The Snitch Cartel (DVD) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Action
Director: Carlos Moreno
Distributor: Excesso Entertainment
Duration: 102 minutes

The Snitch Cartel (DVD) – Movie Review

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Good: Good acting
Bad: Too hasty, some scenes lack depth
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Just looking at the boxart of the DVD release of The Snitch Cartel, we got excited to see what the movie has to offer. A praising review line and some shady characters with machine guns adorn the cover, already giving you a sneak peek at what this film has in store. We were curious to find out if the story is truly as exciting as the cover might suggest.

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It’s Colombia in the 1990s when Martin Gonzales (Manolo Cardona) and Pepe Cadena (Diego Cadavid) become friends. Martin is from a modest descent, while Pepe’s brother Don Oscar (Fernando Solórzano) is a drug baron. Because Martin wants to impress his childhood crush Sofia (Juana Acosta), he gets introduced into the world of drug dealing. The two friends make heaps of money thanks to the big demand for cocaine in the United States, and it seems as if they will be able to keep up this wealthy lifestyle forever, since the authorities turn a blind eye. When at Pepe’s wedding, Pablo Escobar’s men turn the happy gathering into a true bloodbath, the authorities can’t watch silently from the side line anymore though. In the meantime the American DEA gets more authorization as well, allowing the Americans to extradite Colombian drug lords to the United States.

The situation is getting dangerous, now that many take their chance for a lighter sentence with the DEA, in return for valuable information on the still active drug gangs. Thus many want to get out, as no one can be trusted anymore. Meanwhile, Martin and Pepe both rise to a respected position within the North Valley Cartel, led by Don Oscar, as they have the guts to transport their drugs to America themselves, by plane to the Bahamas and then a speedboat to Miami, leaving out their usual Mexican partners. Even so, Martin still wants to quit, also because Sofia absolutely despises the way he earns his money, even though he buys her the nicest things. He does one more deal, but when the boat that is transporting their drugs gets pirated by the Mexicans, Martin, as well as Pepe suddenly owe Don Oscar loads of money. This forces Martin to keep being active in drug trafficking, and places him even more under Don Oscar’s command. It seems like Martin just can’t escape this life.

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The pace of this movie is quite fast, which sometimes causes it to rush over certain scenes. While everything remains clear as far as the story goes, it does compromise the excitement a bit, since they don’t really take the time to build up the tension. Also, because the story is told using a voiceover by Martin, the excitement gets lessened, as you get a story accompanied by some footage, instead of seeing it firsthand. Despite these issues, the storytelling, as well as the many flashbacks allowed director Carlos Moreno to tell quite an elaborate story using only a short amount of time, while still keeping it understandable, even though certain choices had to be made.

Not only flashbacks are thrown into the mix to spice things up a bit, but also other snippets of events such as the wedding. They last mere seconds, but give you a good glimpse of what must have been going on. Also, this footage looks quite authentic, as if it was cut from an older documentary, which creates quite a contrast, which in turn adds another dimension to the film.

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Acting performances are very decent, and a big thumbs up also goes to the casting department, as all actors fit their character perfectly. Martin and Pepe show decent character development, while Juana’s character Sofia could have done with a little more. She is nothing more than the girlfriend of a drug trafficker, who every now and again comes on stage, but it feels like the relationship between Martin and Sofia could have been explored more.

If you were hoping for any extras, we’ll have to disappoint you. There are no special features whatsoever to be found on this DVD release. It would have been nice to see some reference to the book by Andrés López on which the film was based, or maybe even a glance at the 2008 series El Cartel that was also inspired by this book. Nonetheless, the film does fine without.


The Snitch Cartel tells the story of Martin, a member of the North Valley Cartel in Colombia. While the story itself is quite interesting, a lot of the excitement gets lost due to the lack of time to present every scene properly. Despite this issue, the director did find some good ways to tell an elaborate story within a rather short time span, which makes up for the lack of depth in certain scenes just a little bit. This film tells a good story, but if you’re looking for true excitement and action, you might be better off looking elsewhere.

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