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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Mt Holyoke chapter.

Two weeks ago, I went to the Hampshire Mall Cinemark with a few friends to watch the latest talk-of-the-streets film release, Cocaine Bear. Set in the 1980s, the film tells the true story of a bear that gets high on cocaine after accidentally ingesting the drug as a result of a deal gone wrong. The film has been dismissed as a  spineless comedy due to its silly subject matter; who doesn’t giggle at the thought of a mystical, powerful creature such as a bear on drugs? I’ll admit that before I watched it I thought the same. I came to Hampshire Mall expecting to just have a laugh, maybe be frustrated over spending money on a bad movie, and go home. However, what I found is that Cocaine Bear is not getting the love it deserves, and it should be taken more seriously as a work of art.

My first argument for defending this movie is that it’s genuinely funny. So many comedy movies nowadays feel forced or are just straight-up unfunny and annoying. Cocaine Bear, on the other hand, is hilarious. There were moments when the whole theater was cackling so loud that you couldn’t hear the actors, something that hadn’t happened to me in a very long time, and I’m an avid cinema-goer. All the jokes are smart, well-timed, well-executed, and match the characters’ personalities. This leads to a very pleasant movie theater experience!

Additionally, the cast completely knocks it out of the park, especially the child stars. All the performances are unique, poignant, complex, and heavily emotionally charged. The actors have taken this job quite seriously, delivering extremely memorable characters and plotlines that will surely leave the audience in awe for years to come. We truly connect with all the characters, feel for and with them, and are left wondering endlessly about what happened to them after the cameras cut. I want to give a special shoutout to Ray Liotta, who sadly passed away shortly after filming finished. His performance of an evil drug kingpin who cares about nothing but profit is incredibly powerful and makes us truly hate his villainous character. Doing a very hateable character while still being extremely charming is quite a feat; when the credits were rolling and the “In Memoriam of Ray Liotta” showed up, I made sure to applaud him and his amazing talent. 

Another great feature of the movie is how balanced it is. While I mentioned that it’s crazy funny, it’s also deeply emotional and moving, with unforgettable scenes and moments that will leave you on the edge of your seat. By the end of the movie, all of my friends and I had cried multiple times, laughed, gotten angry, gotten curious… sometimes all of these feelings at once. 

Cocaine Bear is a beautiful work of art in the way it makes you feel everything all at once. It is a multidimensional film that refuses to be bound by the boxes of genres and conventions. It has something for everyone to not only enjoy, but wholeheartedly love and take home after the movie is done. I highly recommend this movie, and I also recommend that you go into it with an open mind— it’s nothing short of extraordinary, and it’s nothing like you expect. 

If you would like to write for Her Campus Mount Holyoke, or if you have any questions or comments for us, please email hc.mtholyoke@hercampus.com.    

hello! class of 2026, neuroscience major, nice to meet you! some stuff I love is my family, my friends, studying, learning, meeting people, talking, reading, writing, eating, traveling, trains, public transportation, road trips, nature, crossing borders, my homeland of Brazil, being a Posse scholar, Williston Library, being at Mount Holyoke, working... but most of all, I love the world. I love love. and I love you! ps - i write a lot about the past. that means i'm over it <3 u get the gist!