How to Make Money Selling Drugs

Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    Jun 25, 2013
    90
    It's a smart, funny, tough-minded film crammed with data and personal anecdotes, each illuminating the other, each sketching in the staggering costs—and not just financial—of the ways authorities in this country have shaped the drug issue. It's far from glib.
  2. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Jun 28, 2013
    83
    For most of its running time, How to Make Money Selling Drugs is a cheeky, moderately interesting look behind the curtain of the trade in contraband substances, from the corner dealer to the cartel-topping drug lord.
  3. Reviewed by: Tom Huddleston
    Dec 17, 2013
    80
    The result is entertaining and insightful, balancing cold statistics with real-life stories of success and tragedy, presenting a broad, clear-eyed view of an increasingly complex issue.
  4. Reviewed by: Linda Holmes
    Jun 27, 2013
    80
    Whether or not you agree with its underlying critique of existing drug policy, How To Make Money Selling Drugs is an ambitious, creative attempt to talk in a single film about everything from the disparate treatment of black and white dealers to the influence of asset forfeiture on law-enforcement strategies to the devastation of Mexico's drug war.
  5. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jun 27, 2013
    80
    Despite its slick packaging and overtly facetious premise, director Matthew Cooke and producer Adrian Grenier’s faux-educational documentary How to Make Money Selling Drugs packs a wallop.
  6. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Jun 27, 2013
    80
    As the filmmaker unfurls the harsh, essential facts, both past and present, about America's complex relationship with drugs — along with tobacco and alcohol's longtime place in the equation — the movie gains serious power and momentum.
  7. 75
    Cooke may overstuff his documentary with too many points, but if a young person had to watch just one film about the drug war, this is not a bad choice.
  8. 75
    As it turns out, making money selling drugs is pretty win-win as far as it goes, but keeping it is another matter. So the title isn’t so much a joke as a bleak comment on a desperately cynical economy: In the drug trade, as well as the dubious “war” declared against it, everybody ultimately loses.
  9. Reviewed by: Rob Humanick
    Jun 24, 2013
    75
    The film employs a flashy text-and-graphics aesthetic that immediately brings to mind the satirical undercurrent of a Grand Theft Auto video game.
  10. Reviewed by: Erik McClanahan
    Jun 29, 2013
    67
    The biggest failing of this mostly enjoyable documentary is that it works like a Michael Moore film. It probably won't convince those outside the circle, it will only serve to push them further away.
  11. Reviewed by: Mike D'Angelo
    Jun 26, 2013
    67
    How to Make Money Selling Drugs is breezy fun, even when it eventually turns openly cynical.
  12. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Jun 28, 2013
    63
    This film is best when arguing that drugs should be treated as a multibillion-dollar commodity business in need of regulation, and not as a moral failing.

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