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Most intense movie drug dealers

Writer: Casey Chong


These intense drug dealers made their movies more intense.

A hit with the critics when it first screened at the Cannes Film Festival this year, Denis Villeneuve's highly-anticipated crime thriller "Sicario" (meaning "hitman" in Spanish) was widely praised for its impeccable technical skills and first-rate performances (Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin).

To coincide with the release of "Sicario" this week, we have lined up our own five most intense movie drug dealers that graced the big screen.

1. Al Pacino as Tony Montana, "Scarface" (1983)


Al Pacino is Tony Montana.

"Say hello to my little friend!" No doubt that was the most famous quote in the equally famous final shootout scene in "Scarface". Although the movie was highly regarded as Brian De Palma's best directorial efforts, it was actor Al Pacino who truly owned the picture. He brought Tony Montana to vivid life. As a small-time Cuban immigrant rising up the ranks to become a drug kingpin living his own American dream, Pacino displayed such an unforgettable performance that it's hard to think of anyone else stepping into his shoes.

2. Wesley Snipes as Nino Brown, "New Jack City" (1991)


Wesley Snipes in a scene from "New Jack City".

Mario Van Peebles' directorial debut with "New Jack City" was a box-office hit upon its controversial release in 1991. Much of the success was owed to Wesley Snipes' charismatic turn as the power-hungry New York drug lord Nino Brown. It was one of Snipes' most memorable roles in his career, before he subsequently re-invented himself into an action star a year later in "Passenger 57".

3. Gary Oldman as Drexl Spivey, "True Romance" (1993)


Gary Oldman in "True Romance".

Gary Oldman only had a minor role in "True Romance", and yet he managed to make a lasting impression as the Jamaican pimp-cum-drug dealer Drexl Spivey. Sporting a convincing Rastafarian look and scarred-up face, he was nearly unrecognisable in his role here. He was certainly both funny and scary at the same time, evidently during a negotiation scene where Clarence (Christian Slater) wanted Alabama (Patricia Arquette) to be set free. Of course, things got ugly from there when the negotiation turned into a bloody massacre.

4. Johnny Depp as George Jung, "Blow" (2001)


Johnny Depp is a drug smuggler in "Blow".

Based on a true story of the American cocaine smuggler George Jung, Ted Demme's biopic was elevated by none other than Johnny Depp as the titular performance. Depp brought a cool swagger and sheer charisma to his role. The title, "Blow", is actually a slang term for "cocaine".

5. James Franco as Saul Silver, "Pineapple Express" (2008)


(L-R) Seth Rogen and James Franco in a scene from "Pineapple Express".

Playing a drug dealer didn't have to be dark, scary and violent. And so, James Franco did the opposite. Franco played Saul Silver in "Pineapple Express", a drug dealer-cum-slacker who forced to go on the run with his pothead buddy Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) after witnessing a murder scene. Franco's role was funny and likable. In fact, he was one of the best things that made "Pineapple Express" more than just your average stoner comedy.

"Sicario" is currently playing in cinemas nationwide.


Cinema Online, 18 September 2015

Related Movies:
Sicario The Mexican Hitman (17 Sep 2015)

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