REVIEW: “Cocaine Bear”


Drake Hanson

Cocaine Bear has grossed $69 million worldwide since its release date on Feb. 22, 2023.

Drake Hanson, Photo manager

“Cocaine Bear” is widely considered one of the hottest movies of 2023. Though it was recently  released on Feb. 24, the film has grossed more than $52 million in the box office in its opening week, surpassing “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which was released just one week earlier.” .

“Cocaine Bear” was directed by Elizabeth Banks, who is also the director of “Pitch Perfect 2” and “Charlie’s Angels,” though both films only received ratings below 65% on Rotten Tomatoes. “Cocaine Bear” follows the story of a bear that consumed numerous pounds of cocaine and went on a killing rampage in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest in Georgia. The characters included a mother-daughter duo, a neighborhood kid, delinquent teenagers, drug dealers, police officers, park rangers and medics. 

The movie claims to be based off of a true story, but that is a very misleading statement. Though a drug runner did in fact drop cocaine over Georgia, the bear that consumed the cocaine died rather than going on a killing spree. After being found dead in the forest, an autopsy revealed that there was approximately 3-4 grams of cocaine in the bear’s blood stream. 

Not only did the film weave a far more dramatic story than what really happened, the exaggeration was executed poorly. “Cocaine Bear” features unnecessary gore and corny jokes. The plotline of the movie is obviously a joke, but there were many missed opportunities to make the movie funnier. Though it is hard to criticize a movie that is a literal joke, “Cocaine Bear” had too many bland attempts at humor that didn’t add substance to the film. 

An aspect of the movie that is intended to be found humorous is the amount of gore and killing that was featured. There is a happy medium with gore in movies and there is a point where the gore can be annoying. While “Cocaine Bear” did not have excessive amounts of gore, the gore that did appear in the film was over the top. 

Senior Cael Stewart recently saw the movie with some of his friends and . “Cocaine bear is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. I initially wondered if that derives from the cocaine bear itself, but I was wrong; this movie is bad due to the plot and the acting,” he said.

Stewart’s experience was not a unique one, as senior Sam Brown shared similar sentiments. After seeing the film with his father, Brown was left disappointed and regretful. 

“We saw the movie about a week after it was released and the entire theater was full. It shouldn’t have been full though. That movie was obnoxious,” Brown said. “I regret spending $12 on the ticket and even going.”

However, despite its flaws, the movie cannot be left without credit—a film about a bear that ate cocaine somehow became a viral social media trend. Then again, it is questionable why a movie about a bear that ate cocaine was even made.

Regardless of how many viewers felt about “Cocaine Bear”, it is currently one of the most successful films of 2023.

If you are looking for corny jokes, a ratchet plotline and a waste of 95 minutes and $20, buy a ticket to “Cocaine Bear.”