Cartel Land

Cartel Land

By Matthew Heineman

  • Genre: Documentary
  • Release Date: 2015-07-03
  • Advisory Rating: R
  • Runtime: 1h 40min
  • Director: Matthew Heineman
  • Production Company: The Documentary Group
  • Production Country: United States of America, Mexico
  • iTunes Price: USD 12.99
  • iTunes Rent Price: USD 3.99
From 165 Ratings


In this Sundance award-winning film, Director Matthew Heineman and Executive Producer Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”, “Zero Dark Thirty”) gain unprecedented, on-the-ground access to the riveting stories of two modern-day vigilante groups and their shared enemy— the murderous Mexican drug cartels. In the Mexican state of Michoacán, Dr. Jose Mireles, a small-town physician known as "El Doctor," leads the Autodefensas, a citizen uprising against the violent Knights Templar drug cartel. Meanwhile, in Arizona's Altar Valley – a narrow, 52-mile-long desert corridor known as Cocaine Alley – Tim "Nailer" Foley, an American veteran, heads a small paramilitary group called Arizona Border Recon, whose goal is to stop Mexico’s drug wars from seeping across our border. Heineman embeds himself in the heart of darkness as Nailer, El Doctor, and the cartel each vie to bring their own brand of justice to a society where institutions have failed. The film is a chilling, visceral meditation on the breakdown of order and the blurry line between good and evil.




  • Beautifully shot dramatic doco

    By newnewwave
    A great companion film to Sicario: similar mood, subject matter and visual style. Amazing film.
  • Stunning, wonderful film.

    By Welovecorgies
    If you are interested in exploring the complicated reality of the war on drugs, this film is a masterpiece that you should NOT ignore.
  • Too much subtitle

    By Live long and prosper 🖖
    I you like a lot of subtitle than this movie is for you.
  • A bit confusing.

    By macktan
    This is certainly a side of Mexico you don’t see when you are there on vacation….and don’t want to see. But what you learn from this documentary is that the cartels have victimized everyday people and partnered up with govt and the authorities, who welcome the cash. Even the self defense group can be co-opted, infiltrated and gobbled up by authorities who are mostly cartel friendly. What’s also evident is that abject poverty will always create plenty of terrorists and criminals. You have to give people a means for living. When you don’t, everyone is in jeopardy. This war, like all the others the US gets immersed in, is endless and possibly futile.
  • Overwhelming reality

    By Albagli
    Expect exceptional footage and an amazing storyline. Very good.
  • Impactful, Entertaining, Gritty

    By Kravesin
    Love documentaries more so than most thrillers and this had a little of both. Opens your eyes up to the reality of this continent that we occupy. We need to stop being distracted sheep.
  • Must see

    By Professorice
    Sadly the corruption in Mexico out of control
  • World wide

    By 32nampmuj
    It's funny how this movie makes Mexicans seem as if they are the only ones who create and sell drugs. U.S, Russia, China, Ect. Has all types of narcotics that ship world wide. How do you think the government makes money ? There has to be a cause to make an effect. How do you think U.S is "Best" ?
  • Well made but lacking a point

    By Roshiodl
    Overall, I was disappointed with this film. It mainly focuses on two individuals on either side of the border. It's like a film about World War II but only by covering the stories of two men, their teams, and their interaction with authorities. It was well shot, though. Another reviewer stated that access made this movie good and I'd go so far to say access made this movie watchable. Here's what the movie gets right: -first hand look at violence in Mexico -idea of what conflict may exist between Mexicican citizens, cartels, and the government -brief first hand look at a US militia group Here's what the movie gets wrong: -while not "preachy", the film still needed an overarching point of view; why should I care, what can I do? -didn't show a lot of details about the struggles the Mexican federal police and military has with enforcement -the music felt like it was ripped from Gustavo Santaolalla's score of Motorcycle Diaries This was a well shot but nearly pointless film. It feels like it's a collection of a hundred interesting off-shoots; a description of all the road signs you COULD take but won't. I wanted more focus and was not "wow'ed" by the gun action. While fictional, Sin Nombre gave me a better look into the lives of people in Central America.
  • Very well done

    By Old pop68
    The cinematography was phenomenal in this documentary. I have no complaints about this film and suggest it to everyone. Very well done and very captivating.