8/10 An independent film that completely flew under the radar (you wouldn’t be alone in saying, “I’ve never heard of this film before”), “Crisis” is criminally underrated as it has one of the most surprisingly stacked casts of the year so far and tells a true, relevant story that is equal parts heart breaking and shocking. This crisis that the film’s title refers to is the opioid crisis, which is one that has been getting worse for years and one in which the China virus pandemic only exasperated to record breaking levels as people sat around bored, not able to work or go anywhere, so many turned to opioids. Similar to “Traffic” or the early films of Alejandro González Iñárritu, “Crisis” tackles multiple intersecting storylines and characters but who are all intertwined by an event that happened in real life. We get to see the opioid crisis through the victims who are addicted, the criminals who push it, the law enforcement agents fighting it, the grieving family members of people who have died from it, the whistleblowers trying to sound the alarm and the shady, greedy big pharma manufacturers who only care to benefit from it. If that sounds like a lot of ground to cover for one particular issue, it is, yet writer/director Nicholas Jarecki does a fantastic job of equally spreading out the time between characters so everyone gets developed and character arcs have a clear beginning, middle and end. The performances are stellar with Evangeline Lilly and Armie Hammer being the two standouts for me. It is hard to believe that Lilly at one point had essentially quit acting because now that she has started up again for several years, we are reminded of how talented she is. The story is a fascinating one and one that I was unfamiliar with and I always love when a film can transcend mindless entertainment to pass the time and become a history lesson, call to action or public service announcement, as this film becomes all three. The film wisely includes some information at the end right before the end credits role with some statistics that will shock and sadden you. With mental health issues and suicides in America on the rise (worldwide as well), this is a reminder to check in on friends and family members who may be struggling or suffering or to get people the help they need. As for the film’s flaws, there are not too many. A couple of minor nitpicks exist like a character at the end of the film abandoning his car within a crime scene would have had the authorities easily discover his car and trace it back to him. Greg Kinnear’s character does a 180 pretty quickly which felt a little rushed to me and Michelle Rodriguez was kind of wasted since she is barely in the film. That being said, the film is well paced and tells an important story that we should always be reminded of. I strongly recommend checking this out as it is one that didn’t get the media hype or attention it deserved.

#TheHabbitTheDesolationOfWatchdogs / #OpioidHeroes / #FentanylOutOfOptions / #TheManFromF.D.A. / #TheFastAndTheFentanyl / #LittleMissMainline

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