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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
No positive messages.
Positive Role Models
No positive role models.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Footage of two turtles mating as a visual metaphor for a controversial jury decision in a trial.
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Frequent profanity. "Motherf----r" regularly used, as well as "f--k." "S--t," "bulls--tting," "ass," "hell."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Centered on a quest to find a buried bag filled with millions of dollars' worth of cocaine. Talk of ins and outs of drug dealing. Marijuana smoking. Man arrested in possession of a bag filled with OxyContin pills. Beer and alcohol consumption. Use of chewing tobacco. Cigar smoking. One of the subjects is shown, through reenactments, going through drug withdrawal, vomiting in a hotel bathroom.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Legend of Cocaine Island is a 2018 documentary about a Florida man with no prior criminal history who went on a treasure hunt for a bag of cocaine worth millions. Unsurprisingly, there's a lot of talk about cocaine and drug dealing. One of the subjects of the documentary is shown in reenactments going through withdrawal symptoms such as vomiting in a hotel toilet. In a reenactment, a man is shown getting searched by police, who find a bag filled with OxyContin pills. The film shows beer, wine, and alcohol consumption throughout, as well as marijuana smoking, cigar smoking, and the use of chewing tobacco. Frequent profanity is heard, including "f--k" and "motherf----r." The movie uses the story to explore themes like the meaning and reality of the American Dream after the 2008 financial collapse and whether or not law enforcement at the federal and local level acted appropriately in this situation. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This peculiar documentary will amuse some and annoy others. Near the end of The Legend of Cocaine Island, the judge who presides over the case of Rodney Hyden describes Hyden's actions as "Walter Mitty meets Breaking Bad." As one of the only people in the documentary who comes off as levelheaded and sane, this judge accurately sums up this strange story. The action takes place in Florida, and Hyden -- as a businessman down on his luck after the 2008 recession -- is representative of the men who so often appear in the tragicomic news stories that originate from the Sunshine State.
The problem with the documentary is that this offbeat tale doesn't really have enough to sustain it into a feature-length film. And one gets the sense that even the filmmaker, deep down, knows this to be true -- hence all of the reenactments and excessive interview footage. There's also something suspect about using Hyden himself in these reenactments. Furthermore, while the documentary explores deeper themes, such as entrapment and the American Dream after the 2008 financial crash, the glaring omission here is the foregone conclusion that if Hyden had not been white, this documentary would have been a lot less of an amusing tale. Nonetheless, at its best, The Legend of Cocaine Island is up there with Errol Morris' Vernon, Florida in terms of accurately revealing the eccentrics and dreamers who help give Florida that extra dash of peculiarity lacking in the rest of America.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.