The Mule

Directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker and actor Clint Eastwood, The Mule is a well-acted and intriguing film that explores the largely unknown world of drug mules whose story is based on a real person named Leo Sharp. Facing serious financial difficulties in which his business has failed, the 90-year-old Earl Stone, played by the always gruff Clint Eastwood, eventually finds himself deep into the drug underworld working as a drug mule transporting large quantities of cocaine for the Sinaloa Cartel from El Paso to Chicago drug dealers. The cartel leaders increasingly rely on the unassuming Stone who does not fit the profile of a drug trafficker as a result of his advanced age, white ethnicity, and gentlemanly demeanor. Furthermore, he has nothing really to lose because he is estranged from his family and his horticultural business of growing award-winning daylilies was forced into bankruptcy. Over the course of the movie as he traffics hundreds of kilos at a time and makes copious amount of cash, Stone and his cartel colleagues raise the suspicions of the local DEA office based out of Chicago. Two DEA agents, played by Bradley Cooper and Michael Peña, eventually convince their boss, played by Laurence Fishburne, to further investigate the activities of the cartel in Illinois and figure out the identity of Stone who is the cartel’s most profitable drug mule. The somewhat oblivious Stone desiring to reconnect with his family and committing several careless mistakes allow the DEA to get closer and closer to questioning and arresting him. All of this is set against the backdrop of chaos within the cartel after one of the bosses is murdered by his lieutenant, and the new boss has different plans for his drug mules. Overall, I found it to be a compelling story that is hard to believe is based upon a true story, and, while not one of Clint Eastwood’s best works, it is definitely a worthy film to watch if you enjoy Eastwood’s other works.

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