(2013)

Critic Reviews

74

Metascore

Based on 19 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
If it weren't for "The Act Of Killing," Narco Cultura would be the year's queasiest documentary. The film - which counterposes Quintero's day-to-day life with that of Richi Soto, a crime-scene investigator in Juarez - is both an unflinching record of Mexico's drug war and an investigation of how violence becomes unreal and glamorized.
100
Just over the Mexico/U.S. border from Juarez is El Paso, Texas, ranked the safest large city in America three years in a row now. The question that that fact begs is in part why this film is a quietly subversive masterpiece.
90
Schwarz's juxtaposition of the human cost of the drug war alongside the glamorization of its henchmen and their brutality is sobering, even depressing.
90
Narco Cultura is as overwhelming as it is absorbing.
89
Narco Cultura smartly and movingly focuses on the cultural cycle of violence, beginning with a young, Los Angeles-based rapper, Edgar Quintero, whose main job is penning lyrics celebrating the orgiastically violent lifestyles of the drug thugs for his band Buknas de Culiacán.
88
Narco Cultura isn't a documentary about runaway crime: Its actual subject is far stranger.
83
Narco Cultura is gripping, gruesome and arresting; a disquieting look a pop (sub)-culture phenomenon that is mushrooming all over the United States and Latin America.
81
A potent encapsulation of how fame and finance beget fear and grief.
80
Ping-ponging between grisly South of the Border carnage and Angeleno musician Edgar Quintero's growing success as one of the subgenre's stars, you start to see how this parasitic relationship works.
80
Narco Cultura makes it abundantly, forcefully clear that the illicit business of narcocorridos thrives on the illicit business of cartels-and business is still booming.
75
Director Shaul Schwarz, sans judgment, presents us with two men who epitomize how accepted and engrained narco culture has become in Mexico.
60
Interesting as it is, Narco Cultura aims to tell the story of what's happened in Juarez and in Mexico (and, by virtue of its immense appetite for drugs, the U.S.). Instead, it feels more like a couple of intriguing chapters.
50
Passably absorbing to start, Shaul Schwarz's examination of the issues surrounding Mexican and immigrant musicians who glorify drug lords and their exploits gradually bogs down in repetition and narrative inertia.
50
Set to Jeremy Turner's spare and mournful score, Narco Cultura is ultimately more pensive than lurid.
40
The dissection and discussion, though well-intentioned, winds up lifeless.

More Critic Reviews

See all external reviews for Narco Cultura (2013) »

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Reviews | User Ratings | External Reviews | Message Board