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‘Crisis’ review: Engaging top to bottom look at opioid issue in America

Thrilling and engaging.

Crisis is a thriller that focuses on the rising opioid issue in America. From the film’s opening moments, it is clearly going to be a tension filled story with a conscience. The real question is whether it can live up to its own lofty expectations. In order to give the story full weight, director Nicholas Jarecki presents three different storylines. This enables Crisis to look at the problem from different angles. This includes entering the boardrooms of big pharma to following addicts. This gives a grander scale to opioid issue.

Brining together a number of different plotlines can be confusing for any story.. While that is never the case in Crisis, there is a notable lack of development in other areas. Despite some strong performances, some of the characters are lacking in anything stronger than the most generic motivations. This takes away from some otherwise strong performances.

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This is most noticeable in the many subplots that are introduced. The story throws a number of threads out that ultimately do not lead to anything. Each of the three character’s segments include tiny details that would normally be used to flesh them out. That is not done here. It is in these moments that it seems Crisis would have been better served with a more focused script.


This is not to say that Crisis is an uninteresting film. On the contrary, it consistently holds the audience’s attention with its rapid fire storytelling. By constantly bouncing between the three scenarios, the plot presents a series of terse moments without negatively impacting the pacing. It is impossible to look away because there is always important information being divulged.

The film does an excellent job of keeping a consistent tone. The three arcs may concern different sides of the opioid crisis, but they all share a level of apprehension and distrust. As each story unfolds, this feeling never never lessens. Crisis is an ambitious attempt to take on America’s opioid problem head on. Using three narratives is a wise choice that shows how far reaching things have become. It is flawed at times, but it definitely worth watching.

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