Narco Cultura (2013)



Critic Consensus: Disturbing, thought-provoking, and timely, Narco Cultura sheds some crucial light on an important -- and underserved -- subject.

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Movie Info

To a growing number of Mexicans and Latinos in the Americas, narco-traffickers have become iconic outlaws, glorified by musicians who praise their new models of fame and success. They represent a pathway out of the ghetto, nurturing a new American dream fueled by an addiction to money, drugs, and violence. From war photographer Shaul Schwarz comes NARCO CULTURA, an explosive look at the drug cartels' pop culture influence on both sides of the border as experienced by an LA narcocorrido singer dreaming of stardom and a Juarez crime scene investigator on the front line of Mexico's Drug War. (c) Cinedigm
R (for grisly graphic images of disturbing violent content, drug material, language and brief nudity)
Documentary , Special Interest
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Critic Reviews for Narco Cultura

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (17)

Photojournalist Shaul Schwarz's powerful documentary Narco Cultura gets inside the world of two men who, in very different ways, inhabit this horror.

Full Review… | December 13, 2013
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

This issue-based journalism piece yields diminishing returns the deeper it digs.

Full Review… | December 6, 2013
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

An eye-opening examination of Mexico's blood-soaked drug war and its unsettling pop-culture side effects, Narco Cultura is as overwhelming as it is absorbing.

Full Review… | December 6, 2013
Top Critic

This haunting documentary contrasts songs saluting Mexican drug lords as heroic bandits with the harrowing reality of life in murder-stained Juarez.

Full Review… | December 6, 2013
Orange County Register
Top Critic

This dispassionate but devastating film looks at the drug wars from two very different but chillingly complementary perspectives.

Full Review… | December 5, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

After watching "Narco Cultura," it's hard to imagine any "recreational" user of pot wondering whether the joint he or she just smoked isn't soaked in human blood.

Full Review… | December 5, 2013
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Narco Cultura


Not only disturbing from images and subject matter, but by the attitude the film has towards the violent topic it is pursuing. If it doesn't amaze you with this images it is showing you, or you don't appreciate what the film makers were trying to go for, then maybe you didn't pay attention to the emotional distraught that was brewing on the other side of the camera.

Randy Pronk
Randy Pronk

Just when I started to regain my faith in humanity, this film comes along and kicks it right back into the gutter. When a community truly faces the end of days and it's celebrated rather than condemned, it's pretty much official: We're fucked as a species.

Ed Bookman
Ed Bookman

Engaging documentary on narcotic traffickers and how they've become a popular source of inspiration for young people looking to escape poverty. The footage is intense, fascinating and eye opening. The filmmakers show the subjects who they really are, lowlifes and scumbags. The singers in the film may think they're doing something great, but they're nothing more than glorified thugs give the Mexican culture a bad name. Add to that, that they take inspiration from drug kingpins, and it's a shocking aspect that you simply cannot believe. These upcoming artists are gaining momentum through their music which is filled with violent content, taken from the real live drug wars waged in Mexico. This is a riveting film, one that manages to tell an impressive, shocking story, and the filmmakers craft a film that doesn't shy away from its subject and is a memorable documentary. I had high hopes that Narco Cultura would be a great documentary, but after seeing it, I felt that it left some important details out, and in some aspects, the filmmakers could have gone deeper in the film's subject. Narco Cultura is interesting for what it tries to accomplish, but at times it does leave a bit to be desired in terms of content. There is no denying that the subject presented in this documentary is very good, but the filmmakers could have done a bit better as well. Narco Cultura is good, but it never is great, and it does fall short of what it could have been. You'll get an interesting portrait of this unique culture of artists who take inspiration from the Mexican Drug war, but at the same time, you'll get a feeling these "artists" are nothing more than scumbags who try to gain fame by idolizing drug dealers and singing about their exploits.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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