Johnny Depp Throwback Resurfaces as Big Hit on Netflix

A Johnny Depp throwback film just resurfaced on Netflix and it's been a big hit. Blow, a crime drama starring Depp and Penélope Cruz, is currently the number five movie on Netflix. It trails behind a few other older films, including The Blind Side and Four Brothers.

Blow is 2001 crime biopic directed by Ted Demme, from a screenplay by David McKenna and Nick Cassavetes. It portrays the story of George Jung, a real-life American cocaine smuggler, and is adapted from Bruce Porter's 1993 book Blow: How a Small Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellín Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All. In addition to Jung, the film also features portrayals of Pablo Escobar, Carlos Lehder Rivas (played by Diego Delgado), and the Medellín Cartel. Notably, the movie's title is a reference to a slang term for cocaine.

Depp has not had many films released over the past few years, also seemingly stemming from his ongoing court battles, but did have a new film debut in February, titled Minamata. The film is a biopic about famed photojournalist Eugene Smith, which opened in about two dozen cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami. In the film, Depp portrays Smith, who took his final Life magazine assignment in 1971, which took him across the Pacific Ocean to Japan, where through his photographs he exposed decades of terrible misconduct by a large chemical company. 

The actor had another partial biopic debut in 2021: City of Lies. The film tells the story of retired detective LAPD Russell Poole who worked the case of the drive-by shooting that left Smalls — also known as The Notorious B.I.G. — dead. Forest Whitaker also stars, playing a journalist named Jackson who teams with Poole almost 20 years later to further investigate the shooting. Whitaker's role was inspired by journalist and author Randall Sullivan, who wrote the book that the film is based on, Labyrinth.


City of Lies was originally set to be released by Global Road Entertainment back in 2018 but was removed from the schedule one month before. It was later screened at the Noir in Festival, in Italy, in December of the same year. The film was given a limited release in Italy in 2019 but was not released anywhere else. In 2021, it was announced that Saban Films had acquired the film's distribution rights, and was released in theaters on March 19.