Cartel Land

Cartel Land

By Matthew Heineman

  • Genre: Documentary
  • Release Date: 2015-09-04
  • Advisory Rating: Unrated
  • Runtime: 1h 40min
  • Director: Matthew Heineman
  • Production Company: The Orchard
  • Production Country: Mexico, United States of America
  • iTunes Price: GBP 5.99
  • iTunes Rent Price: GBP 1.99
From 200 Ratings


With unprecedented access, CARTEL LAND is a harrowing look at the journeys of two modern-day vigilante groups and their shared enemy – the murderous Mexican drug cartels. In the Mexican state of Michoacán, Dr. Jose Mireles, a small-town physician known as “El Doctor,” leads the Autodefensas, a citizen uprising against the violent Knights Templar drug cartel that has wreaked havoc on the region for years. Meanwhile, in Arizona’s Altar Valley – a narrow, 52-mile-long desert corridor known as Cocaine Alley – Tim “Nailer” Foley, an American veteran, heads a small paramilitary group called Arizona Border Recon, whose goal is to stop Mexico’s drug wars from seeping across our border. Filmmaker Matthew Heineman embeds himself in the heart of darkness as Nailer, El Doctor, and the cartel each vie to bring their own brand of justice to a society where institutions have failed. CARTEL LAND is a chilling meditation on the breakdown of order and the blurry line between good and evil.



  • superb documentary

    By radioonmars
    nuanced, thrilling view of the operations against the cartels in mexico.
  • Complex and well-told story

    By kamthaka
    A story of two groups of vigilantes - one on each side of the border, a story of the failure of the war on drugs, and the story of how violence inevitably corrupts - no matter how well-intentioned at the beginning. Maybe it is the story, too, of the failure of government. Essential viewing.
  • Awesome

    By MrRightOk
    Just to balance out the reviews I thought I would post one, this documentary is very good. At moments slightly nerve wrecking but still well worth the watch. I can't imagine what the other reviewers below were watching to rate it so low
  • Really missed for the mark for me

    By Grimboj
    I loved "Narcos" and I loved "Virunga" so I was expecting something inbetween the two, a tension building documentary about mexican drug cartels. The film tries to showcase two sets of vigilantes, one on the US side of the border and one deep inside mexico. Right at the start of the film the US vigilante leader admits he started patrolling the border because immigrants were taking his jobs so it's hard to take him seriously after that. The mexican vigilantes is a very compelling story BUT the way it is directed completely missed the mark for me, no tension whatsoever. It took 30 minutes for the film to pick up speed, then after that there wasn't much to anticipate. I felt like I was being told a really good story in a really bad way. Can't recommend at all.
  • boring

    By Jakedamus1982