Cocaine Cowboys
directed by Billy Corben
(Magnolia, 2006)

Cocaine Cowboys is an aptly titled two-hour-long documentary about the cocaine economy that built modern-day Miami, covering the flashiest crimes and personalities in the cocaine explosion of the 1980s.

Director Billy Corben tells the story of the city built on cocaine via interviews with smugglers, hit men and dealers. This isn't a socio-political look at the drug trade; rather, it is a down-and-dirty Wild West story, complete with a Godmother who could give Scarface a run for his money.

It does drag in parts, and could have been told in a more streamlined fashion. Even at two hours in length, the DVD has another two dozen deleted scenes, for anyone who wants more time with the men on the street. Anyone who enjoyed Scarface or Blow needs to pick this one up, as does any armchair economic historian.

review by
Jessica Lux-Baumann

20 October 2007

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