A Bear-ly Bad Movie

“Cocaine Bear” brings anticipation and excitement to theaters around the world.


Kathryn Harding, Staff Writer

Sitting through the trailers before the movie is often my favorite part of any movie theater outing. One particular movie caught my eye. A concept so insane yet intriguing, I knew I had to make a trip to the theaters. The movie in question, “Cocaine Bear”.

Released worldwide on Feb. 24, “Cocaine Bear” follows the heavily exaggerated real-life story of a black bear in the mountains of Fannin County, Georgia, who was “hopped up” on cocaine. 

In the real-life story, the black bear faces a very sad fate. According to The New York Times and Variety, it was reported that in December 1985, a 175-pound black bear “died of an overdose of cocaine after discovering a batch of the drug.” The bear was found dead in Chattahoochee National Forest. 

In the movie, however, this is not the case. Rather than dying from the absurd amount of cocaine ingested, the bear becomes deranged. This leads to the plot of (according to the trailer) “an oddball group of cops, criminals, tourists and teens” trying to escape the forest and survive, all while being hunted by “a 500-pound apex predator… on a coke-fueled rampage for more blow… and blood.”

The overall plot was incredibly good, and the family dynamic between the characters was more heartfelt than expected for an R-rated movie. The plot dragged on in terms of watch time (1h 35m), making the movie feel boring and long at points. 

Despite this, many relationships, such as the children Deedee (Brooklyn Prince) and Henry (Christian Convery), were very evolved. Similarly, the adult drug dealers Eddie (Alden Ehrenreich) and Daveed (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) explored the male friendship dynamic interestingly. They didn’t shy away from platonic vulnerability between the two men. 

I really liked this movie. Each scene was carefully curated to give you an accurate mix of suspenseful storyline and gruesome gore. The entire movie I was on the edge of my seat,  constantly scanning the screen for signs of a coked-up animal. 

Despite its positives, though, the movie did have some negatives. One glaring error was the lack of cohesiveness among differing storylines. There were moments when I had to take a step back and ask myself, “wait, when did that character get there?” Each storyline, while very developed on its own, felt very alienated from the other plots.

This movie absolutely deserved the R rating. It was incredibly gruesome the entire way through. I love movies that are more gory and unhinged, but even I had to look away at some scenes. I would definitely give a trigger warning to those looking to watch this movie.

As a whole, I would absolutely recommend this movie. The cinematography of the mountains, the way director  Elizabeth Banks used sound effects (and the lack of them) to enhance and build the anxiety, and the CGI properties of the bear all worked together to create an interesting and addicting watch.

So once the credits light up the screen, and all the popcorn has been eaten, you’ll be happy you listened to the trailers and took a chance on “Cocaine Bear.”