Intoxicating (2003) Poster


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Dark assignment
maggiepie828 June 2005
For starters: I was given this film as an assignment by my film school college professor. Went to see it at Edwards University 6 in Irvine, CA. One of those small indie films where I could tell part of the audience dug it, and part didn't.

Very dark and unforgiving in tone. Seldom have I seen a film with a more unlikable lead character. But, somehow I did like him. Maybe it was the devil may care grin. The filmmaker never wavers or backs away from the characters lifestyle. Not a film for everyone for sure. It is the character study about a young surgeon who parties like a mad man at night. One night stands between surgeries during the day. I left worn out like the main character. Supposedly based on a true story. Certainly felt real.

Film felt like it could have been a bit shorter. Middle drags a bit. Well shot, with a hip score (although a bit too loud). All in all, I recommend it.
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depressing but real
oba-15 August 2004
Let me start by saying I am not a fan of "down and out stories" (ie I didn't care for Leaving Las Vegas). This one is certainly a down and out story with a twist. That being the substance abuser in this film is a surgeon. Which is quite a scary thought. I scored the film an "eight" largely because of the incredibly realistic portrayal of the surgeon by the lead actor. Also, enjoyed Eric Roberts being subtle for change. Kinda like in his glory days. This film reminds me of how terrific an actor he is. The film could have been better with different set of lead actresses. Not that they were bad just not anywhere near the level of the lead actor or other members of the cast. Not for everyone but I would recommend giving the film a look. If not just to make you wary of being under a surgeon's care.
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Realistic tale of substance abuse
michelle-14615 April 2004
As someone who has grown up with parents in AA this film is as close to the reality of it all as I have seen. Lead Actor Kirk Harris' performance is at once incredible and should be star making. The stories centers around a young doctor with a large appetite for drugs and alcohol. His arrogance is offset by the love he has for his dying father played by John Savage. Eric Roberts does a terrific job as his drug dealer. A guy who lives in the suburbs and who looks anything but a drug dealer. It is clearly the best Eric Roberts has been in a film since Runaway Train. The visuals of the film give the frantic life of the lead character a whole other level usually not seen in independent film. The hip hop soundtrack adds an extremely modern edge to this film as well. It was odd but cool to see hip hop artists rap over the tale of a caucasian doctor. I applaud the filmmakers for being this eclectic and having the courage to take on this heart wrenching subject matter. The film reminds me of another of my all time favorites in Leaving Las Vegas. I would also recommend it to anyone who dug Requiem for a Dream or the lost gem Clean and Sober.
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Very realistic
YopoM777777728 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I think that the lack of name brand Hollywood stars, and the somber way it is presented, actually make this quite a good movie. You'd be surprised how accurate this is, as many of the hospital "best" actually are the abusers. In "Leaving Las Vegas", it was just too much of a show, whereas this really makes a person step back and think about it all. I thought it was very good, and so recommend it. Also, it is not depressing at all, but has a nice follow through into "doing the right thing". I was never bored by the film, and I thought it progressed very well, never leaving you with wandering thoughts - it was well focused.


I also liked the way Roos was portrayed as someone highly attracted to Harris, yet knowing it was wrong, and struggling to cope between what should be done and what she was doing. Again, right on the money, very realistic, as this struggle happens to a lot of people.
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Just watch the trailer
sinjac29 October 2006
Don't bother watching the movie. The trailer is the best part. The rest is just filler party and bar scenes and little dialog. Don't even bother to turn on subtitles because most of the dialog is just "heh baby" or "heh sweetheart".

The only suspense in this movie was wondering if Dr Shanley has a cleaning service. There was vomit on the bed linens when he went to the ER. When he returned home the rumpled bed linens were the same but the vomit was gone.

The film could have been condensed to 30minutes are less. I suppose this isn't the worst film I've seen--since I did stay with it till the end, but it ranks pretty low.
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UncleBobMartin22 May 2005
A self-centered, wholly contemptible heart surgeon does everything in his power to ruin his life and to hurt the two women who are self-destructive enough to believe they love him.

He is, of course, highly successful, and subsequently suffers enough to become a better person.

Unfortunately, by this time I had developed such an intense dislike for this cretin that the only ending that would have been satisfying to me would have been to see him choke to death on his own vomit. No such luck.

Somehow, he manages to suck down tons of drugs from an apparently uninventoried hospital dispensary, bring an OD case into the hospital without ever being questioned by hospital staff about his role in the incident, and even collapse in the middle of heart surgery, without immediate consequences. Whether any or all of these incidents has anything to do with his later suspension from said hospital is a mystery, they never pick any one reason for the suspension.

Even if this were a good movie, it would be damn near ruined by the too-loud and uninspired soundtrack, alternating with scenes where the barely-talented leads mumble their lines in an evocation of intimacy...if you turn it up at such junctures, prepare to be blasted by bad orchestrations with the next scene change.

I got sucked into watching this crud by the other reviewers here at IMDb. I have since checked their posting history, and none of them have much background - each of them wrote one to three reviews total, each was active as a "reviewer" for a single day. Don't get hyped!


This review has been voted down as "not useful" by 18 of 27. If you look at my other reviews on IMDb, *nowhere else* will you see 27 people interested enough in my review to vote. I can only presume that this mob is the same hypesters at work who gave this execrable piece of dreck such glowing reviews.
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One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer
valis194928 April 2009
Actually, not as bad as I expected. Bookended by two "C List" stars from the 80's(John Savage/Eric Roberts) the plot predictably lurches through the expected scrutiny of lines, pills and booze. This whole subject has been covered and recovered numerous times before-sometimes better, and sometimes worse. However, this film seems to forget one essential element of the genre. Where was the clamor to 'Get Treatment!'? In this film, good honest work is presented as a solution to his problem without even the suggestion of therapy. The entire medical profession seems to believe that it is entirely beyond the realm of possibility that an individual can overcome an addiction without help. Is this film suggesting a new avenue, or is it just sloppy film-making? I think the latter.
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A scary kind of heart surgeon
screentime13 September 2006
I was just reading an article on addiction and doctors when I rented this one...

How appropriate. Never heard of it before and was surprised. A much better film than the cover (which looked kinda "B". It is obviously a low budget film but certainly has heart and good performances. Dug that it wasn't afraid to be a little sexy too. A tad slow for a commercial film. Had a late sixties/early seventies feel to it (sans the hip hop soundtrack) which made me dig it all the more. Online I found a mention that the film was based on a true story. If that is so it is actually quiet a scary film.
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Intoxicating is NOT so Intoxicating!
WhiteTigerPat1314 March 2006
This was a movie all about drugs and relationships! It was OK. I got a advance copy of the DVD and it's just a OK movie. The actors are good in it but very bland! If you want to do a character study on the subject of drugs rent or buy this movie, if not it is a interesting movie, but it's kinda boring at times but intense at the same time! I LOVE Eric Roberts and every movie he is in I watch! He was very good! So if you like drug movies and Eric Roberts WATCH IT! Also I have to give Mark David a lot of credit. It a strong subject and hard to do! It's directed pretty good and the actors are good, but look for the actors to do better projects, but I look forward to Mark David next feature!
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