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El cártel (2009)

1:58 | Trailer

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Mexico's most notorious drug lord schools a naïve journalist as to the principles behind The Cartel's success.


Brian J. Bagley


Brian J. Bagley (story and screenplay)





Cast overview, first billed only:
José Luis Franco José Luis Franco ... Angel Santana
Frederick Stuart ... Jules Land (as Freddy Douglas)
Mauricio Islas Mauricio Islas ... Santos
Tania Arredondo Tania Arredondo ... Dolores Santana
Howard Gibson ... Vern
Miguel Rodarte ... Pancho
Gustavo Sánchez Parra ... Rojas
Rafael Oliveira Rafael Oliveira ... Ned Constantine
Alejandro de la Madrid ... Officer Solana
Khotan Fernandez ... Caronte (as Khotan)
José Sefami ... Don Amilkar
Hector Kotsifakis ... Young Angel Santana
Humberto Elizondo ... Pedro Santana
Tom Martino Tom Martino ... Tom Donaldson
Eduardo Victoria Eduardo Victoria ... Carlitos


Based on Mexico's current criminal climate, EL CÁRTEL is a rare look into the values and practices of the world's most intriguing and enigmatic industry - the multi-billion dollar business of drug trafficking. When Jules Land, a naïve business journalist, approaches Mexico's most notorious drug cartel and requests an audience with its leader, a one-time-priest turned murderous cutthroat, he quickly realizes he's in over his head. Wanting only the chance to kick-start his struggling career, Jules goes from seeking to understand the principles behind The Cartel's success, to fighting to return home with his wits - and his life - intact. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In Mexico, nothing goes as planned.


Drama | Thriller




USA | Mexico


Spanish | English

Release Date:

12 May 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El cartel See more »

Filming Locations:

Boulder, Colorado, USA See more »


Box Office


$400,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Much of the dialogue and philosophies of the film's antagonist, Santana, were based on research and interviews conducted by the script's writer while participating in the research and production of the New York Times bestseller, "Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't" by Jim Collins. See more »


No Nadie
Written by Edgard Jaude, Rafael Torres, Andres Ayrado
Performed by Andres Ayrado
Courtesy of 5 Alarm Music
See more »

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User Reviews

An Original Little Hidden Treasure!
20 May 2009 | by gibsonbn1See all my reviews

How rare is it to find something at the video store that totally exceeds your expectations?! I spend a lot of time traveling and working in Mexico, so I'm familiar with a lot of the great actors from that country, and when I saw this on the shelf at Blockbuster I decided to give it a try. It was a pleasant surprise.

This film takes a clever, original idea about writing a traditional how-to-succeed-in-business book about a ruthless drug lord and runs with it. Sure it's not a big budget picture, but the actors are all deeply committed to their roles and deliver great performances. Jose Luis Franco is a standout as Angel Santana, the kingpin, and Mauricio Islas is great as Santos, his enforcer. What I enjoyed most about this film was the backstory of these two criminals growing up together, and rising to the top.

If you want a lot of big budget explosions and car chases, watch a Michael Bay film, but if you want a fresh take on a crime thriller with fascinating characters, then rent this movie. Thumbs up!

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