Cartel Land Review
Cartel Land is a 2015 documentary film directed by Matthew Heineman. It is a critically acclaimed, yet to me typical and overrated film.
It is about the Mexican Drug War. I personally never was interested in politics, drugs or world news and this film is about those things and fails to make it accessible or interesting to me. And that is why the film is not good. These documentaries need to be fascinating not just for the fans and those interested in its subject matter, but also for those who are not. I wasn’t interested before and I certainly wasn’t interested in the film itself.
The film is admittedly quite well made and very well shot. It is so-so edited and is mostly incredibly boring, but at least different perspectives are present and the film has its powerful moments, although those are only few and far between. The cinematography is one of the highlights as Cartel Land really does look good and a couple of scenes are so well realized. But the story isn’t properly explored and it isn’t that complex as it definitely should have been.
The film does give you the necessary details and the overall story when the Mexican Drug War is concerned. However, it doesn’t really delve deeper into the whole picture and it isn’t particularly sophisticated. And the interviews themselves weren’t that great in my honest opinion. Also, while some scenes are emotional, there wasn’t much of that here which is unfortunate.
Cartel Land was of course nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and this is once again a choice done clearly for the subject matter and not the film itself. The Academy just loves these war/political documentaries and they always get nominated which is so frustrating as most of them are so incredibly tedious to watch and are just made for those who are interested in that subject matter. I clearly am not interested in it and I definitely found it to be overrated and not deserving of its Oscar nomination. It isn’t a bad documentary, but it isn’t that good either.
Cartel Land is a typical war/political documentary that has its moments and is well made, but doesn’t delve deeper into the whole picture, it isn’t particularly sophisticated or deep and it is always so boring to watch. It is overrated and typical and it definitely did not deserve its Oscar nomination.
My Rating – 3