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"BLOW"
(2001) (Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Extreme Moderate Extreme Moderate Heavy
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Moderate Mild Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Heavy Heavy Heavy Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Hoping not to follow in his father's footsteps of working hard for little or no return, a young man takes to dealing drugs and coping with the various benefits and repercussions of doing so in this dramatic portrayal of real-life drug dealer George Jung.
PLOT:
After growing up watching his father, Fred (RAY LIOTTA) not get anywhere after working hard all of his life and dealing with his mother, Ermine (RACHEL GRIFFITHS), often walking out on them, George Jung (JOHNNY DEPP) and his best friend Tuna (ETHAN SUPLEE) decide to move from their Massachusetts hometown to sunny California in 1968.

There, they meet a free spirited young woman, Barbara (FRANKA POTENTE), and her friends who introduce them to the world of pot smoking. That eventually leads to them meeting Derek Foreal (PAUL REUBENS), a local dealer, when they decide to start selling pot themselves. They eventually become quite successful when another hometown friend, Kevin Dulli (MAX PERLICH), visits and tells them they could make a fortune selling to the east coast colleges. With Barbara, a stewardess, transporting the pot and Kevin dealing it back east, George and Tuna's business really takes off, especially when they start transporting the drugs directly from Mexico.

Things go great for George and his friends until he's busted in 1972. Skipping bail to care for Barbara, his now terminally ill girlfriend, George is eventually caught and sent to prison. Yet, this setback turns into opportunity when his cellmate, Diego Delgado (JORDI MOLLA), turns him onto the world of cocaine trafficking. Soon, George meets Pablo Escobar (CLIFF CURTIS), the powerful Columbian head of international cocaine trafficking, who wants George to be his dealer in the U.S., and then meets and marries Mirtha (PENELOPE CRUZ), an exotic beauty.

As the years pass, George tries to continue living his high lifestyle despite repeated run-ins with the law, being double-crossed by former acquaintances, his eventual estrangement from Mirtha and their young daughter, Kristina Sunshine Jung (EMMA ROBERTS), and his second thoughts about being in the drug business altogether.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Older teens and fans of anyone in the cast may want to see it, but it doesn't seem likely that younger kids will unless they're into drugs and that sort of lifestyle.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For pervasive drug content and language, some violence and sexuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JOHNNY DEPP plays a young man who turns into one of the biggest drug dealers/traffickers in U.S. history. He also uses strong profanity and drugs, smokes and jumps bail several times after being arrested.
  • PENELOPE CRUZ plays his eventually estranged and self-indulgent wife who uses drugs while pregnant. She also uses strong profanity and smokes.
  • JORDI MOLLA plays George's one-time prison cellmate who introduces him to the world of cocaine dealing/trafficking and eventually turns him against him. He also occasionally uses drugs.
  • FRANKA POTENTE plays George's early girlfriend and drug user who helped him and others transport marijuana on planes across the country.
  • RAY LIOTTA plays George's hardworking father who uses some profanity, drinks and eventually unwillingly accepts what his son is doing.
  • RACHEL GRIFFITHS plays George's mother who doesn't accept what he's made of his life.
  • ETHAN SUPLEE plays George's best friend who also uses and deals drugs with him.
  • PAUL REUBENS plays a dealer in California who supplies George and his friends with the pot they sell. He also uses drugs and strong profanity, is gay, and also turns on George.
  • MAX PERLICH plays another of George's hometown friends who uses drugs and helps deal them back home.
  • CLIFF CURTIS plays Pablo Escobar, the powerful Columbian head of international cocaine trafficking.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this R-rated drama. Being a film about a major drug dealer, there is an extreme amount of material dealing with drugs, ranging from use (pot smoking, coke snorting, etc.) to dealing/selling the goods to others (and becoming rich from doing so) to all of the illegal behavior and business activities associated with that. One such character does drugs while pregnant while she and various other characters also drink and smoke throughout the film.

    Those characters have extreme cases of bad attitudes, with some of them also being involved in violent behavior (one person is executed with a shot to the head, another wounded and beat up in separate scenes, and others are threatened with violence). Some of those scenes have bloody results and may be tense or unsettling to some viewers, and various instances of tense family scenes are present, including the protagonist having to deal with being estranged from his wife and daughter.

    Profanity consists of more than 110 "f" words, while plenty of other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Some of the language involves sexually explicit dialogue, a couple is briefly seen fooling around (with some of that apparently involving some sort of S&M material), and some bare-breasted women are seen in nonsexual situations.

    Should you still be concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may want to see it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific information about what occurs in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see cocaine being processed and packaged at some Columbian operation.
  • We see a quick shot of George testing some coke.
  • A woman smokes a joint and George tells us via voice over narration that everyone was getting stoned (once he and Tuna moved to California for the first time). We then see others smoking joints and drinking beer and one woman blows pot smoke into George's mouth.
  • George and Tuna then decide to start selling pot and state that if they can't sell it, they'll just smoke it. They then meet Derek who gives them a huge bag of pot to sell and we then see them selling pot to all sorts of people (and we see some of them smoking it, including George).
  • George's old friend, Kevin, shows up, smokes some pot with the others, including George, Derek, and Barbara, and then comments on how stoned/wasted he is.
  • Barbara drinks a beer.
  • George goes to meet some man in Mexico who agrees to sell him lots of marijuana.
  • Kevin drinks from a bottle.
  • We see various people drinking in a bar/restaurant where Barbara, George and his parents all have drinks on the table in front of them.
  • George and his father drink.
  • While in prison, Diego informs George about cocaine dealing.
  • We see George smuggling cocaine through customs by using suitcases with false bottoms.
  • Some people drink.
  • We see a guy weighing some cocaine and he then does a line to test it. George and Derek then do the same, and Derek comments on George showing up with 110 pounds of it. One of them then comments that he can't feel some part of his body (after taking the drugs).
  • Derek and George drink.
  • We see various shots of people drinking and doing cocaine once George started importing it into the U.S. from Escobar.
  • George smokes a joint.
  • People drink at a wedding reception, including Mirtha.
  • Mirtha does coke while pregnant.
  • George and his father drink beer.
  • People drink at a party.
  • George snorts some coke.
  • Diego snorts some coke.
  • George snorts coke and then appears to be addicted. After collapsing on the floor, he mentions that he had far more than the average amount of coke in his body than the normal user and that he once snorted ten grams of it in ten minutes.
  • George drinks and Mirtha snorts coke.
  • Some people drink in a bar.
  • George snorts more coke.
  • Some men drink.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Barbara suddenly gets a bloody nose while having dinner.
  • From a distance, we see one of Escobar's men shoot a man pointblank in the head (and blood splatters onto the wall behind him).
  • George's shoulder is a bit bloody after he's shot there.
  • George's face is bruised/shows some slightly bloody cuts after being beaten up.
  • We see some blood on Mirth's leg during childbirth.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • All of those involved in dealing and selling drugs have both for breaking the law and other such behavior (such as having another man executed).
  • George, Tuna and Kevin steal a plane they're going to use to transport drugs across the Mexican border.
  • George skips bail several times after being arrested.
  • We learn that Diego is in prison for grand theft auto and he turns George onto the world of cocaine.
  • George breaks the condition of his parole.
  • Mirtha does coke while pregnant and is later belligerent toward George.
  • Some of George's partners double-cross him from a business perspective.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may also be unsettling or tense to some viewers.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Various weapons: Carried by guards at various drug farms/operations.
  • Handgun: Used by a man to threaten George, while another is used to execute a miscellaneous man and another to shoot George in the shoulder.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "What the f*ck are you doing out here?" "I'm too f*cked up," "I'm f*cking wasted," "What the f*ck /are you talking about/is that/is going on here?" "F*ck you," "F*ck me running" (nonsexual), "F*ck it," "Who's going to f*ck with us?" "You're driving me f*cking crazy," "You f*cked me" (nonsexual), "What the f*ck, why not?" "No f*cking way," "What is your f*cking problem?" "You f*cking p*ssy," "You're f*cking beautiful," "Holy sh*t," "Sh*thole," "Don't have to do sh*t," "I don't give a sh*t," "Put that sh*t away," "Don't bullsh*t me," "Boner" (erection), "Don't be such a p*ssy," "Shut up," "Shut your big fat mouth," "You don't know d*ck about…" "Piss," "Blow" (cocaine), "Screwed" (nonsexual), "What the hell," "Balls" (testicles), "Pissed off" and "Nuts" (crazy).
  • Some kids may obviously be tempted to use and/or sell/deal drugs in a similar manner after seeing the high-life that the characters here live by doing so (although some of the downsides are likewise displayed).
  • George gives "the finger" while having his mug shot taken in a police station.
  • We see George smuggling cocaine through customs by using suitcases with false bottoms.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song mentions whiskey bottles and too much coke (cocaine) while another has the word "damn" in it.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 114 "f" words (6 used sexually, 4 with "mother"), 22 "s" words, 2 slang terms using female genitals ("p*ssy"), 1 using male genitals ("d*ck"), 4 asses (1 used with "hole"), 2 hells, 1 crap, 1 damn, 8 uses of "Jesus Christ," 5 of "Oh my God," 3 each of "God," "Jesus" and "Oh God" and 1 use each of "G-damn," "For Christ's sakes," "My God" and "Oh Jesus" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see various women in bikinis in several different scenes.
  • A person comments that they're "getting a boner" looking at some money.
  • Women show varying amounts of cleavage in several scenes through the film.
  • We see various bare-breasted women walking by outside the window of one scene (with others in bikinis).
  • We briefly see more bare-breasted women.
  • George and Mirtha make out and we see her seductively moving her hips in front of him. We then see brief images of them apparently involved in some sort of S&M type behavior (whips, bondage, etc.) with her seemingly dressed in a leather outfit.
  • A person comments that when they're "getting f*cked" that their face looks right (but this may have been meant in a sarcastic fashion about being taken advantage of).
  • While mad at George, Mirtha mentions something about him being "f*cked up the ass." She then says that since "you're not f*cking me, you gotta be f*cking somebody else" and asks "Why don't you f*ck me anymore?"
  • SMOKING
  • George smokes around 10 times, Mirtha 5 times, while various supporting and miscellaneous characters also smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We see some flashback footage of tense family moments in George's family where his mother was upset about their lack of money and often left the house for long periods of time (upsetting George as a boy), only to return later where young George didn't want to welcome her back.
  • George's drug dealing and fleeing from the law puts a strain on his relationship with his parents (in one scene his mother turns him in to the police) and she eventually says that she doesn't have a son.
  • George's relationship with Mirtha and their daughter eventually falls apart (and they fight in front of that daughter).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The historical accuracy and/or any artistic license taken with this portrayal of a true story.
  • Drug use and the debate over whether drugs should be illegal or decriminalized.
  • The old saying that crime doesn't pay (while George lived high for a while, his actions eventually caught up with him).
  • VIOLENCE
  • A woman smacks Diego who then smacks her back.
  • A man slams George back against a wall and then puts his gun into George's mouth when he's upset that George has shown up rather than Diego.
  • From a distance, we see one of Escobar's men shoot a man pointblank in the head (and blood splatters onto the wall behind him).
  • Some drug guys get nervous when Diego starts acting weird during a transaction and pull out their guns, with George eventually being shot in the shoulder (but he tells everyone it's okay and no big deal, trying to calm down the situation despite being wounded and bleeding).
  • George holds his gun to Diego's forehead and after a moment pulls the trigger, but the gun is empty. In response, one of Diego's men hits George with the butt of his rifle, another punches him and then several repeatedly punch and throw him into a tree, etc. (mostly seen from a distance).
  • Mirtha hits George in the face.
  • George slams a prison phone into a glass separator, cracking the glass.



  • Reviewed March 8, 2001 / Posted April 6, 2001

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