Tag Archives: drugs

Sherry Baby – 2006 – Laurie Collyer

Maggie Gyllenhall plays the eponymous Sherry Baby, a recovering heroin addict just released from a three year stint in prison. The film focuses on her attempts to rehabilitate, reconnect with her daughter and become a working member of society. While the storyline is neither original nor unpredictable Gyllenhall is singularly impressive. JJ

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Naked Blood – 1995 – Hisayasu Sato

A very bizarre, dated, Japanese movie about a high-school teenager’s quest to rid the world of sadness and pain, by replacing it with happiness and ecstasy. He spikes his mother’s experimental test subjects with his test serum, and videotapes their progression as well as orgies and the elation of eventual death. A weird film. Brian Murray

Carlito’s Way – 1993 – Brian de Palma

cw.jpgUpon release from jail Carlito (Al Pacino) is determined to straighten out his life but unwittingly his nefarious past catches up with him through the dealings of his buddy David Kleinfeld (Sean Penn). The film follows his attempts to cut the umbilical chord to his life of crime. Great movie with outstanding performances. Neha Kumar

Half Baked – 1998 – Tamra Davis

images6.jpegHB is the stuff of stoner legend. Dave Chappelle provides the guidance for a team of potheads to spring their friend from behind bars. With character names like Mary Jane Potman, Simpson Samson and Thurgood Jenkins – a.k.a. Sir Smoke-a-Lot – director Tamra Davis created an underrated comedy classic. JJ

American Gangster – 2007 – Ridley Scott

1174257.jpgThe Godfather meets Goodfellas to tell the gripping story of the rise and fall of a black emperor from Harlem in the 70’s. Denzel Washington’s Frank Lucas is set to do what “no fucking nigger’s ever accomplished what American Mafia couldn’t”. Washington is dazzling, and Russell Crowe his nemesis, plays an honest cop in the corrupt world New York law enforcement. Omid Nikfarjam


You got to be fairly cocky to call your film American Gangster; as if it’s the gangster film of films. It isn’t – but it is a well-crafted story, brimming with plenty of classic complex characters, based on the true story of ‘70s Harlem Robin Hood and heroin kingpin, Frank Lucas. I suspect that in spite of Lucas’ failings, Ridley Scott’s depiction makes him a role model more popular than that other American Gangster biding his time in the Whitehouse. JJ

Things We Lost in the Fire – 2007 – Susanne Bier

I watched ‘Things’ with critics at the London Film Festival – beforehand they were talking about sandals in cinema and in California. ‘Things’ is an unravelling tale of bereavement – intimate (heart-warming), sentimental and exceptional. Confirms Benicio Del Toro as the foremost actor in Hollywoodland – Oscar contender for his drug addict character.