Title: Cocaine Bear

Year: 2023

Genre: Comedy |  Thriller |

Runtime: 95 min

Director: Elizabeth Banks

Starring: Keri Russell, Alden Ehrenreich, Ray Liotta


An oddball group of cops, criminals, tourists and teens converge on a Georgia forest where a huge black bear goes on a murderous rampage after unintentionally ingesting cocaine.


Cocaine Bear. Maybe the craziest film ever to be released, at least this year. When watching it, one can’t help to sense, some sort overreaching storytelling potential form both the producers and the director.  For a film that’s very loosely based on the real account when a bear did cocaine. But that animal overdosed and died. This bear goes on a bloody rampage and kills almost every introduced character. It’s having a very special love for the white stuff. Characters has magical ability to pop-up from anywhere, even shifting their quality.

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It’s a film with Keri Russell, Alden Ehrenreich, Ray Liotta Isiah Whitlock Jr. and Margo Martindale. All good actors when they want to. Russell is surprisingly good just like Alden. Martindale is also good until her death. Liotta, as a drug dealer, forces a crew of weirdos to follow the bear after a venture in the woods, does a decent job as a criminal. The character doesn’t go deep enough. Not surprisingly for sure. There is no deep connection established with the main characters, we get some few random backgrounds to these people. The varies gradually. It’s the cinematography that helps in those moments, while the overall camera work doesn’t impress that much.

What’s been oblivious in the end part, is that the film relies heavy on the visual effects on the mama bear who goes on a destructive killing spree.  The visual effects on the bear is surprisingly good for this type of film. The fact that the bear is said to be a female plays a big role later on in the end. The film has distinctive editing problem, but nothing that really goes in the wrong direction. Fair to say that this B-movie has a deeper story with the key actors, it focuses deeply on short-moment scenes that cross passes.

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This is a film that goes far more south than expected. The horror theme is over-the-top for sure and it’s graphic and realistic.  The bear is killing them grossly and people who get shot is vulgar. It makes the effort far  from the director far more crucial, to balance both the comedy-filled part and the horror-part. It’s far more a horror and a thriller than a comedy, as it cuts deep in that genre and Elizabeth Banks doesn’t let that many of the overall journey to live. It’s the key characters that survives the overall deal, tempting some more in the same crazy theme.

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Grade 2 of 5
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