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Blow (2001)

tomatometer

55

Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 136
Fresh: 75 | Rotten: 61

With elements that seem borrowed from movies like Goodfellas and Boogie Nights, Blow is pretty much been-there-done-that despite another excellent performance from Johnny Depp. It, also, becomes too sentimental at the end.

42

Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critic Reviews: 33
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 19

With elements that seem borrowed from movies like Goodfellas and Boogie Nights, Blow is pretty much been-there-done-that despite another excellent performance from Johnny Depp. It, also, becomes too sentimental at the end.

audience

87

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 379,559

My Rating

Movie Info

Following the life of cocaine-trafficking pioneer George Jung in a way that recalls Martin Scorsese's Casino, Blow recounts the man's days from his 1950s childhood in Boston to his downfall in the 1980s. George (played by Johnny Depp) begins his life as the son of Fred (Ray Liotta), an earnest breadwinner, and Ermine (Rachel Griffiths), who frequently walks out on them in pursuit of a more fulfilling life. When George moves west to California in the late '60s, accompanied by best pal Tuna (Ethan

R,

Drama

Nick Cassavetes, David McKenna

Sep 11, 2001

$52.8M

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All Critics (153) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (75) | Rotten (61) | DVD (25)

Blow can't sustain the high.

April 6, 2001 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An extraordinary -- and unfathomable -- piece of whitewashing.

April 6, 2001 Full Review Source: Slate
Slate
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Blow fades a bit in its second half, weighed down by a need to closely follow Jung's life. But even then, the actors are so compelling that it's just a mild discomfort.

April 6, 2001
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A mediocre biopic.

April 6, 2001 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Grabs hold of you by the lapels and simply won't let go.

April 6, 2001
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Uneven drug trade story has explicit drug use.

January 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Johnny Depp gives a spellbindingly naturalistic performance that puts a sympathetic face on a powerfully individualistic man unable to shake a world of crime that brought him immense riches and eventually cost him everything he caredabout.

July 16, 2009 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

Does the movie make us care? Not really, which is the movie's basic problem.

October 5, 2008 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Comes off like a flamboyant cartoon, another film about the deglamorization of glamorous people living it up in the glamorous world of drugs.

September 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Bangor Daily News (Maine) | Comments (2)
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

Blow isn't really a classic, but it's a sobering story well-told.

July 23, 2007 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Johnny Depp stars and, despite some pretty awful makeup, nails his performance as George Jung.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Rambling and confused, the film shows much concern for plot and not enough for characterization, particularly in second half which unfolds as a catalog of events. Misdirected, the usually reliable Depp gives a confused and scattered performance.

April 29, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Tiene una edición maravillosa, la fotografía es notable y la dirección bien lograda.

February 20, 2005 Full Review Source: Cinenganos
Cinenganos

A worthy companion to Traffic, which isn't all it's cracked up to be, either.

January 10, 2005 Full Review
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

The biggest problem with Blow is that Jung is such a complete moron.

September 26, 2002 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews | Comments (2)
Reel Film Reviews

...so kicky and exuberant, you'll find yourself ignoring how fundamentally botched it is. It's a mess, but a glorious mess.

August 10, 2002
Philadelphia Weekly

I was wondering how I would feel about [Jung] at the end of the movie. My answer was this: I felt indifferent.

July 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Window to the Movies | Comment (1)
Window to the Movies

Con un argumento inteligente y buenas actuaciones, es uno de esos filmes altamente recomendables que nadie debe dejar de ver.

June 11, 2002 Full Review Source: Moviola

The first two-thirds of the film fuse together the high-impact operatics of director Brian DePalma's "Scarface" and the in-your-face style of "GoodFellas"...

June 9, 2002 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

Não posso negar que Profissão de Risco é bem-sucedido: seu protagonista desperta simpatia. Isso é motivo de orgulho? Duvido muito.

May 30, 2002 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

There will certainly be worse films in theaters this year....but there will be none so tedious as Blow.

May 30, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Experience
Film Experience

While "Blow" certainly has its moments of greatness, it tries too hard to sell us a product we would have bought had they not pushed it too hard.

April 19, 2002 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

All I have to say is, poor Georgie.

February 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

The story here is intriguing, but there is something hinted at in between the plot that really struck me.

February 26, 2002 Full Review Source: Mark Reviews Movies
Mark Reviews Movies

Audience Reviews for Blow

The life of drug dealer George Jung is the subject of another engaging performance by Johnny Depp. The film has a lot of things in common with Goodfellas; the true life story of a man's life of crime, the voice-over, the way the story darkens once cocaine appears on the scene. It even cheekily casts Ray Liotta and a Lorraine Bracco look-alike as George's parents. The main difference is in the tone; it has a gloss that skims over the moral implications of Jung's actions, portraying him as a charming and likeable entrepreneur and never showing the results of his criminal activity. As such it lacks the power and grittiness of both Scorsese's masterpiece and Traffic. Moral implications aside though, it's a well written, well acted and enjoyable tale with a nicely poignant ending.
September 19, 2013
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

'Blow' is a horribly dull rehashing of classics such as 'Scarface', 'Goodfellas' and 'Boogie Nights'. The problems are abundant. Its plot is rambling, bloated and tediously predictable; so many plot points are crammed into it. This poorly constructed narrative results with sorely limited characterisation; some seemingly important characters coming and going within ten minutes, it's a total mess.

Much of the film is one long dreary drug deal, only the most immature viewer would be engaged or, even worse, allured by it. Most people will watch it thinking about how it lacks the energy, sophistication and talent of all the fantastic crime films it so crudely rips off. Few films are as annoyingly kitsch as this.

Johnny Depp again proves his lack of credibility in the crime genre, his first attempt being in the similarly dull 'Donnie Brasco'. I'm not sure why RT deems his performance 'excellent', his feminine features just don't work in the genre.

Ray Liotta plays Depp's father, the noble working class stock character that forms the film's rather flimsy anti-drug message. This fails because of the aforementioned narrative issues, the film is utterly devoid of any message that resonates with the viewer. Most people who like this film appear to foolishly do so because they find it 'cool'; much like the bonehead rappers who idolise Tony Montana in 'Scarface'.

To make matters worse, the film also has mawkish lashings of sentimentalism towards the end. The crew had to have known how inferior this film was during production, I can imagine it was exhausting for them to complete the project with any conviction.
January 3, 2013
Jack Hawkins
Jack Hawkins

Super Reviewer

As far as biopics go, it's not the best, and suffers from the flaws that come with the territory, but, as far as entertaining drug movies (anti-drug movies that hypocritically glamorize drugs can still be good) that are also strong character studies go, this film is amazing.

The energy is high, the sets, decor, costumes, hairstyles, and soundtrack are excellent, and the performances are mostly really good. It's a little hard to buy Liotta as Depp's dad, but it could be worse. Depp is phenomenal, Suplee is really pretty good, and Reubens is just a riot. It seems a little contradictory that he made this about a decade after his infamous "crack" PSA, but he does an awesome job here.

I find it sadly ironic that this movie makes the lifestyle fun and glamorous, and that the ultimate message is that drugs are bad, but that the director died of cocaine related heart problems.

I'll admit that this movie is a mess, but I really like it. There's a lot of good technique and other stuff on display here, and to me, that makes up for some of its issues. It initially comes off as Scorsese light, but ultimately comes into its own eventually. Plus, the movie has some hilarious moments and some really great lines. It gets really depressing really fast towards the end, but it's mostly a fun ride.
November 3, 2012
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Fantastic movie. One of my favorite Johnny Depp films....
September 1, 2012
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

    1. Tuna: I'm a walking heart attack.
    – Submitted by Jesse K (12 months ago)
    1. George Jung: I'm really great at what I do, Dad.
    – Submitted by Chris F (20 months ago)
    1. George Jung: This is Grade A 100% pure Colombian cocaine, ladies and gentlemen... Disco shit... Pure as the driven snow.
    – Submitted by shaun m (2 years ago)
    1. George Jung: Hey, am I wearing lipstick? I said, am I wearing lipstick? When I'm getting fucked I want to make sure my face looks pretty.
    – Submitted by Jack G (2 years ago)
    1. George Jung: All I can say is that my ambition far exceeded my talent.
    – Submitted by Susan T (2 years ago)
    1. Fred Jung: I don't like what you're doing. It's not what I would've chosen for you, but I couldn't stop you if I tried, could I?
    2. George Jung: Probably not.
    – Submitted by Susan T (2 years ago)
View all quotes (7)

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