Take Your Pills

Movie review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
Take Your Pills Movie Poster Image
Thought-provoking docu about rising amphetamine use.
  • NR
  • 2018
  • 87 minutes

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 1 review

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Asks what the cost is of our society's intense focus on material progress and productivity. College students and young tech workers insist that it's impossible to avoid stimulants and stimulant abuse. Social media fostering a desire to appear perfect, extremely competitive academic and workforce cultures, large companies in pursuit of profit, and a natural desire to do better all contribute to a dramatic increase in amphetamine use, which is now almost as pervasive as the opioid epidemic. People who take Adderall and other amphetamines for performance enhancement don't see themselves as engaging in criminal activity, often even forgetting that it's illegal.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Former NFL player Eben Britton is a good role model for stopping amphetamine use. Experts interviewed offer thought-provoking insights and good topics for discussion. Subjects interviewed who take Adderall and other amphetamines range from people with ADD to college students to people who work in high-pressure environments; they talk frankly about how the drugs help or don't help, with most agreeing that they increase your ability to stay focused and work long hours when needed.


Mentions past Wall Street workers partying with strippers. A work of art briefly in the foreground shows a nude male torso including genitalia. A Playboy magazine cover briefly shown with a woman posing suggestively but no sensitive body parts visible. A couple briefly kisses.


"F--k," "s--t," and variations infrequently.


Many brands of amphetamines mentioned, most often Adderall. Movie Limitless (or possibly the TV show) mentioned as affecting public perceptions of what drugs can do. Voss drinking water briefly shown.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Amphetamines are the topic of the documentary, so people are shown taking them and frankly discuss many aspects, positive and negative, of doing so. Lots of facts and some history of amphetamine use. Discussion of "microdosing" hallucinogenics like LSD and mushrooms as performance-enhancement alternative to amphetamines. A young man of unknown age holds what appears to be a beer bottle and smokes. A pack of cigarettes and lighter briefly shown. Mention that in the past cocaine was pervasive on Wall Street.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Take Your Pills is a documentary about how pervasive amphetamines like Adderall have become. People are shown taking pills, and subjects and experts alike talk frankly about many aspects of amphetamine use, both good and bad. There are some occasional instances of "f--k" and "s--t." Artwork on-screen briefly shows male genitalia, and a cover of Playboy magazine is briefly shown without any sensitive body parts visible. Lots of food for thought about our increasingly competitive society's emphasis on productivity and material progress. Physical effects of the drug are described, and context is provided from historical background of amphetamine use. Asks questions about using amphetamines for people with ADD and as a performance enhancer.  Best for mature teens and up, especially those who are highly motivated, competitive, or driven to excel so they can be encouraged to think carefully about choices they'll be faced with as they progress through life.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byKtjam3509 July 31, 2018
For those trying to get more information about ADHD, this is not it. ADHD is a serious disability where kids and adults are being diagnosed daily. I wasn’t diag... Continue reading
Adult Written byGloria S. March 31, 2018

Self-serving, attention-seeking pseudo documentary

Horrible vetting of sources.

Definite agenda.

The two producers have ADHD and prefer to think of it as a creative feature. They are also massively wealthy and... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old May 1, 2018

Inaccurate Perspective

This Netflix documentary isn't really accurate. It states that ADD and ADHD are over-prescribed and that it is unnecessary to take medication for it. ADD a... Continue reading

What's the story?

As our world becomes more competitive, results-oriented, and addicted to social media, TAKE YOUR PILLS explores amphetamine use, from its discovery in 1929 to its current pervasiveness anywhere there are people driven to do better. A wide range of people talk frankly about using amphetamines like Adderall or giving them to their children. Positive effects are mentioned, but questions are also raised. Is taking Adderall no big deal, or does it alienate us from fully experiencing what it is to be human?

Is it any good?

Refreshingly free of heavy-handed scare tactics, this documentary calmly and rationally explores rising amphetamine use by asking thought-provoking questions and promoting thorough understanding. A few times, Take Your Pills comes close to scare territory by driving home a sense of overwhelming, unavoidable pervasiveness, which may alarm some viewers. But overall it examines many aspects of amphetamine use without shying away from the benefits of it or trying to create fear. It presents amphetamine use, especially in the way it relates to mental health issues, as something we should discuss openly so that we can decide how we want to handle it as a society and as individuals.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what they learned about amphetamines from Take Your Pills. Did any of the information surprise you? Was there anything that was hard to believe, or that accurately reflected your own experiences or perceptions of amphetamine use?

  • What's wrong with taking an occasional Adderall to help study for a test, or get a bunch of work done on a tight deadline? Does the documentary talk about consequences? What are they?

  • Did the movie change your mind about amphetamines or cause you to think about them differently? How?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love documentaries

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate