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The Infiltrator (2016)

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A U.S. Customs official uncovers a money laundering scheme involving Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

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(screenplay) (as Ellen Brown Furman), (based on the book on)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Bowling Alley Waitress
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Frankie
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Steve Cook
Niall Hayes ...
Scott Mazur
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Andrea Mazur
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Evelyn Mazur
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Aunt Vicky
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Bonni Tischler
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Dominic
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Mark Jackowski
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Attorney
Fred Furman ...
Federal Court Judge
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The Informant
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Storyline

A U.S. Customs official uncovers a money laundering scheme involving Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The true story of one man against the biggest drug cartel in history


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, language throughout, some sexual content and drug material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

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Release Date:

13 July 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El infiltrado  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,303,775 (USA) (15 July 2016)

Gross:

$15,425,870 (USA) (23 September 2016)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

| | (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of two major 2016 cinema movies which referenced Brian De Palma's classic 1980s drug gangster epic movie Scarface (1983). The films are War Dogs (2016) and The Infiltrator (2016). See more »

Goofs

During the start of the wedding sting, the Steadicam tracks Bob and Steve down a couple of flights of stairs into the hotel lobby. Elevators flanking the stairs have bright blue LCD floor indicators, which would not be available until some time after the events of the movie. Modern day LCD computer screens can be seen on the hotel's check-in desk as well. See more »

Quotes

Robert Mazur: Roberto, I am glad you are here. But there is a part of me that wishes you hadn't taken that risk.
Roberto Alcaino: Without family or friends what kinda world it is be. There will be no reason to be alive. Hmm? It's a good day.
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Soundtracks

Santeria
(uncredited)
Performed by Chris Hajian
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User Reviews

 
A touch too long and a touch too whitewashed, but a solid, engrossing, ultimately entertaining sting picture with a truly top-drawer performance by Bryan Cranston.
14 July 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Ding-a-ling, and take your seats children because it's time for Oscar-bait semi-thinky semi-sleazy undercover period pieces! You know the type. Some high-wattage actors get all mustached, gold-chained, and spread-collared and take on the eighties. And that's pretty much what happens here. With Bryan Cranston!

It's not a great film, but it's a solid genre base hit and entertaining, if a tad too drawn out.

On the tail of the successful series Narcos comes The Infiltrator, the story of a slightly less dramatic undercover sting that chased the money, not the coke. Bryan Cranston plays Robert Mazur, a government agent who goes deep as Bob Musella, a mob- connected money launderer. Teaming up with Emir Abreau (John Leguizamo) and his cover-fiancé Kathy Ertz (Diane Kruger), Mazur brokers some cash-washing deals between the Medellin folks and a big investment bank, and we follow the trail as it leads deeper in and higher up.

The story is based on real-life Mazur's equally real-life book, and frankly isn't terribly interesting (as, to be fair, I suspect many other true bust tales probably are not). And the fact that real-life Mazur wrote the real-life book also presumably accounts for the ultra-pure, good-guy undergirding of Cranston's protagonist in the film. Whitewash? So be it. The victors write the history, and all that.

Director Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer) tries to spice things up with a dusting of sexual tension between Mazur and his cover girl (will they or won't they?); there's also a feely bromance with Benjamin Bratt, who plays the gleaming, wholesome gentleman of the drug trade. Mazur and Ertz form earnest friendships with Bratt and his family, hinting that when the time comes it might be hard for Mazur to sell his pals down the river.

Except it's not. Said friendships feel too forced and phony, and Bratt's genteel drug lord character strains credibility -- he's just too polite and wholesome and nice. There's no real doubt that goodie-goodie Cranston will do the right thing in the end.

But that doesn't make The Infiltrator a bad movie. For starters, Cranston is a really terrific actor. Even in a throwaway opening vignette with a bowling alley waitress, his microexpressions just seep realism. His performance here is fantastic, and it's worth watching this movie just for him. The supporting cast is earnest and hardworking and generally believable. There also are some pretty locations, great fashions, flamboyant characters, classic meanies, and crisp shots. It all comes together quite nicely.

And then it stays there. The Infiltrator falls short (long?) in its pacing, running probably a half hour past its bedtime. It's perhaps hard to fault Furman for this, given that he was directing from a script his own mother wrote (no joke -- must be a first?). Happy Mother's Day, I left your chaff in my picture! Either way, you might find yourself wondering when time's up.

All told, The Infiltrator might not be best of breed, but it's engaging, atmospheric, nicely shot, and offers an interesting take on the 80s drug war -- one with fewer Uzis and drug mules and more middle eastern bankers. Relax and enjoy.


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