Cocaine Bear” Hits US Theaters on February 24th – Starring Keri Russell, O’Shea Jackson Jr., and Ray Liotta

Universal's new dark comedy “Cocaine Bear” premieres in US theaters on February 24th.[0] Loosely based on a true story, the film follows a bear that gets its paws on a duffel bag of cocaine and goes on a murderous rampage.[1] The star-studded cast includes Keri Russell, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Alden Ehrenreich, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Brooklynn Prince, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Kristofer Hivju, Hannah Hoekstra, Aaron Holliday, Margo Martindale and Ray Liotta.[2]

The film is inspired by an event that took place in December 1985 when convicted drug smuggler Andrew Thornton jumped out of a plane and plunged to his death in Knoxville, Tennessee, while dumping 40 containers of cocaine that landed in the Chattahoochee National Forest.[3] One of the bags was discovered by a bear who overdosed on the cocaine and died.[4] The bear was dubbed “Pablo Eskobear” and became the stuff of legend.

The movie imagines the bear going on a bender and terrorizing people who come to the woods.[5] Director Elizabeth Banks and screenwriter Jimmy Warden keep the narrative moving along in brisk fashion, as the bear doles out grisly kills that up the gore factor. Limbs are torn off, faces are shredded, and guns blow holes through heads.[6] Some of the deaths are so gory that they become comedy, but this is an R-rated movie and is not for kids or people who can't handle seeing lots of blood on the screen.[7]

The film earned $2 million in Thursday previews from 3,000 theaters and will expand to 3,534 on Friday.[8] The late Ray Liotta gives one of his final performances in the movie, and his character is a reminder of how dangerous it can be to mess with nature. Cocaine Bear is sure to be a wild ride and is the perfect Friday night moviegoing experience.[9]

0. “‘Cocaine Bear' gets mileage out of the title without delivering much of a rush” CNN, 23 Feb. 2023,

1. “BRIAN VINER reviews Cocaine Bear” Daily Mail, 24 Feb. 2023,

2. “Box Office: ‘Cocaine Bear’ Sniffs Up $2M in Thursday Previews” Hollywood Reporter, 24 Feb. 2023,

3. “Intoxicating ‘Cocaine Bear' goes hilariously off the rails” Chicago Sun-Times, 23 Feb. 2023,

4. “Cocaine Bear, review: this asinine ursine romp is a Class A disappointment” The Telegraph, 23 Feb. 2023,

5. “Elizabeth Banks on Her New (and Already Cult) Movie ‘Cocaine Bear'” Esquire, 19 Feb. 2023,

6. “Review: ‘Cocaine Bear' isn't smart dumb, it's just plain dumb” Detroit News, 23 Feb. 2023,

7. “Review: ‘Cocaine Bear' an ode to bloody '80s monster movies” WCSH-WLBZ, 22 Feb. 2023,

8. “Box Office: ‘Cocaine Bear’ Earns $2 Million in Previews” Variety, 24 Feb. 2023,

9. “‘Cocaine Bear' Review: Jaws With Claws!” CNET, 24 Feb. 2023,

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