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Dome Pondering Movie Review: Pain Hustlers (2023)

What is it about?

Based on a true story, Liza dreams of a better life for herself and her daughter and turns an opportunity for a bankrupt pharmaceutical company into an ethical conundrum leading to a federal criminal conspiracy. 

Who is in it?

Emily Blunt - Liza Drake 

Chris Evans - Pete Brenner 

Catherine O'Hara - Jackie

Favorite Scene: 

[spoiler alert]

After a character we never met other than through his kindness is known to have overdosed, Liza tries to reach out to the wife and is met with a cold acceptance. 

Favorite Quote: 

"And then you climb a couple tax brackets, and it's the same old grift, only for money, and it smells like gardenias and alpaca shit" 


Pain Hustlers was one of Netflix's big pushes and I decided to watch it. Sure, the trailer alone is intriguing drawing immediate comps to Scarface or The Wolf of Wall Street, but more so in the sense that the pharma world was the draw.  

The beginning of this film starts quick and the immediate interviews pull you in. However, once the plot unfolds, you quickly begin to learn feel, and root for this underdog character of Liza Drake played by Emily Blunt. 

The film is easy to follow regarding the wrongdoings, the complexity of the business of pharma, and overall, how it affects innocent people looking for relief. It focuses on the greed and predatory nature of the pharma world. The film did leave a part of me wanting for more as there is so much more complexity beyond the money within the system, however, it is understood the focus on Liza. 

Overall, Pain Hustlers is a good watch. It exposes quite a bit of reality, but you do wish for more. 

Grade: 3/5

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