Cocaine Bear movie review - Aussieboyreviews


If you head into the cinemas only with the knowledge of the title, Cocaine Bear is sure to not let you down. Loosely based on true events, this movie is filled with multiple storylines, bloody gore, bear attacks and millions of dollars worth of cocaine!


A 500-pound black bear embarks on a coke-fuelled rampage after ingesting several bags of cocaine within a Georgia forest, where eccentric groups of cops, criminals, tourists and teenagers are left with no choice but to survive.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Elizabeth Banks
Cast: Keri Russell, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Christian Convery, Alden Ehrenreich, Brooklynn Prince, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Margo Martindale, Ray Liotta
Writer: Jimmy Warden
Release Date (Australia): 23 February 2023
Runtime: 95 minutes/1h 35m
Genre: Comedy, Thriller, Crime
Country: USA
Language: English

CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)

Themes (MA15+)

Throughout the film, people are hunted and attacked by a bear that’s ingested cocaine after bricks of the drug were dropped out of a plane by a drug smuggler.

Violence (MA15+)

The film features comedic depictions of bloody violence and gore, in which people are attacked, dismembered and eaten by a bear that’s ingested cocaine. There are also depictions of shootings, stabbings and dismembered body parts that feature accompanying blood sprays.

Coarse Language (MA15+)

The film features frequent use of the word “f**k”, as well as mild coarse language including the words “s**t”, “ass”, “hell”, “damn” and “piss”.

Drug Use (MA15+)

The film features frequent verbal references to cocaine and also include multiple depictions of cocaine being ingested and inhaled by adults, children and a bear, often unintentionally.

Sex (PG)

The film contains sexual innuendo and verbal references to sex that are mild in impact.

mpaa rating

R (for bloody violence and gore, drug content and language throughout)

Aussie boy's thoughts

In case the title and the movie poster weren’t enough of a clue, all you need to know is that there are multiple storylines and several parties of characters who link together through a rampaging bear attacking people whilst high on cocaine. The film is loosely based on the events of 1985 in which an American black bear was found dead after ingesting millions of dollars worth of cocaine that had been trafficked from Columbia, but the difference between history and the movie is that the bear doesn’t die after this significant overdose, and it goes on to kill a bunch of people in a Georgia forest.

The truth is that Cocaine Bear is exactly how it sounds; the trick to enjoying it is just whether or not you’re able to buy into the absurdity and have fun as you watch all these fictional characters get mauled by a 500-pound black bear. It’s not until 30 minutes into the movie where the action finally awakens (with the exception of the opening scene), because the movie is trying to get the audience adjusted with several storylines playing out at the same time, between drug smugglers, tourists, cops, children and parents. It starts off with a lack of promise, but sh#t gets real when they collide in the forest.

Cocaine Bear is kind of similar to Sharknado, except it’s actually entertaining and the fun you’re having with it is real. It’s extremely funny, highly entertaining, frequently gory and there’s no drugs other than constant cocaine. It’s mainly the eccentricity between the several groups of characters that make this movie a blast to watch. Undeniably the best comedic performances are given by Margo Martindale, Isiah Whitlock Jr. and O’Shea Jackson Jr., who each provide the film’s greatest sequences, especially involving the ambulance and the gazebo. But the other cast members, including Keri Russell and the children, each have their own supply of chemistry to offer. While it can sometimes be frustrating and usually is maddening when done in other movies, the switching between the settings of each of the characters after they’ve had a lengthy sequence is done exquisitely and necessarily.

In addition to the amount of drug and cocaine content this film obviously contains, it’s also very gory at times. With dismembered legs flying around, most of the effects are honestly super cheesy, but this is meant to be funny while it’s also somewhat rational; it’s not like how Sharknado features terrible effects and calls it “brainless-fun” as an excuse for how bad it is. It’s difficult to explain how the CGI for the bear could be better, although it’s very silly at times. At least the moments where it’s hunting or encountering the characters are still intense. Other than the first act, another issue in this movie is that the climax during the third act isn’t as exciting or fun as some of the previous sequences are, making the second act the most enjoyable third of the film. But if you can ignore this, Cocaine Bear is a very fun comedy that doesn’t hold back on gore and knows how to deliver humour.

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