Parents' Guide to

Cocaine Bear

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Action comedy has tons of drugs, swearing, gory violence.

Movie R 2023 95 minutes
Cocaine Bear Movie Poster: A black bear roars against a black, backlit background

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 19 parent reviews

age 17+

Satisfactory story, but good entertainment.

I liked this movie for the most part. I just saw it tonight in theaters and thought it was entertaining, but must be viewed by older teens and adults only. The violence includes MANY jump-scares, bloody attacks caused by the bear, and much suspense leading up to the jump-scares. It was much scarier in theaters than it would be streaming or on DVD. Although it was very entertaining at the beginning, it got boring and slow near the climax. It seemed like all the bear wanted was cocaine, and wherever it didn’t sniff the cocaine, it would look elsewhere and then unleash its attack wherever the cocaine could be found. Be prepared for a scene where two minors try out cocaine when they find it (although the scene isn’t very graphic). This movie is extremely disturbing with the jump-scares, suspense, and the loads and loads of cocaine displayed throughout the film. The language is also constant, mostly consisting of uses of “f--k” and “s--t”. It is entertaining, but not with a lot of good messages or role models.
age 16+

Exactly what a movie called Cocaine Bear should be…

This is a great romp and utterly OTT film. The violence is visceral, gory yet somewhat cartoony and the bear is actually quite terrifying, with blood soaked slobber dripping from its mouth and a fierce hard stare that Paddington would be jealous of. Along with Snakes On A Plane, you get exactly what you pay for with a film called Cocaine Bear…. Don’t expect high drama or arthouse camera angles. This is 95mins of fun and scary action. Emphasis on the fun. I wouldn’t show this to anyone under 16 I think as it honestly demands a little maturity to understand the comedy and silliness the film strives to achieve.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (19 ):
Kids say (30 ):

The idea of a coked-up black bear destroying everyone in its way to more drugs is initially novel, but the concept doesn't quite carry the entire movie. Some viewers will likely laugh a lot as the bear gets so aggressive that it starts attacking people -- sometimes because the unfortunate soul also found the cocaine and is covered in its debris. But after a while, Cocaine Bear becomes more of a slasher flick than a comedy, and the blood spray, brain splatter, torn limbs, fallen fingers, and accidental shootings start to mute the laughter. Plus, it's hard to invest in characters who exist solely to feed the same punchline (the bear loves cocaine! the bear will kill everyone in its way!) over and over again.

The most compelling subplot is between Daveed and Eddie, the latter of whom is a rare find in pop culture. The adult son of a drug kingpin, he not only wants out of the family business, but also wants to be left alone to grieve the death of his wife. And Martindale is likely to be a crowd favorite as gun-toting park ranger Liz, who had hoped the day would end with a romantic moment with the clueless parks service manager (played by an always-amusing Ferguson). Russell's formulaic "not without my daughter" story arc is bolstered by the goofy young Convery, who plays Dee Dee's best friend. And Sari's human "mama bear" character is a necessary foil to the actual bear, who's always on the hunt for more of the cocaine to eat. Banks and writer Jimmy Warden milk every inch of humor from the titular pitch, but the bear's manic drug-induced antics leave little for the human characters to do other than die in a bloody, if occasionally funny, manner. Ultimately this movie is an entertaining gag that grows a bit tiring by the 10th shot of viscera and gore.

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