7.8/10
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23 user 52 critic

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 »

Director:

Billy Corben

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official Site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 November 2007 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

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

Filming Locations:

Miami, Florida, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$36,295, 29 October 2006

Gross USA:

$150,056

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$167,078
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Rakontur See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (short) | (Reloaded edition)

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Jon Roberts: Roberts returned to Florida as a condition of his parole.
See more »

Connections

References The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

Documentary Film-making as Tabloid Journalism
16 November 2006 | by cineman2See all my reviews

Cocaine Cowboys is narrowly focused on how Miami became the drug capital and the most dangerous city in the United States during the late 1970s and the early 1980s. The film is lasciviously fascinated with the lavish lifestyle and the grotesque violence generated by the drug trade. Many obviously find such material quite fascinating. There's no denying that several anecdotes shared by dealers, smugglers, cops and veteran reporter Edna Buchanan are very amusing. Fans of TV's Miami Vice and Brian de Palma's Scarface are advised to rush to a theatre playing this film. They'll find that the real-life models of the fictional villains are even more flamboyant and vicious (the life of Griselda "the godmother" Blanco could be turned into a nifty fiction film). CocaineCowboys combines talking-head interviews with old TV footage in rat-tat-tat editing style. Shots of piles of cash and large stashes of cocaine are used as would-be punctuation marks; and there are more snapshots of bloody, perforated bodies than you've ever seen in your life.

Cocaine Cowboys is documentary film-making as tabloid journalism. Its cheap thrills provide a measure of entertainment but its reportage is devoid of context and thoughtful commentary. Director Billy Corben is a native, but as one born in 1979 his view of the material is decidedly second-hand. Towards the latter stages, Cocaine Cowboys strains to present Miami as "the city that cocaine built" by hyperbolically describing late-70s Miami as a "sleepy hamlet". There is some truth to the argument but it is a self-serving and simplistic one. Moreover, the content as presented here is likely to perpetuate certain ethnic stereotypes about the Colombian community and Cuban "marielitos" (Cubans who arrived when Castro allowed migration to the US through the port of Mariel in 1980).


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