Movie Review: ‘Cocaine Bear’ Snorts Its Way Into Our Hearts

March 18, 2023

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email:

What’s the movie everyone is talking about? That would be actress-turned-director Elizabeth Banks’ Cocaine Bear, based on a true story (kind of).


The movie finds an oddball group of cops, criminals, tourists, and teens converging in a Georgia forest where a 500-pound predator has ingested a staggering amount of cocaine and gone on a coke-fueled rampage for more blow … and blood.


The movie has a pretty impressive cast, including Keri Russell, Alden Ehrenreich, O’Shea Jackson Jr., and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Ray Liotta in his last role (rest in peace).


This action-packed insane flick was written by Jimmy Warden (The Babysitter: Killer Queen), and let me tell you, it’s bloody awesome!


The movie kicks off with a coked-up drug smuggler throwing kilo after kilo off a plane. Then we find out a black bear is getting high off the stash that now litters the forest, and all hell breaks loose. The bear takes a teen; somehow, she is unhurt, while the beast mangles person after person. The girl’s mom sets off to find her while a couple of drug dealers are on the hunt for the missing dope.


The movie features a geeked-up CGI bear and gore galore. Let’s not forget that it’s filled with dark humor and crazy characters. Oh, and the bear isn’t the only one doing coke. There are kids giving it a go as well.


While Cocaine Bear is filled to the brim with campy craziness, the fact that the majority of its characters play it straight adds to its charm. Keri Russel plays her role as the kid’s mom so seriously, and it was great. But, in my opinion, O’Shea Jackson Jr.’s character stands out. As soon as I saw him, there was no doubt whose kid he is, Ice Cube’s. He looks so much like his dad. While he did play a “bad guy,” Daveed, O’Shae was likable, and you couldn’t help but feel sorry for him since he has the worst luck in the movie.


Cocaine Bear is a hilarious combination of horror, humor, and action, and it will leave gorehounds grinning from ear to ear.


You can usually judge a movie by how many copycat movies and ripoffs (no matter how bad they are) follow. And there are already several headed your way that copies the stoned animal plot, so that’s a good sign that Cocaine Bear has left its mark.


As for the true story that Cocaine Bear is loosely based on, yes there was a bear who consumed coke that had been dropped from a plane and landed in the forest. However, the real bear didn’t have such a pleasant time. You can read more about the truth of the real cocaine bear here.


As for my verdict on Cocaine Bear (the movie), I absolutely loved it! It’s a kilo of fun! I would definitely recommend that you check it out sooner rather than later because everyone’s going to be talking about it. Just don’t watch it with your kids.


You can now find it streaming on VUDU, Prime Video, and other services to both rent and own. Do yourself a favor and buy it. You’re going to want to watch over and over.





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