FILM REVIEW | Crisis

Murder, addiction, undercover cops and large-scale cover-ups - there's quite a lot going on in Crisis.

The new film, written, directed by and starring Nicholas Jarecki, takes a look at America's growing painkiller problem from a number of different angles.

There's the manufacture and distribution of illegal oxycodone and fentanyl; the investigation into these operations; the manufacture and testing of new prescription painkillers; and the regular people who get caught in the middle.

A talented cast - if one marred by controversy - brings great skill and depth to the engrossing film.

Evangeline Lilly (Ant-Man and the Wasp) is a stand-out as former painkiller addict Claire Reimann, whose son dies of a suspicious overdose at the start of the movie.

Lilly is a very good crier and does an amazing job making the audience feel her pain as she engages in increasingly risky behaviour to get to the bottom of her son's death.

Meanwhile, Oscar-winner Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour) plays scientist and college professor Dr Tyrone Brower, whose students' research on a new, supposedly non-addictive pain medication produces some highly concerning results.

Big issue: Evangeline Lilly stars as grieving mum Claire Reimann in new drama Crisis, rated MA15+, in cinemas now. Picture: Universal Pictures

Big issue: Evangeline Lilly stars as grieving mum Claire Reimann in new drama Crisis, rated MA15+, in cinemas now. Picture: Universal Pictures

Dr Brower attempts to warn the pharmaceutical company that their drug is far more damaging than they realise, but his fears are not taken to heart.

Finally, we have the police and criminal side of the story.

Undercover detective Jake Kelly has infiltrated the US/Canadian illicit oxy supply network and is working on his big bust. Meanwhile, his sister (Lily-Rose Depp, The King) is battling her own opioid addiction.

Jake's role takes up a big chunk of the film, and that's probably why Crisis has received very little promotion - the character is played by Armie Hammer.

While Hammer plays a great part, the controversy surrounding the actor at the moment (a simple Google should fill you in) has undoubtedly damaged this movie's release.

Crisis is an engaging and thought-provoking film with a great cast, but it does at times buckle under the weight of its storylines.

It certainly makes pain meds seem more frightening.

Rating: 7/10

This story Crisis film review: Strong cast in drug drama first appeared on St George & Sutherland Shire Leader.