Though it begins as a slick, tongue-in-cheek guide to successful dope dealing (think: a kind of latter day "Steal This Book"), the documentary
Writer-director-narrator Matthew Cooke looks inside the explosive, wildly lucrative drug trade and its various levels of operation and survival via such chapter headings as "Managing Your Drug Cartel" and "How to Beat an Arrest." Backed by frank interviews with a rogue's gallery of former drug dealers and addicts (including, respectively, actor-rappers Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson and
But as the filmmaker unfurls the harsh, essential facts, both past and present, about America's complex relationship with drugs — along with tobacco and alcohol's longtime place in the equation — the movie gains serious power and momentum.
In the end, Cooke, who collaborated on the film with friend-producer
"How to Make Money Selling Drugs"
Ratings: No MPAA rating
Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
Playing at: Downtown Independent, Los Angeles.