‘The Oxy Kingpins’ (2021) | SXSW ’21 | Movie Review


Brendan Fitzgerald

‘The Oxy Kingpins’ follows the untold story of how a network of pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors, and retailers worked together to orchestrate and perpetuate the opioid crisis that has killed over half a million people in America. We look at how the pharmaceutical industry, medical industry, and prescription drug addiction are all connected and work together to profit off of Americans every day.

This is the first feature film from The Young Turks, a political news organization with mostly left-leaning viewpoints. this is important to know where the source is coming from when it comes to a documentary. This doc showcases less of the political side of it but more the legal and illegal side of Oxy addiction. All this being said. The findings from this documentary are incredibly damning and important for people to know. Obviously, many already know about prescription drug addiction and how it affects us and our families. What we don’t know is the political gains and financial gains addiction gives to the people we trust to keep our health in mind.

The direction by Brendan Fitzgerald is familiar to his work from VICE news and is impactful. The first act is a little sluggish but once the film centers in on the main issues you are sucked into it. Whether The Young Turks are as unbiased as VICE with it’s features can be questionable, however, ‘The Oxy Kingpins’ evokes a lot of shock and outrage at how much we’ve let our lives be controlled by money hungry people with no worry of the public or the general good.

The real emotion comes from seeing the people affected by addiction, whether they lost someone, or were still on the road to recovery. The story could easily be more of a fact based info dump but because of these powerful interviews the film is lifted by them.

Overall, ‘The Oxy Kingpins’ is a look at the systemic acceptance of opioid addiction and pleas to its audience to take note and act.

Check out the video review below!

Patrick Beatty
Patrick Beatty

Patrick Beatty is a film critic and creator of PatrickBeattyReviews.com and the Gaggle of Geeks Podcast network. Watch him Friday’s on ABC4 Good Things Utah talk about movies and follow all his work in the link below.

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