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Overall Rating
3.92

Awesome: 31.45%
Worth A Look38.99%
Average: 20.75%
Pretty Bad: 7.55%
Total Crap: 1.26%

13 reviews, 81 user ratings


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Blow
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by Preston Jones

"Well, it ain't no Goodfellas..."
4 stars

If celluloid were a narcotic, Ted Demme's newest effort, Blow, would most certainly be one of the more potent ones available.

The story of George Jung, a Boston emigre to 1960s Manhattan Beach, Calif., a man who was supposedly responsible for 85 percent of America's cocaine supply at one point in the late '70s, is a gripping, emotionally engaging film. Blow pays homage to similarly themed drug films without ever stooping to blatant rip-offs.
The film opens with a flashback to Jung's childhood and the relationships he had with both his mother (Rachel Griffiths in a shrewish turn) and father (Ray Liotta in an outstanding performance). Times are tight, and young George is taught a valuable lesson early on by his father: "Money isn't real. It doesn't matter. It only seems like it does."
Bearing this in mind, Jung (Johnny Depp, in a stellar piece of acting) graduates from high school and moves with his childhood friend, Tuna (Ethan Suplee), to Manhattan Beach where he meets Barbara (Franka Potente, charismatic as always), falls in love and hooks up with Derek Foreal (played by Paul Reubens in an admirable performance), a male hairdresser and local pot czar.
Soon, Jung becomes "Boston George," the king of the beach and begins looking for ways to move up in the drug-dealing world. Tragedy soon strikes George, however, as he's becoming increasingly successful.
During an incarceration for possession of marijuana, Jung hooks up with his Colombian cellmate (Jordi Molla) and soon after his release, goes to Colombia where he meets Pablo Escobar (Cliff Curtis). Deals are made and soon Jung is importing massive quantities of cocaine into the United States. Jung meets and falls in love with Mirtha (played by Penelope Cruz like a Mommy Dearest clone), who helps him with his drug empire.
But drugs are a risky business and, as they all must, George's empire begins to slowly topple. His relationship with his daughter, father and mother all become tested as the years wear on. Ultimately, he is left with difficult and heartbreaking choices as a result of his lifestyle.
Blow provides an epic yet contained look at three decades of a man's life. It offers an unbiased window into Jung's life, never passing judgment on the man. Echoes of Goodfellas and Scarface can be seen throughout the movie. This film retains more of an interest in the human qualities of the story. A lion's share of the credit deservedly goes to Demme for this, but also his two screenwriters, David McKenna and Nick Cassavetes, whose screenplay was based upon Bruce Porter's book of the same name.
Demme has assembled a top-notch cast, with the standouts being Depp and Liotta. They create a heartbreaking father-son bond that resonates throughout the entire film. Director of photography Ellen Kuras also captures three decades through the lens admirably, using the camera well to convey mood and tone.
Blow, while seeming like a retread of better films to some, is a thoroughly engaging and entertaining look at the entry of cocaine into America.

{b]Blow{/b] is a look at a man consumed by his way of life and determination to overcome whatever obstacles life sets in his way. Don't miss one of the better films to come along in recent months.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=4720&reviewer=304
originally posted: 02/19/02 15:17:49
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User Comments

9/03/14 Celeste Garcia This movie was beyond the best. 5 stars
4/06/14 PAUL SHORTT UNINVOLVING BIOPIC DESPITE A GREAT STAR PERFORMANCE 2 stars
7/11/13 Jeff Wilder Derivative sure. But well-directed and fantastic performances from Depp and Liotta. 4 stars
11/11/10 Lundon johnny depp is amazing no matter what movie he does and blow makes you feel like your there 4 stars
4/03/08 Tiffanie I loved this movie! Its prolly one of the best by far 5 stars
1/05/08 Pamela White drug dealing and the paranoic life they lead 3 stars
12/09/07 SamanthaP johnny depp is good in anything! 4 stars
11/13/07 Ashley i love this movie very sad 5 stars
10/08/07 KNurse I have watched this movie several times.....awesome fucking movie 5 stars
1/03/06 Wiseman I loved this movie! i watched it 10 times 5 stars
12/19/05 Bree Outstanding all around. 5 stars
12/01/05 john smith it is ok 3 stars
11/22/05 Emily I can watch this movie over and over 5 stars
11/21/05 ad excellent 5 stars
10/31/05 Stephanie This is my favorite movie! 5 stars
9/15/05 shawn great fucking movie 5 stars
8/04/05 D.K. great cast, good grasp of the facts 5 stars
4/21/05 Evka cool movie 5 stars
8/18/04 Violeta perfect! 5 stars
7/24/04 Sandy Turynowicz too much info. I didn't need 2 stars
7/08/04 Denise Duspiva May the wind always be at your back and the sun upon your face and may the winds of destiny 5 stars
6/23/04 Jack Sommersby Obvious, uninsightful and blandy directed. Depp is wasted; Liotta only bright spot. 1 stars
6/08/04 Darryl Stavena The most romantic way to see the life of a drug-dealer 5 stars
3/10/04 Ash Everything about this movie makes you a die-hard depp fan! 5 stars
2/22/04 8=====D COKE RULES!!!! 5 stars
1/26/04 R.W. Welch Familiar tale of rise/fall of drug lord, professional work tho. 3 stars
1/14/04 josh mentzer great movie 4 stars
1/08/04 Kim it was great and johnny depp was so sexy i loved it! 5 stars
10/25/03 Samuel Great film, based on a true story and that makes it that much better! 5 stars
8/28/03 Mr. Hat One great film. Great acting, great directing, one powerful ending. 5 stars
8/01/03 Samantha Macias I thoght this movie was interesting, and very sad!! 5 stars
5/04/03 sleepy this film made me feel pity for a drug dealer! 5 stars
4/27/03 tyler reiter greatest fucking movie of all time 5 stars
4/17/03 George Jung One of the best biopics of recent memory. 5 stars
2/06/03 123 a shorter, less violent, inferior version of goodfellas 3 stars
1/08/03 val Fucking Awesome 5 stars
12/31/02 Tam Interesting depiction of a life ruined by drugs. 4 stars
12/31/02 Jack Sommersby Blow me! 1 stars
7/27/02 karen goldstein extremely entertaining - johnny depp deserved an oscar for best actor!!!! 5 stars
7/14/02 sdjfsdkjf Depp, great but once Barb died boring. Penelope needs fucking English lessons, "hypocrite"? 3 stars
5/13/02 bubba ray dudley must see 5 stars
4/30/02 Andy (Big A) dis was one of the best movies ever big ups to my boy jung and soon you will be free 2015. 5 stars
4/10/02 Butterbean A wonderful movie! Far superior to that overrated Requiem for a Dream 5 stars
4/07/02 Cardo Elins Outstanding 5 stars
3/30/02 Victor Villalba Good with some assumptions 4 stars
2/21/02 luda hoe it was fun. i want to do coke now, but still, it was fun 4 stars
2/17/02 Clarance Jonny Depp - Great job - Depicted the harsh reality of how fucked up life can be 5 stars
1/30/02 Phil M. Afficianado Erik the Movieman states my views. Depp is terrific and ages realistically in the film. 4 stars
1/01/02 calvin cellars best based on a true story movie ever made 5 stars
12/28/01 Evil Bitchwoman pretty cool movie i guess so u should go see it. Cruz is a mental Slut though 4 stars
9/25/01 Monday Morning Great characters bring this story to life. It's not great but it shore is fun. 4 stars
9/04/01 Alan The Spanish bitch sleeps with everybody and I despise her. 3 stars
8/18/01 Obi Wan Wow! 1 of the best flicks I've seen in this movie tix inflation era! 5 stars
6/03/01 Richard Wright Does nothing to lift it out of a tired genre, overlong and dramatically shallow to boot. 3 stars
5/28/01 Connor Dueck a slightly different look at the drug game 5 stars
5/24/01 Christine It is the best movie ive ever seen!! 5 stars
5/20/01 A Williams I went in there expecting crap, but it was a really excellent movie, i recommend it 4 stars
5/16/01 Misa The movie was actually pretty great, definately not boring like I thought it would be. 4 stars
4/26/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) An aquired taste...and I suggest everyone acquire it... 4 stars
4/26/01 Todd Very cool, but if he hasn't seen his daughter while in prison, why did she act in the movie 4 stars
4/26/01 Brian After Pacino in "Scarface", all these other drug-lord movies pale by comparison 3 stars
4/24/01 Pete Sweet movie. Go see it. Johnny Depp is the best character actor in America right now. 5 stars
4/23/01 Girl 9 The Depp track record for making decent films sucks, but this one is worth seeing. 4 stars
4/19/01 Joe Awesome! Another movie Depp will be overlooked 5 stars
4/16/01 ChiefAlDog I wanted more explanation of how he avoided his parole officer time and again. 4 stars
4/14/01 Bill B Best I've seen in a long time. PeeWee was great. Tear jerker for any man with a daughter. 5 stars
4/14/01 Clarance A Cross between Trainspotting and Traffic...but BETTER! Fantastic and Powerful!! 5 stars
4/11/01 gabi Says it all--the good and bad of life; Depp incredible; very awsome film 5 stars
4/11/01 Nick A little on the depressing side, but a good film with an interesting comment on life. 4 stars
4/11/01 alanis I think you are very unfair with johnny, he makes an excellent performance, as usual 4 stars
4/11/01 scott awesome 5 stars
4/09/01 The Bomb 69 some cliches but overall an interesting look at a flawed and tragic character 4 stars
4/09/01 poetchuck Engaging story 4 stars
4/08/01 grunter If "Scarface" were a T.V. movie, it'd still have more substance and grit than "Blow" 2 stars
4/08/01 malcolm realest, most sympathetic drug dealer character in a while, maybe ever 5 stars
4/08/01 frankko nothing we haven't seen before. (and not enough paul reubens.) 2 stars
4/08/01 rue the whirl fairly dull and tiresome 3 stars
4/07/01 fishfry Last hour excruciatingly boring. Major disappointment 2 stars
4/07/01 brent young not given away in the previews, this movie was very good. worth a definate look. 5 stars
4/06/01 Megan Uninspired direction, a badly written script, and a horrible performance by Penelope Cruz 2 stars
4/03/01 Marcy Skenderian Per the WGA, it should read "Written by David McKenna and Nick Cassavetes" 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  06-Apr-2001 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  23-Aug-2001 (M)




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