Series | In Spanish with English subtitles | 3 Seasons (30 episodes). Each episode is between 43 and 60 minutes | Original Release: August 28, 2015
The series describes the rise and fall of Pablo Escobar from a small-time black marketeer in Medellín, Colombia to the billionaire kingpin of the cocaine industry. Trafficking mostly in illegal alcohol, cigarettes, and household appliances, Escobar meets Mateo “Cockroach” Moreno, a Chilean chemist, who convinces Escobar to switch to a far more profitable product, cocaine. They strike a deal: Moreno will produce the cocaine and Escobar will distribute it. They quickly expand building huge labs in the country’s rainforest, away from the pursuing Steve Murphy and Javier Pena of the DEA and the Colombian authorities. Escobar protects himself by giving huge sums of money to the poor and killing his enemies. Two of Escobar’s cartel members are caught and they betray him. Escobar is now on the run. When Escobar tries to make contact with his family, the DEA and Colombian military track him down and he is killed. Season 3 continues after Escobar’s death. At this time, the DEA is fighting the Cali cartel. Their business is booming as they open new markets in the U.S. and elsewhere. To distract their pursuers, the leader of the cartel announces that within six months, the cartel will focus entirely on legal business endeavors.
Why Screen This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus) 79% 79%
- Metacritic Score 77% 77%
Golden Globe Awards: Nominated, Best Television Series–Drama
Writers Guild of America Awards: Nominated, Best Episodic Drama
British Academy Television Awards: Nominated, Best International Program
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The story of drug lord Pablo Escobar is epic by definition: The Colombian bandido who ran the Medellin Cartel through the 1980s was the richest criminal in history, with a net worth of more than $30 billion. Intense, enlightening, unnerving, and addictive, NARCOS is high-concept drama at its finest. In its scope and sweep, it hearkens back to the sort of large-scale mini-series American networks stopped producing decades ago. It’s a unique work that also explores the political and economic context of Escobar’s Latin America and how it was shaped through its sometimes violent interactions with the United States.
An irresistible drama. It’s a reminder of a time when a few lawless men did a lot of societal damage by spreading cocaine far and wide. NARCOS doesn’t mess around with atmospherics or cast-of-thousands nonsense. It’s built on sharp writing and equally sharp acting, as any good series needs to be. At the center of it is a prize-worthy performance by the Brazilian actor Wagner Moura as Escobar.
NARCOS is one of the darkest and most horrifying series Netflix has offered. Using real footage, the creators have fashioned a fascinating portrait of the tide of corruption that swept from South America to the U.S.
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