Tag: Drugs

2015, Movies

Sicario (2015, Denis Villeneuve)

This is an extraordinarily tense and well-directed thriller about the escalation and increased militarization of the Ward on Drugs. For the most part, I really, really liked Sicario, but I struggled with something and I’m not sure whether or not it could have ended better. SPOILERS

2006, Movies

Cocaine Cowboys (2006, Billy Corben)

I have heard about this film from a number of people and wonder if we watched the same movie. This is a poorly made film that absolutely reeks of early digital technology (even if 2006 would suggest it wasn’t made with early digital technology). Why is it that so many people are okay with watching …

2008, Movies

Bigger Stronger Faster* (2008, Chris Bell)

This is an entertaining and thought provoking documentary about steroids in particular, and performance-enhancing drugs in general, in the US. The filmmaker uses the often annoying framing device of how the filmmaker and his family is affected by the issue, but here it actually works as it turns out the family is a bit of …

2015, Movies

Amy aka Raw: The Amy Winehouse Story (2015, Asif Kapadia)

This is a documentary about Amy Winehouse, her life, short career and struggles with fame and substance abuse. As a society, we always seem to gravitate to those artists we lose early in life, but in this particular case it seems that more of the story is about the problems of fame (and, particularly, the …

2015, Movies

Cartel Land (2015, Matthew Heineman)

This is a documentary about vigilantes that have appeared on both sides of the US-Mexican border as a result of the Cartels. The filmmakers takes a journalistic approach – as far as we can tell – for the most part and aims to document the vigilantes and their beliefs, rather than support or condemn them. …

2013, Movies, Sports

The Armstrong Lie (2013, Alex Gibney)

This is a fascinating film. It began as a documentary about Lance Armstrong’s 2009 comeback attempt but, before it was finished, new allegations emerged about Armstrong’s use of performance-enhancing drugs and the film was eventually altered significantly to focus on the revelations that soon followed. So there are really two movies that have been combined …

2007, Movies

American Gangster (2007, Ridley Scott)

This review is of the extended version, not the theatrical version. This movies tries to balance a number of competing crime genre tropes: the true crime story, the drug dealer biography, the police procedural; it often feels like a couple separate films put together. It’s ambitious but I’m not sure it’s entirely successful. However, how …