The Infiltrator

Critics Consensus

The Infiltrator's compelling fact-based story and tremendously talented cast are often just enough to balance out its derivative narrative and occasionally clunky execution.



Total Count: 177


Audience Score

User Ratings: 19,020
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Movie Info

Based on a true story, U.S. Customs agent ROBERT "BOB" MAZUR (Bryan Cranston) goes deep undercover to infiltrate Pablo Escobar's blood-soaked drug trafficking scene plaguing the nation in 1985 by posing as slick, money-laundering businessman Bob Musella. Teamed with impulsive and streetwise fellow agent EMIR EBREU (John Leguizamo) and rookie agent posing as his fiancé KATHY ERTZ (Diane Kruger), Mazur befriends Escobar's top lieutenant ROBERTO ALCAINO (Benjamin Bratt). Navigating a vicious criminal network in which the slightest slip-up could cost him his life, Mazur risks it all building a case that leads to indictments of 85 drug lords and the corrupt bankers who cleaned their dirty money, along with the collapse of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, one of the largest money-laundering banks in the world.

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Bryan Cranston
as Robert Mazur
Diane Kruger
as Kathy Ertz
John Leguizamo
as Emir Abreu
Benjamin Bratt
as Roberto Alcaino
Yul Vázquez
as Javier Ospina
Joe Gilgun
as Dominic
Olympia Dukakis
as Aunt Vicky
Amy Ryan
as Bonni Tischler
Juliet Aubrey
as Evelyn Mazur
Elena Anaya
as Gloria Alcaino
Rubén Ochandiano
as Gonzalo Mora Jr.
Leanne Best
as Bowling Alley Waitress
Daniel Mays
as Frankie
Tom Vaughan-Lawlor
as Lawlor-Steve Cook
Niall Hayes
as Scott Mazur
Lara Decaro
as Andrea Mazur
Jason Isaacs
as Mark Jackowski
Richard Katz
as Attorney
Fred Furman
as Federal Court Judge
Juan Cely
as The Informant
David Horovitch
as Saul Mineroff
Mark Holden
as Eric Wellman
Simón Andreu
as Gonzalo Mora Sr.
Jess Fuerst
as Miss Wilson
Samya Boulahri
as Dancer 1 (Café de la Musica)
Jasmine Jardot
as Dancer 2 (Café de la Musica)
Stephanie Callahan
as Ocean Bird Airlines Receptionist
Art Malik
as Akbar Bilgrami
Saïd Taghmaoui
as Amjad Awan
Tim Dutton
as Ian Howard
Stewart O'Reilly
as Cake Waiter
Ekaterina Zalitko
as Lola - Emir Lap Dancer
Ashley Bannerman
as Laura Sherman
Michael Paré
as Barry Seal
Carsten Hayes
as Rudy Ambrecht
Miguel Ruiz
as Santerian Priest
Ronald Fox
as Businessman/Joshua Baron
Matthew Stirling
as Mora's Henchman
Nabil Massad
as Nazir Chinoy
Cesare Taurasi
as Gerardo Moncada
Rez Kabir
as Agha Hasan Abedi
Dinita Gohil
as Farhana Awan
Mitchell Mullen
as William von Raab
Nathan Morse
as Wedding Priest
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News & Interviews for The Infiltrator

Critic Reviews for The Infiltrator

All Critics (177) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (126) | Rotten (51)

  • Holy Columbian marching powder, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more adrenaline-soaked, palpitation-inducing, stress-ride at the cinema.

    Oct 10, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Furman is obviously working in the long shadow of Martin Scorsese and the Breaking Bad team. Still, he's learned all the right lessons, especially when it comes to music.

    Sep 22, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Cranston's talent - and Furman's - go a little to waste.

    Sep 15, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Unlike its undercover hero, plays it very safe.

    Sep 13, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • The best thing you can say about The Infiltrator is that Cranston and company are entirely persuasive in a film that doesn't make the best use of their stellar efforts.

    Aug 12, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • There aren't enough adrenalin moments to supercharge a film that gets bogged down in exposition.

    Aug 11, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Infiltrator

  • Aug 15, 2017
    The Infiltrator showcases the dangerous and difficult career of an undercover agent. This film details the true story of drug trafficking and laundering illegal money. Agent Robert Mazur invented a persona with a rich and lavish lifestyle in order to infiltrate Pablo Escobar's trafficking scene which was becoming apparent in 1986. Going deeper and deeper undercover in order to build a case that leads to indictments of more than 100 drug lords. Fascinating, ever so fascinating. What was really profound was the slow build up of trust and admiration between Mazur's cover up character and the drug lords of Colombia. The film portrayed them as normal people, genuine human beings with families. Sure what they were doing was completely illegal and something you shouldn't attempt at home...that something being an illegal drug trafficking scheme, but seeing that trust break at the end was actually melancholic. Captivating dual performances from both Cranston and Leguizamo, I thought they suited their roles incredibly well. Casting the beauty that is Diane Kruger is always great and I thought Benjamin Bratt's performance was noteworthy. The directing style was, on the whole, good. Nothing outstanding but towards the end wedding scene there were some nice long shots which I admired. There are a lot of characters in this story consisting of agents, family members, drug lords and corrupt bankers. It takes quite some time to establish them and get the story flowing, in fact I found the first half to be rather underwhelming. Nothing really engaged me. It's quite a meaty runtime (127 minutes) and honestly this could've been cut substantially. The second half was much better which included more tension and character investment. I also found that scenes just seemed to have been cut, one point we're in a hotel then all of sudden we're in France. Seemed to have been strung together to try and create flow but if anything it just hindered the narrative. However, some great performances and some interesting characters make for a good true story albeit unmemorable.
    Luke A Super Reviewer
  • Jul 14, 2017
    The Infiltrator is a thrilling docudrama about the 1980s drug war. The story follows Customs agent Robert Mazur as he puts together a major undercover operation to bust a Columbian drug cartel that's smuggling cocaine into the US. Starring Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo, Diane Kruger, and Benjamin Bratt, the film has a solid cast. And, the writers do a good job at breaking down Mazur's money laundering scheme and at setting up who the various drug bosses are. Additionally, the set and costume designers create an authentic 1980s look and feel, which helps in setting a gritty, dramatic tone. While it's kind of a familiar story, The Infiltrator is a compelling look at the challenges and dangers of living a double life.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 14, 2017
    After their collaboration on The Lincoln Lawyer in 2011, Director Brad Furman reunites with Bryan Cranston and John Leguizamo once again. Most of the positivity surrounding that film was slightly overshadowed by Matthew McConaughey's renewed invigoration for dramatic acting (or the start of the McConaussance as it came to be known) while the likes of Cranston and Leguizamo filled in as support. The film itself was a decent enough legal thriller and now with The Infiltrator, Furman explores the other side of the law. Only this time, his fringe players take the central roles. Plot: Alongside partners Emir Abreu (John Leguizamo) and Kathy Ertz (Diane Kruger), Federal agent Bob Mazur (Bryan Cranton) goes deep undercover to infiltrate a drug trafficking organisation that reaches all the way to Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar. The deeper Bob goes, though, the more danger he puts himself and his family in until he's so deep he's left with no choice but see it through to the end. There's really nothing going on in The Infiltrator that we haven't seen before. It's old but, admittedly, not yet tired ground we're covering here; undercover agent and devoted family man putting his neck on the line to infiltrate some serious criminal players. Needless to say, it affects him personally and any comparisons with Donnie Brasco would be well founded. With Bryan Cranston you'd also be forgiven for having flashbacks to his sublime, star-making work on TV's Breaking Bad. Like I say, we've been here before. That said, there's still much to recommend The Infiltrator. Based on the real-life story of Robert Mazur and working from a script by his mother, Ellen Brown Furman, Brad Furman has an impressive handle on events. He displays some stylish direction and has a keen eye for period detail. Ultimately, though, he keeps an even pace and manages to hold your interest while delivering several thrilling set-pieces. There's also an impressive cast of familiar faces in supporting roles with Leguizamo, in particular, lending fine support. The lesser known but steadily rising Joseph Gilgun (This Is England, Preacher) makes a welcome appearance and it always pleases me to a see very talented low-key actor make some headway in bigger films. He's a chameleon like performer that's thoroughly deserving of more work and one that I've been watching with much anticipation. But, ultimately, there's one thing that shoulders this film and that's the leading man himself. Cranston delivers very strong work and, as always, shows a versatility and a complete command of his character. As touched upon, there are hints of his Walter White and/or Heisenberg from Breaking Bad. It may be a little too close to the bone for some but I welcomed seeing Cranston do it all again. Robert Mazur's real life story is just as tense and exciting as anything that was depicted in Joe Pistone's story as Donnie Brasco but because The Infiltrator has been filmed afterwards, it puts it at a real disadvantage before it's even had a chance. This is a shame really as Furman and his cast rarely put a foot wrong. Unfortunately, comparisons will be made and this happens to arrive a little too late for it to achieve any freshness or originality. It's not genre defining by any means but it's also not a complete right-off either. Despite it succumbing to formula, it still has many stand out scenes and maintains its momentum admirably. Cranston is most impressive and the film is worth it just for him. Mark Walker
    Mark W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 03, 2017
    The drug war has gifted us with many special films throughout the years. It continues to be a hotbed for stories both new and old even if it all of them fall under the umbrella of the same genre. So where The Infiltrator succeeds by telling us a relatively untold story (of course lightly based on a true story) and stacked cast, it also fails by not using that story to stand out because of uninspired writing and direction. Bryan Cranston takes the lead as a real-life US Customs Agent, Robert Mazur, stuck in the twilight of his career before getting one final call for the 'big one' to finally ship him into retirement. Cranston channels his best Heizenburg impersonation as he slowly slips into the good graces of his new criminal friends. I don't have a knock on his performance, but due to the writing, some of his scenes felt humorous (like a scene in a restaurant with his wife) or confusing (his meeting with the bankers) instead of menacing or least enough to understand who all the players in the room were. Our supporting cast does just fine with the material. Diane Kruger is looking younger than ever while John Leguizamo still knocks his character-casting out of the park as the jumpy Latino partner. While Benjamin Bratt and Yul Vazquez are billed as the top "villains", neither comes off as threatening thanks to nearly zero background outside of a bit of dialogue. Even at a two-hour running time, this felt light on the material and shorter than it should have been. For director Brad Furman, he's able to squeeze a bit of tension and suspense out from the story line in certain parts, but none of it ever really flows succinctly enough for the audience to streamline what's going on. Too many pauses in between notable events keep this movie from really reaching above average. I was delighted to see a new story being told in the 80's about the drug war with Pablo Escobar, even if he is a fleeting character for a brief moment. While The Infiltrator focuses largely on the smaller tentacles of Escobar's reach into the US at the time, the events still come off as larger than life with the inclusion of historical facts. It won't go down with the upper echelon of drug war movies we've seen in the past, but it won't fall farther than the average thriller in its category either.
    Lane Z Super Reviewer

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