Parents' Guide to

Pablo Escobar: The Drug Lord

By Ana María Carrano, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Violent drug drama is not for kids.

TV Netflix Drama 2021
Pablo Escobar: The Drug Lord Poster: Andres Cepeda as Pablo Escobar in his desk.

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Intriguing, entertaining and painful, the series presents a credible portrait of the leader of the now-defunct Medellín cartel. The script not only follows Pablo Escobar, and the criminal gang he led, but also shows his network of drug trafficking operations. Pablo Escobar, el patrón del mal narrates how this character - wanted by the DEA and included among the richest people on the Forbes list for seven consecutive years - gained popularity among the poor, became a congressional representative and challenged presidents, judges and journalists.

Shot entirely on location, the ambitious production featured an original soundtrack, more than two years of documentary research, interviews and location scouting to achieve a credible portrayal of Colombia's political and daily life in the 1980s and early 1990s. It was broadcast in that country in 2012 and distributed in the U.S. in 2021. Although it was created by relatives of narco victims and emphasizes the victims' stories, the story depicts the complexity of Escobar, who ranged from supportive and affectionate with his family to cruel and ruthless with his adversaries. The cast features notable performances. Andres Parra's portrayal of Escobar, who bears a strong physical resemblance and accurately mimics the kingpin's speech and mannerisms, is thrilling. Definitely for adults.

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