These drug war movies based on true stories are all intense critically acclaimed dramas. A couple of the true stories are based on the biggest drug lords North America has ever seen. The real life kingpins reinvented the way drugs were transported into the United States. Their cleverness, and high status in the drug world made them top priority for police to take down. All the drug war movies were made for entertainment purposes, but that doesn’t change the fact that real people lived the stories, and some are still paying for their actions.
- “Blow” This 2001 drug war movie is based on the true story of George Jung and his involvement in the cocaine world. In the 1970’s, Jung established the American cocaine market, making the drug more available and affordable in the United States. The true story focuses on Jung’s life from a marijuana dealer to becoming one of the biggest cocaine dealers in America. The drug war was between Jung and the government trying to take down his operation. Eventually the cops succeeded, and Jung found himself serving a long sentience for drug trafficking. Johnny Depp portrays George Jung in the drug war movie.
- “American Gangster” In 2007, this true story about drug kingpin Frank Lucas was released as a movie. The Harlem drug lord Frank Lucas was the number one importer of heroin. During his reign on top of the drug world, Lucas figured out a way to smuggle heroin into the United States directly from Southeast Asia, which ensured he dominated the market. A NYPD cop named Richie Roberts made it his sole mission to take down Lucas’ drug empire. This 2007 drug war movie based on a true story was nominated for two Academy Awards.
- “The French Connection” It is the true story about two cops trying to take down a French drug dealer. The drug war is started by a violent, and alcoholic New York cop named ‘Popeye’ Doyle. Doyle is on a relentless hunt to take down Alain Charnier , North America’s largest pure heroin supplier. This 1971 action packed true story won five out of the eight Academy Awards it was nominated for.
- “City of God” This 2002 drug war movie based on a true story is about two friends whose lives took different paths. Both boys had the same upbringing in a lower class neighborhood, but one became a photographer while the other a drug dealer. The true story takes an honest look at Rio de Janeiro’s housing projects and how people from there usually wind up in the drug world, or dead. The true story is told through photographer Buscapé’s perspective.
- “Donnie Brasco “ This movie is about the FBI’s mission to take down the New York mafia, and their tie to the drug world. The true story is about FBI agent Joe Pistone , who goes undercover as a jewel thief and manages to infiltrate the mafia for six years. Pistone goes by the name Donnie Brasco , and lands in Sonny Black’s crew. The crew he was a part of not only had a hand in drug trafficking, but they also were involved in robbery, hijacking, loan sharking, and casino operations. The entire movie is brilliantly shot, and the screenplay was nominated for an Oscar in 1998.