New York Magazine


Cocaine Cowboys
  Release Date: 10/27/06 (Future Release)


Director: Billy Corben

Rating: (R)
  Running Time
  116 min
  Magnolia Pictures
Official Website
Get Movie Showtimes and Tickets

Most of this festival’s documentaries are earnest and eager, which is probably why the fest’s most amoral documentary seems like such fun. Billy Corben’s often hilarious, exuberant documentary practically celebrates the bloodbath that was Miami’s cocaine heyday, while delivering more solid reporting and facts than most of its sober competitors. Scored with a bumping soundtrack from a Miami Vice TV veteran, the story is told partly by former detectives and prosecutors but mostly from the perspective of the guys who profited from the crime: ex-cons, murderers, drug dealers, and transporters who brag like gangster-movie bad guys. Corben nails his history with vintage footage, death counts, and headline busts, while the crooks relish the good, bad ol‘ days with often absurd anecdotes, and the mob mother Griselda Blanco emerges as a bloodthirsty crime boss who would put Tony Soprano to shame. Sure, the bombast is extreme, and, yes, it spends more time on tall tales than impact reports, but this vigorous, energetic doc captures the allure of a business that has never thrived on subtlety.— Reviewed by Logan Hill, New York Magazine