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Escobar: Paradise Lost

Crime . Drama . Romance . Thriller

For Pablo Escobar (Benicio Del Toro), family is everything. When young surfer Nick (Josh Hutcherson) falls for Escobar's niece, he finds his life on the line when he's pulled into the dangerous world of the family business.

Actors: Tenoch Huerta , Benicio Del Toro , Frank Spano , Laura Londoño , Ana Girardot , Carlos Bardem , Claudia Traisac , Brady Corbet , Josh Hutcherson
Directors: Andrea Di Stefano
Release: 2015-06-26
More Info:
  • Todd McCarthy

    It’s an impressive debut, an ambitious project pulled off with confidence.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    Di Stefano's memorable debut feature makes up for its lack of sophistication with constant forward motion.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Glenn Whipp

    When the plot circles back to those opening moments, the movie finds a momentum that ends spectacularly. And again: Benicio Del Toro is playing Pablo Escobar. What more do you need?

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • James Rocchi

    Escobar: Paradise Lost plays more like Greek tragedy than the kind of drug-war tale we’d get in a broader, bigger film, and that is no small part of the many reasons it works.

    TheWrap Full Review
  • Anthony Lane

    Meanwhile, everyone in the theatre is thinking: Given that I paid good money to learn about the world’s most frightening cocaine king, why am I watching a movie about the world’s most stupid Canadian?

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Scott Foundas

    "Escobar” offers an odd mix of action movie, romantic melodrama and cautionary traveler’s tale, which works better than it should thanks to Del Toro’s fascinating performance and Di Stefano’s assured, muscular helming.

    Variety Full Review
  • Mike D'Angelo

    Escobar: Paradise Lost employs this structure in a way that divides the movie neatly in half: one hour of tedious expository flashback followed by one hour of solidly exciting present-tense thriller action.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • John Bleasdale

    An entertaining and suitably gruesome gangster thriller which nevertheless feels like a missed opportunity.

    CineVue Full Review
  • David Ehrlich

    Any insight into Escobar’s relationship with the people of his country is sacrificed in the trade-off — Nick sees him as a charismatic Robin Hood who showers the poor in blood money that’s still dripping wet, but the film forgets the complexity of Escobar’s politics as soon as Nick realizes that he needs to escape. If only Paradise Lost gave us a better sense of what he was leaving behind.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Jeannette Catsoulis

    Nick might usurp most of the screen time, but it’s Mr. Del Toro, face flickering from benevolent to vicious and body heaving with literal and symbolic weight, who seizes the film.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Kerry Lengel

    After a predictable opening hour, Paradise Lost manages to deliver a surprise or two as it switches gears into a full-on thriller. But it never gets close to the epic heights to which it aspires.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Chris Willman

    Whatever fascination the film holds belongs solely to Del Toro and his vanity-free impression of Escobar as a titan whose potbelly and gym shorts do not put the slightest dent in a charisma that hypnotizes a nation.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Brian Tallerico

    The name is right there in the title. And every time that Benicio Del Toro shows up as Pablo Escobar, we’re reminded of the movie that this could have been, making it easier to criticize the movie it chose to be instead. Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    Showing the allure and gradual corruption of power through the eyes of a third party — sort of a mixture of "The Great Gatsby" and "Scarface" — is a solid conceit. But Andrea Di Stefano’s underbaked film doesn’t quite know what to do with it.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    Hutcherson isn’t particularly adept at playing moral anguish, but the film maintains an electrifying tension for its first half as we wonder just how far his character will go. In the second half, though, the film degenerates into a desultory action movie as everybody starts creeping around trying to shoot one another.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    In a footnote to history that is still too close for comfort, he’s the real meaning of paradise lost.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Alan Scherstuhl

    This is one of the greatest missed opportunities in recent cinema history: Del Toro looms more impressively on camera than he does in the marketing material, embodying a wicked man's perverse sense of family, honor, and self-interest.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    Escobar: Paradise Lost takes such a limited view of this multi-faceted figure that it fails as portraiture, and the real center of the film is too much of a bland good guy to compensate.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    Director Andrea Di Stefano’s filmmaking debut has a spotty sense of urgency, but we get to know neither Nick nor Escobar, so both the innocence and the fiery threat lack impact.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Chuck Bowen

    Benicio Del Toro's performance is showy, a great actor's parade of indulgences that occasionally sets the deranged camp tone that should have been the narrative's starting point.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
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