Killing Pain
Review by Ross Anthony

Exceptionally well-edited, crisply paced, always entertaining and compelling. It's a good looking film with an apropos winter blue color grade, and a slowly circling widening camera that mimics a bystander backing away from the conflict or danger while drawn to watch at the same time. Performances are overall good, occasionally uneven, yet often enough excellent. Scenes are carefully directed with strong tension, build and pace. I liked the score.

The opioid epidemic is approached from several angles - each angle gets a main character and a storyline. The Gary Oldman storyline anchors the film. And for that reason, I would have liked "the rat test" controversy to have been sussed out further than a single line. I find it fascinating that scientists are questioning the human relevancy of mice test results in many instances. Wouldn't the Oldman character have considered this before risking his career? But then again, if his career is built on the backs of mice - he may not. Either way, such discourse would have made for some interesting complications, conversations, compromises in the film. But then again, I can't argue with the perfect pace that resulted without that additional dialogue.

There are a couple of other issues I found with the film, however, as not to spoil, I'll reserve those. (I'll be posting audio of a rousing conversation I had with director Nicholas Jarecki. If you don't mind spoilers you can check that out.) Let me instead praise the acting of Michael Aronov, he plays the Armenian buyer. Oldman is quite strong, but Aronov in his small part, knocks it out of the park.

Crisis is an intense compelling ride, a beautifully crafted film that feels to me like it should've added up to a bit more. Yet it is always entertaining and sheds light on an important issue. We can hope its distribution outpaces the nasty side effects of these drugs and helps hold some of the offending parties a bit more accountable, while preventing a few more souls from falling into this addiction in the first place.

Listen to my lively interview with CRISIS writer/director Nicholas Jarecki.

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  • Crisis. Copyright © 2021.
  • Starring Georgie Henleyc Skandar Keynes, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Kiran Shah, Liam Neeson.
  • Written and Directed by Nicholas Jarecki. Starring Gary Oldman, Armie Hammer, Evangeline Lilly, Greg Kinnear, Michelle Rodriguez, Luke Evans, Lily-Rose Depp, Scott "Kid Cudi" Mescudi, Duke Nicholson, Michael Aronov. Matisse Pictures, Burn Later Productions, Paradise City Films, Bideford Productions, Tuesday Films, Les Productions LOD, Construction Film, Green Room Films.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Monday, 03-May-2021 18:36:30 PDT