
Don Johnson as Himself
2.05 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 58 min
P/S 1 / 8

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by view_and_review8 / 10

What a Horror Story

"Cocaine Cowboys" investigates and discloses the commodity that helped make Miami what it is today. I know there are some who bemoan the fact that the Miami of today has anything to do with the drug economy of the 70's and 80's, then there are those who relish the fact Miami was built on drugs. And if you take away anything from this documentary it is that Miami was built on drugs.

There were a lot of names mentioned in this documentary, though most of them are not worth repeating. Most of the narrating was done by three people:

Jon Roberts, a wholesale drug dealer who worked with the Medellin cartel.

Mickey Munday, a drug runner.

Jorge "Vivi" Ayala, an enforcer.

They all narrate how easy it was to move drugs into the country from Colombia through Florida. They also narrate about the obscene amounts of money they made, and finally, the intense violence that led to the end of the big time drug trafficking. One person who escalated the violence was Griselda Blanco aka the Black Widow aka the Queen of Cocaine. She was a ruthless drug queenpin who would just as soon shoot you as say hi to you. Her blood lust drove the Miami murder rate up to over 500 a year by 1980, and it subsequently brought all kinds of law enforcement heat down on everyone.

Everyone narrating in this documentary speaks so casually and matter-of-factly as though they were talking about developing and selling the newest widget when in fact they're talking about bringing poison into the country as well as drug wars. I found it hard to listen to them and not have a serious loathing towards them when the millions they earned was blood money. But these are the guys in the know. They were a part of the culture and they are best suited to talk about a stage in American history that many would like to forget.

Reviewed by Quinoa19846 / 10

interesting story, annoying style

I wanted to like Cocaine Cowboys a more intriguing documentary than I did. It lacks no influence in terms of its information in the world of big-stakes crime of a period that seems long ago within a thirty-year time frame. I liked hearing details in the stories, like the car towing company the dealers had as their back-up when driving around the cocaine shipments. And the scenes involving- and properly invoking- the years of Noriega and Panama, as well as the small Mafia statistics that carry a lot of weight (no pun intended on the actual boss, more powerful than Escobar) all out of Columbia. And some of the interviews and clips shown are absorbing in their 'been-there-done-that' quality. But there's an oppressive side to how Billy Corben shoots, edits and puts the music to the film. I don't mind in the theory of it how one goes into a cocaine documentary making it a fast-pace story. But it veers more into being in a TV scope- think E! True Hollywood story more than anything- than more traditional documentaries. This may be fine for some wanting a messy rush. However it's repetitive and lacking in any creative flow, not just in how it jumps and pivots through its images of people talking or in what's going on as if it were a theatrical trailer, but to hear the same Scarface-like music over and over behind people talking who shouldn't have music going on in some of their answers. And the one guy who's interviewed most (I forget his name, he's the ex-big time Miami coke dealer with the mustache) adds to the annoyance factor after a while; somehow one might find the guy more interesting in smaller doses, not as the one blabbering and bragging for 45 minutes of the film until it gets to the gun-blazing Columbians.

It might be worth a little bit of time if on TV, where it has more of a tabloid edge on things (if whatever edge I can't say for certain). But I'd much rather take on a book two or re-watch Blow or good parts of Scarface or Miami Vice to get a better dramatized take on the facts than see it all the way through again.

Reviewed by Mr-Fusion8 / 10

Gripping, unsettling and stylish in every way

The Miami that we know of today was built with drug money. Just reading that sentence can be downright depressing, but the story behind it is one that is oddly (maybe perversely) fascinating.

Directed by Billy Corben, "Cocaine Cowboys" examines Miami's turbulent transition from a sleepy vacation town to a beachside Metropolis, financed by cocaine revenues and victims of a truly nasty drug war. At the forefront of the war was Griselda Blanco (whose death made recent headlines),crime family godmother who ordered the deaths of countless rivals. Using testimonials from several key figures in the importing of drugs, we get a detailed depiction of the violence that spilled onto Miami streets.

What's staggering about the late 1970s (when the go-go party scene was in full swing in South Florida) is that while the rest of the United States was slogging through hard economic times, Miami was flourishing, due to the incredible infusion of cash into the city's economy. Key importers had so much money, they had no idea where to stash it, and actually buried it in piles in their backyards. Luxury cars were flying off the lots, and the scads of loose cash were eventually funneled into real estate, leading to the construction of Miami's brand-new glittering skyline. The insane materialistic excess of the time is part of what makes "Cocaine Cowboys" so seductive.

But the party couldn't last forever, and the movie now moves into its downer of a second half. The nonstop nightlife gives way to violent shootouts, bloody mob hits, and a staggering pileup of bodies. Dade County had reportedly the highest murder rate in the United States. The situation would prove dire enough to demand presidential attention, and a new ramped-up brand of law enforcement was born, taking the fight back to Blanco and the Colombians.

"Cocaine Cowboys" is one big thrill, aided (in no small part) by flashy imagery and editing, and even a score by Jan Hammer that keeps us reminded of the coastal paradise patrolled by Crockett and Tubbs. To see the insane wealth of some of these guys is both intoxicating and worrisome, and Corben never lets that sinister sense of foreboding ebb, keeping just far enough away from glamorizing these lifestyles.

A compulsively watchable documentary. 8/10

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