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Two Escobars (2010)

tomatometer

86

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

97

liked it
Average Rating: 4.4/5
User Ratings: 494

My Rating

Movie Info

Andrés Escobar was one of Colombia's best and most respected athletes, a gifted soccer player whose strong character made him a role model and who led his team to a spot in the World Cup in 1994. Pablo Escobar was not related to Andrés, but they came to know each other well -- Pablo owned the team Andrés played for, and bankrolled the recruiting drive that helped make them one of the world's best. But while Andrés was seen as a hero, Pablo made his money as a large-scale drug trafficker, and he

Nov 2, 2010

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October 15, 2010:
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All Critics (13) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (2)

Escobars captures the passion and personality of a group of exceptional athletes and their ecstatic bond with fans.

November 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Pic pulses with the same rhythmic mastery achieved in the filmmakers' earlier Favela Rising.

November 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
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One of the best sports docs in recent memory.

October 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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Meticulously researched and beautifully interwoven, with the story of one man rhyming with the other, The Two Escobars could be a companion to the great Italian gangster movie Gomorrah...

October 14, 2010 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
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This is simply pop sociology, putting too much emphasis on the first word and displaying too facile an understanding of the second one.

October 13, 2010 Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Comment (1)
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Two Escobars ends up being quite the nail-biter.

October 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A chilling cautionary tale about what can happen when success becomes a drug ... once you're hooked, the only thing that matters is maintaining the high at any cost.

December 21, 2010 Full Review Source: IFC.com
IFC.com

Jeff and Michael Zimbalist's documentary about a nation strapped under the boots of crime and outside forces above the law is just about as exciting as they come and it is gunning, er, shooting for my Top Ten of 2010 List.

November 5, 2010 Full Review Source: UR Chicago Magazine

The film makes a persuasive broader indictment, tracing the social and political moving parts that connected soccer, gangsterism, and money.

November 2, 2010 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

The documentary provides an insightful means of eulogizing its chief subjects in mythological terms with its vaguely optimistic conclusion: The game continues, and thus so does the struggle.

November 2, 2010 Full Review Source: indieWIRE
indieWIRE

Luridly compelling.

October 19, 2010 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

The company behind The Two Escobars is ESPN Films, and the influence, coincidentally or not, is tangible.

October 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for Two Escobars

"Life doesn't end here".

The Two Escobars, by directors Jeff and Michael Zimbalist, looks back at Colombia's World Cup run and the relationship of association football and the country's criminal gangs - notably the Medellín Cartel run by Pablo Escobar.

REVIEW
The title is important to note. This is a strictly structured and carefully trimmed story, grafted out of real events. It is probably mostly true, but what we see is a heavily controlled emotional piece of filmmaking, designed to tug our heartstrings and send a message. It's a bit more "based on a true story" than a documentary. Still, it's very ambitious and covers a lot of material in an efficient way. Football wonder-child Andres Escobar is not really the main character, but rather the glue that holds the story of Colombia together. The twin narrative is fast-paced, cutting from one story to the other, with contributions by interested parties, especially on the football side. The viewer is left in no doubt as to the lawlessness of the country and the delicate position its sportsmen were placed in by having to cooperate with the drug-lord paymasters. Verite footage of the rise and fall of the national football team and Pablo Escobar are interspersed with the interviewees to tell a shocking story. I found it fascinating and found myself feeling naturally sorry for the gentleman footballer so senselessly killed but much more ambivalent, as I believe I was meant to over the Robin Hood-type figure of the altogether more complex Pablo Escobar.
July 1, 2012
LorenzoVonMatterhorn
Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer

Despite being more than a little overproduced, "Two Escobars" has a very good starting point of one coincidence, that of two very disparate and not-related individuals in Colombia named Escobar, Pablo, drug kingpin and murderer, and Andres, star soccer player. That's not to mention some very good home footage that I would like to know how the filmmakers got their hands on. However, even after hearing from friends and relatives(some of whom you would not take home to meet your parents while others work on their image) of both men, we get little depth on Andres, outside of a petition for beatification. As for a connection, that comes down to soccer in Colombia in the 1980's which became a prime point for money laundering which helped the sport thrive there, climaxing with the country's sole World Cup berth in 1994 in the United States. That's not to mention the speculation that Pablo's death led indirectly to Andres' death.

Those deaths and many others "Two Escobars" wants to desperately pin on the evil of drugs but it is never that simple. In fact, I think it has more to do with escalation and how violence never solves anything. To start, Pablo becomes a hero to the poor despite his unsavory profession and body count, because the Colombian government does very little to alleviate poverty in its own country while he builds housing and helps in other ways. Instead said government takes a lot of American money to get rid of Pablo which ups the body count. Along these same lines, an interesting line of thought that is never explored is Colombia's relation to the United States and how that affected the lives of both men.
May 18, 2012
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

One of the best documentaries I have seen. The film was very engaging, and very heartbreaking.
July 19, 2010
Jason Reneau

Super Reviewer

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