Movie poster of Cocaine Bear


Title: Cocaine Bear
Released: 2023

Fix: Cocaine, bears

FYA Summary:

Like it says on the tin. In 1985, a drug runner jettisoned a large quantity of cocaine over a state park in Georgia. Later, a black bear ate some of the packages. Two hikers, two truant kids, a mother, a park ranger, an environmentalist, three punks, three drug dealers, two medics, and one cop converge on the area.

Who will survive? (A: less than a third of them)

Shorter Summary:


Dear God, what…


Familiar Faces:

Ray Liotta in Cocaine Bear

Ray Liotta as Syd

In the Hollywood icon’s final role, Liotta plays Syd, a hardened drug dealer responsible for the missing cocaine. He’s determined to recover it at any cost.

Alden Ehrenreich in Cocaine Bear

Alden Ehrenreich as Eddie

Syd’s son, he’s dealing with the recent death of his wife, but is forced by his father to retrieve the cocaine. Drunk and whiny for most of the movie, he kind of just accepts the fact that this drug crazed bear is slaughtering everyone around him.

O'Shea Jackson Jr. in Cocaine Bear

O’Shea Jackson Jr. as Daveed

Syd’s right hand man (see picture), he is unfortunate enough to be both stabbed and shot during the adventure.

Keri Russell in Cocaine Bear

Kerri Russell as Sari

The former Felicity star is now playing in a movie about a coked out bruin. Sari ventures into the forest to find her truant daughter who has been taken by the bear.

Margo Martindale in Cocaine Bear

Margo Martindale as Park Ranger Liz

Not-ready-for-Yellowstone Ranger Liz attempts to deal with some punks in the park and seduce a wildlife activist when she finds herself facing a smarter than your average bear.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson in Cocaine Bear

Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Peter

This Modern Family actor plays a wildlife activist who discovers that some forces of nature are single-minded and unstoppable…and that’s just Ranger Liz.

Isiah Whitlock Jr. in Cocaine Bear

Isiah Whitlock Jr. as Officer Bob

A ruthless cop determined to retrieve the cocaine before Syd, he’s also worried that his new dog is somehow not very masculine.

Brooklynn Prince and Christian Convery in Cocaine Bear

Brooklynn Prince and Christian Convery as Dee Dee and Henry

Two thirteen-year-old buddies, they skip school to hang out in the woods. When they stumble upon the drugs, they try to impress each other by proving that they can eat as much cocaine as the next guy.

The Cocaine Bear bear

Cocaine Bear as herself

Couch Sharing Capability: Know What You’re Getting Into

Sure, it’s the story of a bear that became almost immortal after ingesting enough cocaine to kill an elephant. But it’s also the story of a mother and daughter, growing increasingly distant. Two childhood friends, leaving the innocence of their youth behind. A widower, grieving for his loving bride and unable to relate to his young son. A harsh look at corruption in narcotics enforcement. A patient falling out of an ambulance and getting shredded alive on the road. A guy’s decapitated head bouncing around a ranger station. A woman’s leg getting hurled at her horrified fiancé. A foo foo dog eating a man’s severed fingers. Universal themes.

Sure, they’ve never made any of my books into a movie, but hey, we just had to have this, didn’t we, Hollywood?

Recommended Leave of Inebriation: One Kilo

Okay, so maybe in real life the bear immediately died of an overdose. But aren’t we all, in our own special way, the Cocaine Bear? I leave you with that thought.

And the ambulance scene. Oh, dear God, the ambulance scene.

Brian wrote his first YA novel when he was down and out in Mexico. He now lives in Missouri with his wonderful wife and daughter. He divides his time between writing and working as a school librarian. Brian still misses the preachy YA books of the eighties.