Blow (2001) - Rotten Tomatoes


Blow (2001)



Critic Consensus: 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.

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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 Suplee), he becomes an entrepreneur in the marijuana business, which soon spreads to the East Coast as well, with girlfriend Barbara (Franka Potente) smuggling the product during her stewardess shifts. George is arrested in 1972 -- at which time Barbara dies of cancer -- but George finds a new ally in Diego (Jordi Molla), who proposes the idea that he become the American conduit for Colombian kingpin Pablo Escobar (Cliff Curtis). George flourishes in the heyday of the disco era, and falls for Mirtha (Penelope Cruz), a self-serving bombshell who eventually has a daughter with him. Trouble escalates as the FBI threatens to bring George and his crew down, while he desperately tries to be a stable parent to his young offspring. Blow also features Paul Reubens and Max Perlich in featured roles. ~ Jason Clark, Rovi

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Johnny Depp
as George Jung
Jordi Molla
as Diego Delgado
Rachel Griffiths
as Ermine Jung
Ray Liotta
as Fred Jung
Paul Reubens
as Derek Foreal
Max Perlich
as Kevin Dulli
Cliff Curtis
as Escobar
Miguel Sandoval
as Augusto Oliveras
Miguel Sandovar
as Augusto Oliveras
Kevin Gage
as Leon Minghella
Miguel Pérez
as Alessandro
Dan Ferro
as Cesar Toban
Michael Tucci
as Doctor Bay
Jaime King
as Kristina Jung
Emma Roberts
as Young Kristina Jung
Jesse James
as Young George
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News & Interviews for Blow

Critic Reviews for Blow

All Critics (141) | Top Critics (40)

The first half of Blow is a shallow but lively fun ride; the audience gets a contact high. But when George's fortunes start to go from bad to worse, so does the movie.

March 6, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

This is one of the few drug movies where you actually feel a little sorry for the drug-dealing coke-infested lead character.

September 12, 2017 | Rating: A | Full Review…

The filmmakers are torn between presenting George's life story as a cautionary tale, or as a blast.

September 26, 2002 | Full Review…

Depp, an actor of terrific intelligence, insight and range, easily transforms himself from peppy youngster to sad, shambling failure.

May 7, 2001 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

We've just been to this party before and we know how it ends, again and again and again.

April 9, 2001 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Blow can't sustain the high.

April 6, 2001

Audience Reviews for Blow


This is the semi-biographical tale of drug dealer George Jung (Depp), who grew to be the largest distributor in the United States during the seventies and eighties. The film begins with George living the American Dream amidst parents who find potential in excess, and he goes on to make a name for himself on a huge scale to appease them. The entire film feels like a PSA against drug addiction and crime, easily digestible for any adverse youths who might stumble upon this while scrolling through Cinemax. The ending especially, with its sad sack holier than thou approach, smelled rank of propaganda. Depp gives a flat, meandering performance as Jung, which only reaches its emotional plateau when his daughter is featured (Roberts). The film may be engaging, in the same was as "Scarface" but there's none of the punch, or unapologetic violence. Morality tales often aren't thrill rides, and in this case this one is down for maintenance.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer


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.

xGary Xx
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.

Jack Hawkins
Jack Hawkins

Super Reviewer

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