Cartel Land

( Mexico, USA / 2015 )
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In this Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary, director Matthew Heineman and executive producer Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker”, “Zero Dark Thirty”) gain unprecedented, on-the-ground access to the riveting stories of two modern-day vigilante groups and their shared enemy - the murderous Mexican drug cartels.

Formats: Digital Copy, DVD
Running Time: 80 min.
Theme: Activism, Conflicts, Crime, Current Affairs, Economy, Education, Investigative Journalism, Law and Justice see all »
Language(s): English
Director(s): Matthew Heineman
Producer(s): Matthew Heineman, Kathryn Bigelow, Tom see all »
Excluded regions: France, Germany, Austria, see all »
Cartel Land


  • Press Kit
  • "Astonishing"
    Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times' Critics Pick
  • "ONE OF THE BEST DOCUMENTARIES OF THE YEAR! Feels like Breaking Bad in real life.”
    Aleksandr Gorbachev, Newsweek
  • "Grade: A. Remarkable."
    Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly
  • "Delivers the narrative propulsion and satisfaction of a first-rate fiction thriller"
    Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
  • "Jaw dropping. Nothing short of spectacular."
    David Lewis, SF Chronicle
  • "Filmmaker Matthew Heineman’s compelling Oscar-nominated documentary centers on recent battles between drug cartels and two vigilante groups along the Arizona/Mexico border"
    Video Librarian

Academic Notes

  • The Mexican Neoliberal State: The Decentralization of Power and Rise of Narcotraficantes and Paramilitary Groups, by Adrian Bustamante, Utah State University
    "We can see the direct causation of the fall of the neoliberal state and the rise of the drug cartels."

awards & accolades

  • Sundance Film Festival - (Winner) Best Director, Special Grand Jury Prize for Cinematography
  • Gotham Independent Film Awards - (Nominee) Best Documentary
  • International Documentary Association - (Winner) Courage Under Fire Award
  • Cinema Eye Honors - (Nominated) Outstanding Achievement in Non-Fiction Filmmaking / Musical Score
  • Critics Choice Awards - (Nominee) Best Documentary
  • British Academy of Film and Television Arts - Nominee) Best Documentary
  • DGA Award - (Winner) Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary
  • Academy Award - (Nominee) Best Documentary Feature

Festival participation

  • Sundance Film Festival
  • Gotham Independent Film Awards
  • International Documentary Association
  • Cinema Eye Honors
  • Critics Choice Awards
  • British Academy of Film and Television Arts
  • DGA Award
  • Academy Award
  • True/False Film Festival
  • Martha's Vineyard Film Festival
  • Ashland Independent Film Festival
  • Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
  • Dallas International Film Festival
  • Tribeca Film Festival
  • Docville, Belgium
  • Sheffield International Film Festival
  • Human Rights Watch Film Festival
  • AFI Docs
  • Champs Elysee Film Festival
  • Sydney Film Festival

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Additional Info

Production Company:
Distribution Company: ro*co educational

Cartel Land

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