The Infiltrator - Movie Review by Kaely Monahan

InfiltratorCranston shines as the good cop in The Infiltrator By Kaely Monahan



The Infiltrator is a complete 180 for Breaking Bad star, Bryan Cranston. In a story “based on real events,” Cranston plays with the white-hats in the 1980s drug war. Directed by Brad Furman, the film follows the story of Federal agent Robert Mazur (Cranston) who goes undercover to take down an international money laundering scheme.


You might recall Colombian drug lord, Pablo Escobar who, in the ‘80s, was sending several tons of cocaine through Miami and into the U.S. Mazur goes undercover as Bob Musella—with “ties” to the New York Mafia. Through careful maneuvering and trust building, he works his way through the network of drug lackeys until he finally meets and befriends one of Escobar’s top lieutenants: Roberto Alcaino (Benjamin Bratt).


The film follows a familiar true-crime story arc but is nonetheless compelling. Mazur is a man who has to learn how far he’ll go to get his perp. All the while he must balance a wife and kids and keep them safe.


Along the way, he is aided by the streetwise Emir Abreu (John Leguizamo), who gets him inside with the Miami cocaine scene and Kathy Ertz (Diane Kruger) who plays his faux wife.


The Infiltrator is not a gory film, but watching it feels like a loose slowly tightening. Cranston seems to relish Mazur’s conflicting desires. Mazur can’t resist getting into the game, even when he has the chance to retire. Yet he is conflicted by the need to protect his family. (There are several nail biting moments when ask yourself, “Why didn’t he put his family in hiding?”) At the same time, he can’t stop pulling on the thread that leads him closer and closer to the prize.


The Infiltrator is classic movie-making. Furman keeps the plot going with expert direction and editing. The film moves slowly, but it works. In a day and age of high-action, saturated special-effects, it's refreshing to watch something that inches towards a highly effective climax.


  • Kaely Monahan is a journalist, graduate of City University London and the creator of Popcorn Fan Film Reviews. Follow her @PopcornFans and @KaelyMonahan.