Narco Cultura

Directed by Shaul Schwarz

To a growing number of Mexicans and Latinos in the Americas, narco-traffickers have become iconic outlaws and the new models of fame and success. They represent a pathway out of the ghetto, nurturing a new American dream fueled by the war on drugs. Narco Cultura looks at this explosive phenomenon from within, exposing cycles of addiction to money, drugs, and violence that are rapidly gaining strength on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border


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  • ★★★★ review by Shawn Palmquist on Letterboxd

    Narco Cultura is a documentary film about the horrifying reality that is Mexico right now. It switches between following a CSI investigator in Juarez and the horrific things he deals with every day...and contrasts this with a new genre of music called 'Narcocorrido' which glorifies the Narco culture of violence, drugs, and money.

    This is easily one of the most important and 'must see' documentaries of the last couple of years. No matter how much you've heard about the Mexican drug wars, this documentary will paint a picture on it that you won't soon forget. It's absolutely joke, this doc is a straight up horror movie in it's terrifying depiction of a nation and indeed a culture in crisis. Bleak to the bone, but absolutely fascinating.

  • ★★★★ review by Kabir Omerovic on Letterboxd

    A portrait of hell on earth, also known as Juarez, Mexico. This is the scariest film I have seen in a long time. Forget about jump scares and creatures in the dark, this film lets you take a peak at the mutation of the ultimate deadly capitalism in the form of the cartel. Which is a villainous entity that we don't have to even see. Them loom over everything that happens. Ridley Scott used the same idea in The Counselor. (Which would make for a great double feature).

    The film follows two men, a police officer and a musician. The first one gives us an account of the mordent reality of being a citizen in Juarez. The other is the musician, who writes songs that celebrate the people who do all the killings. Music that the general public celebrates. That even America celebrates, as it sells out at Wallmart.

    The most baffling scene is when the police officer is at a party where they are playing this mordent music, and he himself seems to hums to the song.

  • ★★★½ review by Anny on Letterboxd

    It's a horror film.

  • ★★★★ review by Rami Raff on Letterboxd

    I'm really impressed by the balance of this film. It deftly shows the fascinating myth-making and sub-cultures that spring up around the drug trade but NEVER forgets the terrible human cost of a war that can never truly be won.

  • ★★★★★ review by Robb Rauen on Letterboxd

    Absolutely fantastic documentary. I personally think every person in both countries should be "required" to see they have an understanding of the realties in play and their impacts on the countries, the societies and real peoples' every day lives.

    It's a perfect blend of the current, horrible violence that continues in Ciudad Juarez...its glamorization on both sides of the border...and the lives of the individuals that are touched by it, whether in their attempts to curb it, their attempts to turn it into entertainment...or purely their attempt to survive while surrounded on all sides by it.

    Definitely see this in the theater while you can!

    Below are the limited cities it's playing in currently (as of Dec 8th, 2013). I don't know if it will open up any wider.


    Avondale, AZ - Harkins Gateway Pavilions 18

    Phoenix, AZ - Cine De Phoenix

    Phoenix, AZ - Harkins Christown 14

    Tempe, AZ - Harkins Arizona Mills 25

    Tucson, AZ - Harkins Tucson Spectrum 18

    Tucson, AZ - The Loft

    Yuma, AZ - Harkins Yuma Palms 14


    Bakersfield, CA - Valley Plaza

    Commerce, CA - Regency Commerce 14

    Fresno, CA - Regal Manchester Mall 16

    Long Beach, CA - Long Beach Stadium 26

    Los Angeles, CA - Laemmle Royal

    Los Angeles, CA - Regal LA Live

    Moreno Valley, CA - Harkins Moreno Valley 16

    Ontario, CA - AMC Ontario Mills 30

    Ontario, CA - Regal Ontario Palace 22

    Orange, CA - AMC Block 30 @ Orange

    Paramount, CA - Bianchi Theatres

    Pasadena, CA - Laemmle Pasadena Playhouse

    Pico Rivera, CA - Krikorian Village Walk

    Redondo Beach, CA - AMC Southbay Galleria 16

    Sacramento, CA - Natomas Marketplace

    San Diego, CA - AMC Palm Promenade 24

    South Gate, CA - Regal South Gate Stadium

    Stockton, CA - Regal City Center 16

    Union City, CA - Cinemark Union City 25

    Van Nuys, CA - Regency The Plant

    Winnetka, CA - Pacific Winnetka Stadium 21


    Aurora, CO - Cine De Aurora


    Washington DC - West End


    Chicago, IL - Regal City North

    Cicero, IL - AMC Showplace 14


    New York, NY - Cinema Village

    Oklahoma City, OK - Harkins Bricktown 16


    Nashville, TN - Belcourt


    Brownsville, TX - Cinemark 16

    Dallas, TX - Cinemark 17

    El Paso, TX - Cinemark Cielo Vista Mall

    El Paso, TX - Cinemark Tinseltown 20

    Fort Worth, TX - Cine De Fort Worth

    Houston, TX - AMC Studio 30

    Houston, TX - Cinemark Tinseltown 290

    Mission, TX - Cinemark Tinseltown 17

    Pasadena, TX - Cine De Pasadena

    Pflugerville, TX - Cinemark Tinseltown 20

    Plano, TX - Cinemark West Plano 20

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