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Cartel Land

HD   R Closed Captioning

Matthew Heineman

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About the Movie

In this Sundance award-winning film, Director Matthew Heineman and Executive Producer Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”, “Zero Dark Thirty”) gain unprecedented, on-the-ground access to the riveting stories of two modern-day vigilante groups and their shared enemy— the murderous Mexican drug cartels. In the Mexican state of Michoacán, Dr. Jose Mireles, a small-town physician known as "El Doctor," leads the Autodefensas, a citizen uprising against the violent Knights Templar drug cartel. Meanwhile, in Arizona's Altar Valley – a narrow, 52-mile-long desert corridor known as Cocaine Alley – Tim "Nailer" Foley, an American veteran, heads a small paramilitary group called Arizona Border Recon, whose goal is to stop Mexico’s drug wars from seeping across our border. Heineman embeds himself in the heart of darkness as Nailer, El Doctor, and the cartel each vie to bring their own brand of justice to a society where institutions have failed. The film is a chilling, visceral meditation on the breakdown of order and the blurry line between good and evil.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 95
  • Fresh: 85
  • Rotten: 10
  • Average Rating: 7.7/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: If the key to price in real estate is "location, location, location," the key to success in verite-style documentaries is "access, access, access." Which is what "Cartel Land" has in compelling amounts. – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times, Jul 9, 2015

Fresh: By the end of Heineman's rattling 98 minutes, the war on drugs seems more than ever like a war destined to go on forever before being lost on every side. – Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, Jul 10, 2015

Fresh: A jaw-dropping documentary about two vigilante groups, on opposite sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, trying to stave off Mexican drug cartels. – David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle, Jul 9, 2015

Fresh: Even if it leaves you wanting more, "Cartel Land" deserves to be seen. – Ty Burr, Boston Globe, Jul 16, 2015

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Wake Up to Reality

I can't fully express with words how beautifully shot this film is... It puts you right in harms way and we leave you involuntarily questioning everything... True masterpiece

Wow. A spectacular film

This film gives as real of a look as there is into Mexico’s drug war. It avoids simply classifying people as good or bad and empathetically observes what people do when put into a desperate situation. It’s a great film that can deepen your understanding of Mexico’s drug war.

On top of the content being great, it is beautifully shot, edited, and put together. Really wonderful.

Amazing Documentary

If you want to know why Mexicans are jumping the borders and why Mexico is such a mess, you should watch this movie.

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Cartel Land
View in iTunes
  • $14.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2015

Customer Ratings