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  • Jennifer Green

Review: "Pain Hustlers"

This film's star-studded cast and storyline ripped from headlines will make it a draw for audiences, who will find a well-acted but uneven and flawed film. The morality tale that is Pain Hustlers shifts tones abruptly in its third act, where greedy and unethical characters get their comeuppance.


We're supposed to feel bad for main character Liza, a loving single mom worn down by the indignities of poverty and seemingly the only fentanyl hustler with a conscience. And while we might empathize with the depiction of her personal circumstances, it's hard to extend that to her work, and this ultimately weakens the film's arc and intended pay-off.


The script and direction get so caught up in building their manic corporate success story that they all but ignore the human cost at first, as if there weren't a crisis beyond this particular drug.


The actors are all doing good work, especially American-accented Blunt. Evans and García are appropriately sleazy, and the secondary cast is memorable (led by O'Hara, Jay Duplass as the jealous coworker, Coleman and Brian d'Arcy James as a corrupt doctor).


But ultimately, the tragic reality undermines the entertainment value of this movie.


 

Full review published on CommonSenseMedia.

Images courtesy of Netflix.

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