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Cocaine Cowboys (2006)

In the 1980s, ruthless Colombian cocaine barons invaded Miami with a brand of violence unseen in this country since Prohibition-era Chicago - and it put the city on the map. "Cocaine ... See full summary »


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Credited cast:
Jon Roberts ...
Al Sunshine ...
Sam Burstyn ...
Mickey Munday ...
Bob Palumbo ...
Toni Mooney ...
Edna Buchanan ...
Joseph Davis ...
Himself (as Dr. Joseph Davis)
Al Singleton ...
Louis Caruso ...
Raul Diaz ...
Jorge Ayala ...
Himself (as Jorge 'Rivi' Ayala)
Nelson Andreu ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Griselda Blanco ...
Herself (archive footage)
Kelly Hughes ...
Girl in apt


In the 1980s, ruthless Colombian cocaine barons invaded Miami with a brand of violence unseen in this country since Prohibition-era Chicago - and it put the city on the map. "Cocaine Cowboys" is the true story of how Miami became the drug, murder and cash capital of the United States, told by the people who made it all happen. Written by rakontur

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The incredible true story that inspired "Scarface" and "Miami Vice".

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive drug content, gruesome violent images, and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

23 November 2007 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Cocaine Cowboys - Die wahre Geschichte hinter Scarface und Miami Vice  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$36,295 (USA) (27 October 2006)


$148,872 (USA) (22 December 2006)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (short) | (Reloaded edition)


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Did You Know?


Blanco was killed by two gunmen on a motorcycle as she walked out of a butcher shop in her hometown, Medellín, on September 3, 2012. The Miami Herald cites El Colombiano newspaper reports that one man fired two bullets into her head, executing her in the type of "motorcycle assassination" she has been credited with inventing. See more »


Griselda Blanco: [Last Title card] Griselda Blanco was released from prison on June 6, 2004.
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Referenced in 30 for 30: The U (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

Stylish, informative and downright worrying at times.
13 September 2010 | by (Edinburgh.) – See all my reviews

Cocaine Cowboys, directed by Billy Corben, is all about the rise of a specific section of the import business that, like it or not, helped to make Miami what it is today. The fact that back in the late 70s/early 80s it also led to so many homicides that the bodies had to be stored in a refrigerated vehicle and a front page on Time magazine exclaiming "Paradise Lost" is also sadly true.

Focusing on a dealer, a transporter and a man who became an enforcer for "The Godmother" (a figure given even more time and attention in Cocaine Cowboys 2), this documentary starts off with some unbelievable facts and anecdotes and just keeps on going from there. Movie fans will no doubt feel, as I did, that this stuff is so unbelievable it must be true. A lot of what's related here ends up putting anything fictional you may have seen in the shade.

A million miles away from the spit and polish of "Miami Vice", people made a hell of a lot of money during this time and gained a hell of a lot of power but it all came at a heavy price thanks to rivalry amongst dealers, scrutiny from the overwhelmed police and their own poor choices. While it may not be the best documentary ever made, the style helps make things more palatable and it's certainly worth seeing the once even if it may not be one to revisit.

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