The Infiltrator

(2016)

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Title:
The Infiltrator
Release Date:
13th July 2016
Runtime:
127 min
MPAA Rating:
R
Genres:
Directors:
Brad Furman
Writers:
Ellen Sue Brown, Robert Mazur
Languages:
English
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

Based on a true story, U.S. Customs agent ROBERT "BOB" MAZUR (Bryan Cranston) goes deep undercover to infiltrate Pablo Escobar's blood-soaked drug trafficking scene plaguing the nation in 1985 by posing as slick, money-laundering businessman Bob Musella. Teamed with impulsive and streetwise fellow agent EMIR EBREU (John Leguizamo) and rookie agent posing as his fiance KATHY ERTZ (Diane Kruger), Mazur befriends Escobar's top lieutenant ROBERTO ALCAINO (Benjamin Bratt). Navigating a vicious criminal network in which the slightest slip-up could cost him his life, Mazur risks it all building a case that leads to indictments of 85 drug lords and the corrupt bankers who cleaned their dirty money, along with the collapse of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, one of the largest money-laundering banks in the world.

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 68%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 78%
IMDb Rating 7.3

Casts

Bryan Cranston as Robert Mazur
Daniel Mays as Frankie
Leanne Best as Bowling Alley Waitress
Niall Hayes as Scott Mazur
Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as Steve Cook

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by goolizap 21st July, 2016

Twizard Rating: 80

There are many reasons to like The Infiltrator. It takes place in the '80s, it's suspenseful, and it gives us a really gritty inside look at what life is like for a good guy who goes undercover to work with the Colombian drug cartel. Which is what Bryan Cranston's character does. He's a guy on the verge of retirement and could easily leave to spend time with his wife and kids, but takes this one last job. And it proves to be the toughest one yet as he poses as a money launderer to try and take down Pablo Escobar's entire drug trafficking network. It takes place in the Reagan-'80s and so there's this whole overt camera filter over the whole film. It's not too distracting, but it's also not terribly necessary. But it's minor. The whole thing plays out as one giant sting operation. And the filmmakers understand that in a 2 hour movie, you don't need to run through all the details in one quick dialogue-filled scene. However, it would've been nice if they had given us a little more along the way. It starts unraveling a little over an hour in. There's about a 30 minute stretch where you're looking at the person sitting next to you saying, "What's happening?" There's a lot left unexplained, but I guess there was more concern about the movie not becoming any longer. The film is long at 127 minutes, but it's never really an issue. We need the time to process what's happening and for Cranston's character to evolve over the course of the film. It tightens back up in the home stretch, culminating in an emotionally impressive final scene. The always-under-appreciated John Leguizamo plays Cranston's partner and does a very good and believable job. There seems to be this slightly neglected theme intermittently placed throughout the film about the American economy collapsing without laundered money. It's an interesting idea and one that should have been touched upon way more. Twizard Rating: 80

Reviewed by dvc5159 15th July, 2016

Breaking Good

Bryan Cranston is not your typical movie star, although he seems like it. Underneath the cool-high-school-dad exterior, there's an actor of great depth and unexpected power. You'll know it when you see a scene involving his character, said character's wife, and a restaurant on their anniversary dinner. Cranston seems to have benefited during his years as Walter 'Heisenberg' White on TV's Breaking Bad. And it has contributed greatly in this biographical crime thriller, about as straightforward and predictable as a stab in the gut. Yes, Brad Furman's (The Lincoln Lawyer, Runner Runner) directorial efforts here will not be known for their signature riffs, as there is none to speak of. It's standard thriller fare, the kind that would do well had it been released between the late 1980s and early 1990s; pure genre fare that caters to mostly adult film-goers that aren't interested in seeing computer-generated superpowers or rubble. In other words, unoriginal yet mature, grown-up stuff. The Infiltrator, however, is textbook example of how great casting can elevate shopworn genre material into solid entertainment, as the always-reliable Cranston has proved here. Sure, he is strongly supported by a bevy of intriguing cast members including Benjamin Bratt, John Leguizamo and the lovely Diane Kruger; but in portraying real-life undercover agent Robert Mazur shimmying his way up through Pablo Escobar's criminal empire, Cranston's understated but strong everyman presence confidently carries the movie solely. That quality alone replaces the tediousness often found in similar true-crime movies with an intense amount of uneasy suspense and grounded credibility, providing lots of fun for Cranston fans as long as they do not expect anything groundbreaking. Breaking Good, indeed.

Reviewed by bankofmarquis 14th July, 2016

Well acted character study - NOT an action film

I heard grumblings from two guys who were leaving the theater behind me after seeing THE INFILTRATOR that this movie did not have nearly enough action/bloodshed for them. I think they were expecting another SCARFACE or GOODFELLAS. That is not what this movie is. This movie is a character study of a man who goes undercover with the Pablo Escobar drug cartel and develops relationships/friendships with these bad guys in order to bring them down. The real conflict in this film is not the action, but rather, the RE-ACTION of "the infiltrator" - will he remember that he is just playing a role to bring down the bad guys, or will he lose himself in the role and the relationships and become a bad guy himself? If you are looking for an action movie, this movie will be a little too slow for you. If you are looking for good acting and a strong character study, then this is a very enjoyable film. Much of that enjoyment hinges on the performance of Bryan Cranston as Robert Mazur, "The Infiltrator". We follow him as he dives deep into this criminal organization. Cranston is in about 90% of the scenes of this movie, so his performance better be strong or this will be one long movie, indeed. Fortunately for us, his performance is better than strong. He continues his string of fascinating/watchable performances and he more than anchors this film and makes it worth watching. Ably assisting him is a strong supporting cast - Amy Ryan (as his boss), Jason Issaacs (somewhat wasted as the District Attorney), Benjamin Bratt (as one of the main bad guys), Olympia Dukakis (in a fun turn as his aunt) and Diane Kruger (defying age as another agent posing as his fiance - when I first saw her I thought "that's a young Diane Kruger" until I realized it WAS Diane Kruger!). Finally, John Leguizamo as Mazur's partner, Emir Abreu is TERRIFIC. The best performance I've seen from him in quite some time. If this movie was a little better and a little later in the season, I'd be touting him for an Academy Award nomination. If you want blood, guts and action, wait for the Jason Bourne film. If you want an interesting, gripping film that is well acted check out the Infiltrator - you'll be glad you did! 7 (out of 10 stars) and you can take that to the Bank (of Marquis)

Reviewed by LJ's Movies 14th July, 2016

LJ's QR: Thrilling Movie & Great Performances

LJ'S QUICK MOVIE REVIEW "I think we've been doing this backward. We've been following the drugs to get to the bad guys. What if we chased the money?" "The Infiltrator", starring Bryan Cranston, follows the fascinating tale of Robert Mazur, a U.S. Customs Agent who goes undercover in a drug cartel. The stakes are extremely high. If Mazur's disguise isn't convincing, he will be brutally tortured and murdered. He, along with his two partners, have to deal with intelligent drug-lords, ruthless thugs, and shrewd businessmen. Watch as the trio concoct risky plans and false identities while avoiding the suspicion of their targets. The severe tension is truly felt through the amazing performances. Cranston steals the show, while Diane Kruger, Benjamin Bratt, and Emir Areu are all top-notch. There are nerve-wracking moments where viewers sincerely fear for the characters' safety. Overall, "The Infiltrator" is a riveting and complex movie with great direction and superb acting. If crime-dramas are your cup of tea, I highly recommend watching it. If you found this quick review helpful, please visit LJ's Movie Facts on Facebook.

Reviewed by David Ferguson (fergusontx@gmail.com) 13th July, 2016

Cranston shines

Greetings again from the darkness. The war on drugs has become a bit of a punchline in the real world, but has proved to be fertile ground for filmmaking: Sicario (2015), American Hustle (2013), Traffic (2000). Additionally, the popular Netflix show "Narcos" takes on the same Medellin drug cartel as this latest from director Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer, 2011). The movie is based on the true events of Robert Mazur's book "The Infiltrator: My Secret Life Inside the Dirty Banks Behind Pablo Escobar's Medellin Cartel" (a title that's very descriptive, if a bit long). Bryan Cranston continues his impressive Hollywood run this time as Robert Mazur, the man who goes undercover to expose the money-laundering system of the cartel. His flamboyant alter-ego is known as Bob Musella, a character that allows Mazur (and Cranston) to show a side not typically seen. His antics get him inside Columbian Drug Lord Escobar's organization in the mid-1980's. When Mazur realizes the traditional method of chasing the drugs isn't working, he decides the age-old idiom "follow the money" might be a better approach. This takes him inside the world of international money laundering, and he learns that banks and governments are quite dependent on this huge business of drug money movement. There are specific groups of people here: the government agencies, the small task force, the corrupt (and appreciative) bankers, the various levels within the cartel, and even Mazur's family … all these forces intertwine to make life difficult for Mazur and his team, and provide a glimpse into the complexities of undercover work. In addition to stellar work from Cranston, the cast is terrific. John Leguizamo plays Mazur's motivated partner Abreu; Diane Kruger plays his undercover fiance; Juliet Aubrey is Mazur's real life wife who doesn't much appreciate his declining the early retirement offer; Olympia Dukakis provides a dash of comedy relief as Mazur's Aunt; Yul Vasquez is the creepy money manager for Escobar; Benjamin Bratt plays Roberto, Escobar's right-hand man and the key to Mazur's case; and Elena Anaya (The Skin I Live In, 2011) is Roberto's wife. Also present are Amy Ryan, Jason Isaacs and the always great Michael Pare. There are a couple of standout scenes – one involving chicken and voodoo, and another with a briefcase mishap, but my favorite is the Happy Anniversary cake scene in the restaurant where Mazur flashes his alter-ego Musella for his real wife to see … and she is understandably stunned. The movie does a nice job of capturing the look and feel of the era (30 years ago), but it's somehow missing the elevated suspense it portends to drag us and the characters through. Some elements seemed impossible to believe – why would Mazur risk his family's safety? The timeline was a bit muddled. We aren't sure how much time has passed, but there certainly don't seem to be enough interactions before Roberto is telling Mazur he is "like family". It plays a bit like those romance movies where the two leads are head over heels in love after a conversation or two. An element is missing and it affects the level of tension throughout the film. And that's something even a Leonard Cohen song ("Everybody Knows") can't fix.