Prescription Thugs

Directed by Chris Bell

Starring Christopher Bell

Americans consume 75% of the world’s prescription drugs. After losing his own brother to the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse, documentarian Chris Bell sets out to demystify this insidious addiction. Bell’s examination into the motives of big pharma and doctors in this ever-growing market leads him to meet with experts on the nature of addiction, survivors with first-hand accounts of their struggle, and whistleblowers who testify to the dollar-driven aims of pharmaceutical corporations. Ultimately his investigation will point back to where it all began: his own front door.


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  • ★★★½ review by cips916 on Letterboxd

    A look at the prescription epidemic we suffer from in this country, mainly from muscly users. Also touches on the lack of incentive of the pharma industry to take any action.

  • ★★★★ review by Reed Benson on Letterboxd

    I don't think it's quite as engaging as Bigger, Stronger, Faster*, but it's an interesting (and heartbreaking) follow-up on the Bell family. I think the biggest difference is that BSF had the benefit of lots of wrestling and bodybuilding stuff to use as footage, but there isn't a whole lot of material to use as visuals in a documentary about meds, so they throw in a bunch of movie clips for gags. It works all right, but it's not the same.

  • ★★★★½ review by Matthew H on Letterboxd

    Prescription Thugs didn't really tell me anything I didn't already know but it took all of the hot button topics of prescription drug abuse and presented them in an entertaining and informative way. 

    The most startling thing about this epidemic is we are all only one accident away from potentially ruining our lives by becoming addicted to pain killers.

  • ★★★★ review by Chris Franklin on Letterboxd

    Chris Bell has done it again. A great revealing documentary covering all sides of the prescription drug problem in our society. Nothing will surprise you but it should move us all to action.

  • ★★★★½ review by nthnmartin on Letterboxd

    Similar to his last documentary, director Chris Bell's Prescription Thugs is a deeply personal film that has a brisk and light feel as we deal with heavy subject matter. Bell is a fantastic filmmaker, he knows how to keep a balance of tone that makes the film an enjoyable experience, but also is able to tug at your emotions.

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