Adapted from a memoir by U.S. customs agent Robert Mazur, this well-written drug thriller dramatizes an undercover operation that targeted the Medellin cartel's international money laundering in the mid-1980s. The dramatic tropes of the undercover-cop thriller—the false identities, the close calls, the divided sympathies, the climactic betrayals—are so familiar at this point that a movie is obliged to bring something else to the table. Screenwriter Ellen Brown Furman does this by capturing more vividly than usual the fraught relationship between the hero (Bryan Cranston) and his wife (Juliet Aubrey), who's terrified of him dying a nightmarish death, and by placing the story in the political context of President Reagan's misguided Central American policy (a key player in the sinister financial web is the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, later the institution of choice for the Iran-Contra conspirators). Brad Furman, the screenwriter's son, wrings the maximum suspense out of all this; his able cast includes John Leguizamo, Diane Kruger, Benjamin Bratt, and Amy Ryan.
Director: Brad Furman
Producer: Paul Brennan, Brad Furman, Miriam Segal, Don Sikorski, Camela Galano, Kate Fasulo, Jill Morris, Peter Hampden, Scott LaStaiti, Robert Mazur, Norman Merry and Bryan Cranston
Cast: Bryan Cranston, Diane Kruger, John Leguizamo, Amy Ryan, Jason Isaacs, Joseph Gilgun, Olympia Dukakis, Yul Vazquez, Art Malik, Carsten Hayes, Benjamin Bratt and Elena Anaya