Blow

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 218 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 4 out of 218

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User Reviews

  1. Jun 24, 2016
    7
    Blow is certainly an interesting film that paints a good picture of George Jung, both as a man and as a drug dealer. However, it simply feels like it has been done before. This was essentially Ted Demme's take on a Martin Scorsese movie, just minus the guy being an abusive jerk. Instead, the women are jerks, but all the same. The film takes a typical approach to the subject with typicalBlow is certainly an interesting film that paints a good picture of George Jung, both as a man and as a drug dealer. However, it simply feels like it has been done before. This was essentially Ted Demme's take on a Martin Scorsese movie, just minus the guy being an abusive jerk. Instead, the women are jerks, but all the same. The film takes a typical approach to the subject with typical narration and time jumping to tell a more complete story. While George Jung is certainly an interesting man, the film simply does not do much to separate him from other figures and their respective films. That said, Johnny Depp and Ray Liotta do a very good, though their make-up team dropped the ball since they do not age over the course of twenty years aside from their hair. Overall, Blow is a compelling real life tale, but is beat-for-beat what you have come to expect from a biopic about a drug smuggler in the 1970s-90s. Expand
  2. 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 DisneyI 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. ImA
    Nov 5, 2009
    9
    Wow, can't believe the critics on this one.
  7. JohnC.
    Dec 19, 2007
    9
    This movie was so great. I don't understand whay is has such a low average score.
  8. BlakeJ.
    Mar 11, 2007
    7
    Good, but not as good as the teenage crowd makes it out to be. Johnny does a fine job. Penelope Cruz is so evil I wanted to reach into the screen and choke her, that's acting.
  9. LaurenC.
    Jun 23, 2005
    10
    Best movie i have ever seen.
  10. B.J.S.
    Aug 12, 2004
    9
    Johnny Depp was absolutely amazing in this movie. this movie was an amazing portrayal of george young which glorified him and also showed the horrible things that happened to him because of the wrong choices he made in his life. There was not a scene that seemed awkward or that did not fit at all. Ted Demme did an amazing job editing this movie and added his own style of film making that Johnny Depp was absolutely amazing in this movie. this movie was an amazing portrayal of george young which glorified him and also showed the horrible things that happened to him because of the wrong choices he made in his life. There was not a scene that seemed awkward or that did not fit at all. Ted Demme did an amazing job editing this movie and added his own style of film making that makes you know that it was he whom created it. Expand
  11. MelanieF.
    Oct 10, 2003
    10
    A supurbe job, well done johnny!
  12. RyanT.
    Jul 25, 2002
    8
    Even though this type of movie has been done before and Scarface is definitely superior to it. It is entertaining throughout and has some great acting by Johnny Depp and Ray Liotta.
  13. NelloD.
    Jun 20, 2002
    9
    A true story which accurately portrays the life and mind of a drug dealer. From the highs to the very lows of George Jungs life. A must see.
  14. TylerR.
    Apr 14, 2002
    10
    A great film.
  15. MarcK.
    Mar 3, 2002
    7
    I saw a lot of year's Best 10 Lists by critics, and I don't think "Blow" made any of them! What a shame, as this was a very good movie. Paul Reubens steals every scene he's in, and should have received an Oscar nomination for his work. Seriously!
  16. ColeL
    Nov 17, 2001
    8
    Bravo Johnny, bravo. This was a great movie with love for the game. I am asstounded by the realness of the trade and of how well this movie was done.
  17. FrankB.
    Sep 30, 2001
    8
    This movie deserves higher than a 48. The acting was excellent and the story was very interesting.
  18. GaryR.
    Sep 14, 2001
    8
    Johnny Depp excels in this movie...Penelope Cruz does an incredible job acting like a real witch.
  19. JoshB.
    Jul 2, 2001
    7
    The filmmakers did a remarkable thing. Make you feel sorry for the guy responsible for propelling America's drug-problem. Seriously.
  20. DamianP.
    Jun 17, 2001
    7
    George Jung was the good guy? Please!! Still, it was entertaining.
  21. RyanM.
    May 26, 2001
    10
    A brilliant study of drugs, realationships and people. With dazzling performances by Depp, Liotta and Potente this film shines like tin foil!
Metascore
52

Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 34
  2. Negative: 3 out of 34
  1. Philadelphia Inquirer
    Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    50
    The real problem is that there's nothing to George but the movie's props.
  2. Only Depp and Ray Liotta (as Jung's father) manage to animate this tired formula.
  3. Newsweek
    Reviewed by: David Ansen
    50
    When George’s fortunes start to go from bad to worse, so does the movie.