Parents' Guide to


By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Overwrought drug drama is dark, tense, and violent.

Movie R 2021 118 minutes
Crisis Poster Image

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Jarecki explores lots of ideas that don't quite come together in a cohesive way about a topic that's deserving of a better movie. Audiences are better off reading Dopesick and Dreamland instead. The movie seems directly influenced by Steven Soderbergh's Traffic, with interlocking stories that, here, chronicle various aspects of the legal and illegal pharmaceutical drug business and how that translates to violence and street addiction. The cast is talented, although negative publicity about Hammer's personal life might be difficult for some audiences to ignore. And Oldman is a superb actor, but here he's in such full-on yelling mode that he could rival Al Pacino. Lilly, meanwhile, has to evolve from a weeping, grieving mother into a Liam Neeson-style avenging parent.

Individually, each thread could have made a thoughtful -- and thought-provoking -- movie. Mixed all together, however, the ultimate message is overly preachy and unsatisfying. Considering that the opioid epidemic is one of the United States' most devastating and important health crises, it's understandable why Jarecki (who unnecessarily cast himself in a fairly prominent supporting role as Jake's partner) chose it. But there's a lack of nuance in Crisis, and it doesn't meet the potential of its acting ensemble or its themes.

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