The Best El Chapo Movies, Shows & Documentaries You Can Watch Today
The trial for Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is currently underway, igniting a renewed interest in the Mexican drug lord. It’s hard for most of us to fathom how anyone could possibly move as many drugs and build as much wealth as El Chapo did.
El Chapo entered the illegal drug trade in the 1980s, doing work for the Guadalajara cartel. The savvy drug dealer would eventually rise to power as the head of the Sinaloa cartel. He even ran the operation from behind bars after his 1993 arrest. In 2001, El Chapo made his first of two escapes from prison.
El Chapo eluded Mexican and US authorities for over ten years before he was captured again in 2014. After nearly a year and a half in prison, he escaped again. Having two widely publicized escapes humiliated Mexican authorities and fueled their motivation to bring the renowned criminal to justice. He was finally apprehended in 2016 after a shootout with Mexican marines that left five people dead and one marine wounded.
El Chapo’s story sounds like it was torn straight from a Hollywood screenplay, and Hollywood has taken notice. Here are the best documentaries, movies, and TV shows about El Chapo that you can watch right now.
El Chapo is a Spanish-language crime drama that tells the story of how El Chapo positioned a deal with Columbian cartels and used a labyrinth of underground tunnels to rise through the ranks and become the notorious drug kingpin we know today.
All three seasons of the series are available on Netflix.
This Netflix documentary series tells the story of a different drug lord in each of its 45-minute episodes. El Chapo’s episode is the Episode 1 of Season 2.
Both seasons of Drug Lords are currently on Netflix.
The Day I Met El Chapo
In this three-episode documentary, actress Kate del Castillo explains how a Twitter interaction led her to meet the world’s most infamous drug lord and win over the rights to his life story. Castillo and Sean Penn’s relationship with El Chapo ultimately led to the kingpin’s arrest.
The Day I Met El Chapo is available on Netflix now.
In this retooling of Narcos, we follow the DEA as they track the rise of the Guadalajara cartel in the 1980s. El Chapo doesn’t appear in Season 1, but it has been confirmed that viewers will see a young El Chapo in the series. Because the series is set in the 1980s, the scope of El Chapo’s rise to power will be limited.
Season 1 of Narcos: Mexico is on Netflix now.
Chapo: el escape del siglo
This 2016 film is about El Chapo’s sensational escape from prison. The filmmakers told El Chapo’s story in just three weeks of filming and using publicly available source material.
Chapo: el escape del siglo can be watched right now on Netflix.
Capo: El Amo del Tunel
While this five-part series isn’t actually about El Chapo, it was inspired by El Chapo’s escape. The series tells the story of a powerful drug lord who escapes from prison, only to become a target of both police and rivals.
You can catch Capo: El Amo del Tunel on Netflix.
Drug Lord: The Legend of Shorty
This feature documentary aired as an episode of Frontline on PBS. In this documentary, we follow two filmmakers as they set out to interview El Chapo. When this episode aired, El Chapo had recently escaped from a maximum security prison in Mexico and was still on the run.
Although Drug Lord: The Legend of Shorty is not available on major streaming platforms like Hulu and Netflix, you can watch it for free on the PBS website.
El Chapo: CEO of Crime
This 43-minute documentary, released in 2015, follows Univision reporters as they access the legendary drug lord’s operation, telling his story from humble beginnings to head of the Sinaloa cartel. In this documentary, viewers are given a glimpse of how large El Chapo’s empire truly became and the far-reaching implications of El Chapo’s illegal drug trade.
You can view the documentary in its entirety for free on YouTube.