More and more films premiere on Video on Demand — if they don’t simply bypass a theatrical release altogether. Because VOD reviews are often scarce and hard to find, Criticwire created VODetails, a recurring column to help you figure out whether a new VOD release is worth your hard-earned dollar. This time we’re looking at “How to Make Money Selling Drugs,” a documentary about the war on drugs — not a pharmaceutical company’s employee training video.
Director: Matthew Cooke
Cast: “Freeway” Rick Ross, Russell Simmons, Susan Sarandon
Criticwire Average: A- (2 critics)
Synopsis: “A shockingly candid examination of how a street dealer can rise to cartel lord with relative ease, ‘How to Make Money Selling Drugs’ is an insider’s guide to the violent but extremely lucrative drug industry. Told from the perspective of former drug dealers, and featuring interviews with rights advocates Russell Simmons, Susan Sarandon, and David Simon (creator of ‘The Wire’), the film gives you the lessons you need to start your own drug empire while exposing the corruption behind the ‘war on drugs.'”
“A far more sobering and substantial piece of work than one might expect.”
“An ambitious, creative attempt to talk in a single film about everything from the disparate treatment of black and white dealers to the influence of asset forfeiture on law enforcement strategies to the devastation of Mexico’s drug war.”
“This is not ‘balanced’ reporting in any sense of the world, this is a cleverly packaged argument and plea for change. It just also happens to be damn entertaining.”
“Proposing realistic solutions, one concludes, is a good deal more difficult than finding clever new ways of saying ‘The system is broken.'”
“By being both glib and preachy, this highly stylized pic ends up being a tiresome buzzkill.”
“How to Make Money Selling Drugs” is now available on VOD.