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Overall Rating
3.91

Awesome: 31.25%
Worth A Look38.75%
Just Average: 21.25%
Pretty Crappy: 7.5%
Sucks: 1.25%

13 reviews, 82 user ratings


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Blow
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by EricDSnider

"'Cause we were hoping there would be another cautionary tale about drugs."
4 stars

For a gritty film about the drug trade to succeed in this post-"Traffic" world, it will need what "Traffic" lacked: heart and humanity.

"Blow" has it, taking us through the dizzying life of real-life trafficker George Jung and telling the drug story through the eyes of a man who lived it. The effect is visceral and engaging, and the film is often wryly, ironically funny as well as achingly tragic.

Johnny Depp plays George, a working-class kid from a Boston suburb who heads to California's Manhattan Beach in 1968 at the age of 18. He and his fat friend Tuna (Ethan Suplee) discover marijuana, and the enterprising George starts selling it, with help from a gay supplier named Derek (Paul Reubens).

Soon he's using his stewardess girlfriend Barbie (Franka Potente) to funnel the stuff back to Massachusetts, where his friends have set up a franchise operation for him.

Time passes. George goes to jail -- "crime school," he calls it: "I went in with a bachelor's in marijuana and came out with a doctorate in cocaine." His cellmate is Diego (Jordi Molla), who has ties to a Colombian cocaine operation. Once they're both set free, they get right to work establishing an extremely lucrative operation. George also gets to work wooing and marrying Colombian hottie Mirtha (Penelope Cruz).

The film's sprawling narrative never settles down. It's hard to tell when, if ever, we're going to stay in one locale or with one group of supporting characters for the long haul. That time never does come, in fact, which adds to the movie's melancholy tone: Just like George, we shouldn't get too attached to anyone, because they're not going to be around forever.

Ray Liotta (making his third film appearance this year) and Rachel Griffiths play George's parents. Griffiths's accent sounds like a left-over from "Thirteen Days," but Liotta is fantastic as George's dad. He always told his son that money isn't everything -- but now that George is financially well-off, he has a certain pride in knowing the boy made it better than his old man did. Depp and Liotta have an unexpected chemistry as father and son.

Johnny Depp, who actually is as brooding and soulful as some people think Leonardo DiCaprio is, gives one of his best performances yet as George. He's an intriguing anti-hero, earning sympathy and never coming across as the major criminal he is.

I have issues with the final third of the movie, which gets to be a fairly standard family melodrama with George's demanding wife and precious young daughter. That said, I found it rather touching, too. I'm a sucker for a flawed man trying to do right by his little girl.

I guess we all have our vices.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=4720&reviewer=247
originally posted: 04/06/01 01:57:40
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell gritty but nothing special 3 stars
9/03/14 Celeste Garcia This movie was beyond the best. 5 stars
4/05/14 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
4/02/08 Tiffanie I loved this movie! Its prolly one of the best by far 5 stars
1/04/08 Pamela White drug dealing and the paranoic life they lead 3 stars
12/09/07 SamanthaP johnny depp is good in anything! 4 stars
11/12/07 Ashley i love this movie very sad 5 stars
10/07/07 KNurse I have watched this movie several times.....awesome fucking movie 5 stars
1/02/06 Wiseman I loved this movie! i watched it 10 times 5 stars
12/18/05 Bree Outstanding all around. 5 stars
11/30/05 john smith it is ok 3 stars
11/21/05 Emily I can watch this movie over and over 5 stars
11/20/05 ad excellent 5 stars
10/30/05 Stephanie This is my favorite movie! 5 stars
9/14/05 shawn great fucking movie 5 stars
8/03/05 D.K. great cast, good grasp of the facts 5 stars
4/20/05 Evka cool movie 5 stars
8/17/04 Violeta perfect! 5 stars
7/23/04 Sandy Turynowicz too much info. I didn't need 2 stars
7/07/04 Denise Duspiva May the wind always be at your back and the sun upon your face and may the winds of destiny 5 stars
6/22/04 Jack Sommersby Obvious, uninsightful and blandy directed. Depp is wasted; Liotta only bright spot. 1 stars
6/07/04 Darryl Stavena The most romantic way to see the life of a drug-dealer 5 stars
3/09/04 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
1/07/04 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
8/27/03 Mr. Hat One great film. Great acting, great directing, one powerful ending. 5 stars
7/31/03 Samantha Macias I thoght this movie was interesting, and very sad!! 5 stars
5/03/03 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
1/07/03 val Fucking Awesome 5 stars
12/30/02 Tam Interesting depiction of a life ruined by drugs. 4 stars
12/30/02 Jack Sommersby Blow me! 1 stars
7/26/02 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
4/29/02 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
4/09/02 Butterbean A wonderful movie! Far superior to that overrated Requiem for a Dream 5 stars
4/06/02 Cardo Elins Outstanding 5 stars
3/29/02 Victor Villalba Good with some assumptions 4 stars
2/20/02 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
1/29/02 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
12/27/01 Evil Bitchwoman pretty cool movie i guess so u should go see it. Cruz is a mental Slut though 4 stars
9/24/01 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
8/17/01 Obi Wan Wow! 1 of the best flicks I've seen in this movie tix inflation era! 5 stars
6/02/01 Richard Wright Does nothing to lift it out of a tired genre, overlong and dramatically shallow to boot. 3 stars
5/27/01 Connor Dueck a slightly different look at the drug game 5 stars
5/23/01 Christine It is the best movie ive ever seen!! 5 stars
5/19/01 A Williams I went in there expecting crap, but it was a really excellent movie, i recommend it 4 stars
5/15/01 Misa The movie was actually pretty great, definately not boring like I thought it would be. 4 stars
4/25/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) An aquired taste...and I suggest everyone acquire it... 4 stars
4/25/01 Todd Very cool, but if he hasn't seen his daughter while in prison, why did she act in the movie 4 stars
4/25/01 Brian After Pacino in "Scarface", all these other drug-lord movies pale by comparison 3 stars
4/23/01 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
4/18/01 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
4/10/01 alanis I think you are very unfair with johnny, he makes an excellent performance, as usual 4 stars
4/10/01 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
4/08/01 poetchuck Engaging story 4 stars
4/07/01 grunter If "Scarface" were a T.V. movie, it'd still have more substance and grit than "Blow" 2 stars
4/07/01 malcolm realest, most sympathetic drug dealer character in a while, maybe ever 5 stars
4/07/01 frankko nothing we haven't seen before. (and not enough paul reubens.) 2 stars
4/07/01 rue the whirl fairly dull and tiresome 3 stars
4/07/01 fishfry Last hour excruciatingly boring. Major disappointment 2 stars
4/06/01 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
4/02/01 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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