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Cocaine Cowboys: An Eye-Opening Dive into Miami's Drug Underworld

Cocaine Cowboys takes you on a riveting journey into Miami's dark past, revealing the harrowing impacts of the drug trade on the city.

Keywords: Miami, 1980s, Colombian cocaine barons, drug trade, violence, corruption, societal impact.


"Cocaine Cowboys", a gripping documentary directed by Billy Corben and released in 2007, takes us deep into the underbelly of Miami during the 1980s. The film uncovers the brutal era when Colombian cocaine barons made Miami their playground, bringing unprecedented violence to the city. This real-life drama is as relevant today as it was then, reminding us of the devastating societal impacts of the drug trade.


"Cocaine Cowboys" recounts the period when Miami was invaded by Colombian cocaine barons, who brought a level of violence unseen in the United States since Prohibition-era Chicago. The film sheds light on how this wave of crime changed the city forever.

More Film Analysis


The documentary employs an investigative approach, leveraging in-depth research and first-hand accounts to explore the subject matter. The presentation style is graphic and unflinching, revealing the harsh realities of the drug trade.

Historical and Factual Context

The 1980s was a tumultuous period for Miami, as the city was transformed by the Colombian drug trade. This era left a lasting impact on the city's socio-economic fabric.

Key themes in the film

  • The destructive impact of drugs on society
  • The influence of crime on urban development
  • The power and allure of wealth and its implications

Film Comparisons

Unlike other films on iWonder that explore drug trafficking, "Cocaine Cowboys" stands out for its focus on Miami, offering a unique perspective on the local impacts of the international drug trade.

Noteworthy Moments

One particularly impactful moment in the documentary is the revelation of the sheer scale of violence and corruption that pervaded Miami during this era.


"Cocaine Cowboys" was well-received by audiences and critics alike, praised for its candid depiction of a dark chapter in Miami's history.


"Cocaine Cowboys" is an essential watch for anyone interested in understanding the extent of the drug trade's impact on society. It offers valuable insights into the devastating effects of cocaine trafficking on a city's development.

More film information:


  • IMDB score: 7.7
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 78%
  • Metacritic score: 65
  • Film festival awards: N/A



  • Billy Corben: Director
  • Jon Roberts: Former drug trafficker
  • Mickey Munday: Former drug trafficker



  • Miami
  • Colombia

Key Questions Raised by the Film

  • How did the cocaine trade reshape Miami both socially and economically?
  • What were the long-term consequences of this era on Miami and its residents?
  • How has Miami's experience with the drug trade influenced national drug policy?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

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  1. A famous book, it would be "Scarface" due to its vivid depiction of the drug trade's brutality.
  2. A famous song, it would be "Hotel California" by The Eagles, representing a place people entered with high hopes but couldn't escape from.
  3. A famous piece of art, it would be Picasso's "Guernica" for its chaotic and violent imagery.
  4. A famous celebrity, it would be Al Pacino, known for his roles in crime dramas.
  5. A colour, it would be black, representing the dark side of society.
  6. A music style, it would be heavy metal for its intense, gritty sound.