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Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

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7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 80 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: A high-velocity look at George Jung's (Depp) spectacular rise and fall -- based on the true story of how powder cocaine turned into America's biggest drug problem and how one man from the blue-collar suburbs became the 35 billion-dollar a-year conduit to the Colombian cartels. Ted Demme directs this riveting look at the manic allure -- and dangerous reality -- of a drug smuggler's everyday life, and unfolds one of the great untold stories from the recent annals of American crime and culture. (New Line Cinema) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 34
  2. Negative: 3 out of 34
  1. 100
    Scorches the screen with a badass bravado all its own. Smart, sexy, funny and dangerous this high-wire act is a movie and a half.
  2. Carries little in the way of passion or revelatory charge.
  3. 63
    Take away the drugs, and this is the story of a boring life in wholesale.
  4. Depp's witty, spare performance gives the picture a poignancy -- a depth of feeling, if you'll allow the pun -- that Mr. Demme's hectic direction and the hurried script by David McKenna and Nick Cassavetes don't quite earn.
  5. It's an honest portrayal, but it leaves the audience stranded, without the emotional hook of a character we can care about.
  6. 50
    Depp aside, the movie is higher on style than it is on substance.
  7. You can't make an epic about a mouse.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 25
  2. Negative: 2 out of 25
  1. Nov 14, 2011
    10
    One of those movies where you will laugh your ass off at parts, but want to cry at others. Overall very good. Depp, as usual when playing a drugged out crazy guy, delivers an excellent performance. Expand
  2. Jun 25, 2014
    9
    One of Depp's best roles by far. Depp and Liotta act great together and the story is involving as well as realistic from the perspective of a drug dealer's lifestyle. Depp inputs as much emotion into the character as he can. Other supporting roles that elevate the movie are from Franka Potente from Run Lola Run, Ethan Suplee from American History X and Penelope Cruz as Depp's Colombian wife. Expand
  3. Feb 19, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. On one hand, Blow is a interesting film about the drug industry with solid performances and a fairly entertaining plot surprisingly enough, based on real events.

    But beneath the surface, it is also holds a strikingly important message about the things in life that seem important, the desires that most people pursue...and how at the end, no matter how successful they are in attaining them, it means nothing if they consume one's life.

    The film has a variety of different characters, but the only real morally decent guy is George's father (Ray Liotta).

    At the beginning of the film, he tells his young son something very important: "Money isn't real, George. It doesn't matter. It only seems like it does."

    It is a message that seems to register with the young George somewhere deep down, yet he spends his entire adult life running in the opposite direction as far as he can. The adult George (Johnny Depp) starts of relatively small he gets into the weed business to make a little bit of money, enough to live on and step by step, bit by bit, he edges himself onto bigger and bigger deals, gets busted and goes to prison, moves on to cocaine, dealing with killers, putting himself in great risk money becomes everything that his life revolved around.

    I am sure that somewhere in his mind he might have rationalized it, convinced himself in some philosophy that made his lifestyle ok yet it the end, all it brought him was ruin. The exact same thing happens with his wife Mirtha (Penelope Cruz). The young George is distances by how selfish and greedy his mother (Rachel Griffiths) is, and he can barely give her a hug on Christmas day. She openly admits she married George's father for money that she believed he had, only to find out that he had little. She is someone the young George doesn't want anything to do with yet he marries the exact same woman in Mirtha.

    At first, it is all sexy and exciting how George and Mirtha meet, how beautiful and classy she looks, how into him she is he thinks he has hit the jackpot and found the perfect woman. A match made in heaven until the money troubles come in and after years of marriage she reveals that all she really cares about is the fame and fortune that came with marrying George. Again, he must have rationalized it in his mind told himself she is not like his mother, that she is different, that they can make it work all delusions we force ourselves to believe because we cannot break free from the chains of the physical and the material. "Money isn't real, George. It doesn't matter. It only seems like it does." if only George had followed that advice, he would not have ended up an old broken down man in a prison dreaming of his daughter that never visits him. At the end, despite of all his mistakes, you can't help but feel truly sorry for George. No matter how much he allowed himself to be led astray, the one thing he cared about the most was his daughter.

    Of course, George's story is an extreme example of a cautionary tale. Many other people in society go on the same path but keep their riches seemingly for life, and establish successful families and relationships that are with them 'till the end. But as materially successful as that may seem, how much of an achievement is it, really? How much honor is there to get ahead in a fundamentally unjust and unfair world? Who is the real winner someone who plays the game and wins, or someone who refuses to play at all and transcends the material and the physical living humbly and within his means?

    George's father, although no human is perfect, seemed to have the most peace at the end. And we can leave it at that.

    A movie definitely worth seeing.
    Expand
  4. Mar 8, 2013
    8
    It's got this weird kind of piecemeal/miniseries structure to it but, as a genuine study of human drama and fallibility, "Blow" comfortably eases by thanks to a damn fine performance from Johnny Depp. Expand
  5. Jul 23, 2013
    8
    I have always believed, with an exception here and there, that Johnny Depp was extremely overrated as an actor. His good looks, combined with his outlandish characters, often earn him more credit than he deserves. Having watched the film, Blow, for the first time this weekend, It was very easy to see that Depp does in fact have a lot of talent, and can play more than just a Disney character with too much make-up. I though Depp was good in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, but he gives, by far, his best performance to date in Blow. For those unfamiliar with this true story, Depp plays George Jung, an American who worked for the Median Cartel and was responsible for bringing in an estimated 80% of all the cocaine in The United States, during the 70s and 80s. The story starts with his suburban upbringing and follows his rise to power and finally his fall from grace. Blow was very reminiscent of the kind of film you usually see from Leonard DiCaprio, and while he would have done a nice job in the lead, even he would be hard pressed to top the performance given by Johnny Depp. In the performance of a lifetime, Depp takes you through every aspect of this mans life with ease and really gave us a rare, inside look into Pablo Escobar's operation. He's paired with the lovely Penelope Cruz, who was a disaster playing Jung's wife. Her performance was nominated for a Razzie, as the worst female performance of the year, with good reason. Throughout the film, She's hard to understand and often times screaming like a lunatic. Her character was a very important part of Jung's life and they couldn't have done a worse job of casting. They needed a good looking Latin American woman to portray the part and Cruz was the top name at the time, but her sloppy performance really takes away from an interesting film. I found Blow to be a fascinating look into the other side of the war on drugs. Often times we only hear about what the FBI is doing, but not about the trade itself. Blow is original, cutting edge, and really a terrific film that shouldn't be missed. Expand
  6. Aug 27, 2010
    2
    A half-baked attempt at a variety of ideas that were better used in greater films (namely Goodfellas). Depp and Liotta give entertaining performances as usual, but the fun burns out quickly. Expand
  7. Dec 4, 2013
    2
    Blow is a boring rip-off of Goodfellas, a over the top crime film. Goodfellas was excellent, you know, Blow is just a very bad and boring film. Ted Demme works well on the locations and filming, but it all sums up to a piece of druggie crap. Johnny Depp was amazing, witty and energetic for this crap, which I enjoyed. Blow was a bad thriller, it had no sense- a boring movie and a really bad rip off. It sucks, bad. Expand

See all 25 User Reviews

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