LOWS AND HIGHS
With Louis Theroux’s controversial new drugs doco Heroin Town hitting cinemas on Friday, here are five more movies where it is all about substances over style
AMAZON, ITUNES In mid-2018, there is going to be a remake — please let it be good! — so there is no better time to renew acquaintances with the original, which is still as madly addictive (in so many ways) as ever. It’s all about the ever-increasing mania of Al Pacino as Tony Montana, a Cuban refugee who won’t be budged from his hard-earned throne as the kingpin of Florida’s cocaine trade.
FOXTEL NOW A nightmarishly telling take on what it’s like to be young, in love and on heroin. Junkie poet Heath Ledger and promising young artist Abbie Cornish do the his‘n’hers habit thing, hitting an early high before plummeting to a series of shocking lows. The convincing performances (particularly Ledger, who looks ravaged throughout) are the trump card played by an underrated Australian drama.
NETFLIX, STAN A powerful report from one of the most active and dangerous front lines of the war on drugs, where the trafficking of illicit substances is relentless: the border separating Texas and Mexico. Emily Blunt stars as a naive FBI agent invited to join a black-ops project whose prime architects (played by Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro) are working to a radical new agenda.
STAN What if there was a top-secret drug that could activate that fabled 90 per cent of our brains that we never use? What if a tablet taken daily suddenly turned you into an all-seeing, all-achieving mastermind? What next? Poverty-stricken writer Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) is about to find out all the answers the hard way. A trashy, splashy thriller not afraid of an unpredictable twist or two.
PINEAPPLE EXPRESS (2008)
NETFLIX Seth Rogen stars as a potaddicted process server on the run from a murderous drug lord. Meanwhile, James Franco steals the show as a blissfully out-ofit dealer. This fitfully hilarious, sporadically surreal comedy is everything a weedwhacked viewer could possibly want from a night on the couch. Plenty of strong laughs for unimpaired onlookers as well, but be prepared for a jarring, violent finale.