Feb. 10, 2024 – At the Sundance Film Festival I watched depressing flick after depressing flick about dealers, addicts, good trips, bad trips, pills, pot, meth, coke, Rohypnol, injectable steroids and more like I was perusing a Tijuana pharmacy. Drugs rained down in comedies, dramas, horror and biopics. If there had been a kids’ film about a crackhead talking duck, nobody would have blinked an eye.

By the end of the week, I had overdosed on the stuff. 

This critic jetted home to New York in critical condition. Before my bleary eyes, the Sundance Film Festival had morphed into the Substance Film Festival.

Is widespread drug abuse an extremely relevant issue in America? Obviously. 

But just as screamingly apparent is that a kilo of deflating, predictable movies about narcotics and dope are not going to bring hesitant audiences back to struggling movie theaters. 

Some of the films were good, some were awful.