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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 41.67%
Average: 8.33%
Pretty Bad: 4.17%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 18 user ratings

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Most High
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by Scott Weinberg

"Lowlights from the high life"
4 stars

Most of the more recent cinematic cautionary tales about drug abuse (Requiem for a Dream, Trainspotting, Spun, etc.) focus on the 'after' - what happens once addiction has taken hold and transformed you into a jittering junkie. But here's a low-budget little indie flick that starts a few steps earlier - with a normal guy who enjoys his quiet little life. For a while, anyway.

I've never heard of this Marty Sader guy. According to the IMDb, his only previous work was "Uncredited" in a 1993 movie called The Ice Runner. So when I slid this movie (which Marty co-wrote, directed, and starred in) into my VCR, I had very little to go on. Not a problem, because it's clear after only 15 minutes that Marty has some solid skills as a filmmaker. Directorially, he keeps perhaps just a bit too much fat on the bones of his debut film, but as a writer, he captures the grimy grimness of drug addiction with a knowing intensity. Performance-wise, Marty comes off the best. His performance may sound gimmicky on paper (the guy loses about 75 pounds as the movie progresses) but there's some real talent on display here.

Basically, Most High is about a perfectly middle-of-the-road fellow named Julius who lands on some hard times (girlfriend takes off, adopted father passes away, fired from a job he loves) and falls ass-backwards into the depths of drug addiction. As is often the case in situations like this, Julius finds a kindred spirit with whom he can share his quick-fix degradations, and that person is the tempting but tortured young Erica, daughter of Julius' recently-deceased father figure.

The pair take to medicating themselves right out of pain, but it's not too long before Julius begins to rediscover a whole new meaning for the word "pain". To its credit, Most High is not about the act of getting high or why the addicts do what they do. This is a bold and effective cautionary tale, one that shows us how resoundingly simple it is to resort to a needle when the beer stops numbing your pain.

Most High is about the very nature of addiction. It paints an eerily accurate picture of how a Normal Joe can quickly end up in the dankest pits of despair. As a "drug movie", Most High may not be as flashy or exciting as it's arthouse counterparts, but there's an inherent sense of sincerity in the movie that helps one overlook a few dry spots and the now-familiar quick-cut druggie montages. Boasting excellent performances from two current-unknowns (Sader's co-star / co-writer Laura Keys delivers some blistering work) and an insightful approach to a horrific subject, Most High is an astute no-budget nightmare...and that's meant as a compliment.

"Most High" may not be everyone's cup of coffee, but it marks a suprisingly effective debut...especially when you consider how many times we've been offered similar stories in recent years.

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originally posted: 10/05/04 07:06:03
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Atlanta Film Festival For more in the 2005 Atlanta Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

10/20/13 Raito This ain't your "fun" drug movie. It's dark, dark, dark. 1 or 2 phenomenal scenes as well. 3 stars
12/05/11 Digdug It takes a second before it takes off, but when it does you're in for a ride. In a good way 4 stars
8/12/11 Kyle Powerful. Captivating. Go watch. 5 stars
5/10/11 jacqueline obrien Excellent indie film with star performances from the actors. 5 stars
5/05/11 jamie 3410s really spot on acting shockingly accurate drug portrait. 4 stars
3/21/11 Jamie Moser Sedar's physical appareance was spot on, he's truely amazing! 5 stars
12/09/10 Pat Pulitano Marty Sader's transformation made me sick and I mean that in a professional acting way. 5 stars
8/07/10 keith iacono an adept debut from a fresh new figure and hopefully the ascension of new talent! 4 stars
2/18/08 ishmael gonzalo heart and talent supersede any flaws the film may have 4 stars
1/19/08 mick it was barely watchable, but his transformation was a bit impressive. but doesn't save film 3 stars
1/09/08 better than sadler typical American fare. perhaps I should not have come off a bunch of amasing "foreign" fil 2 stars
10/13/05 EVE(a dude named JUDE) Song(slip&slide)Great Film!!Great Song!!!! 5 stars
8/22/05 Andy Anderson Great. Real. Scary 5 stars
12/19/04 Steve Simmons The acting is amazing and shows huge range in directing. Very talented. 5 stars
11/04/04 Alan Barry Early comic input between lead Sader and Josh Taback makes core of film even more intense. 5 stars
10/18/04 Bill Kenney Fabulous. Very real & does a great job of showing a very nice man trapped in an addiction. 5 stars
10/18/04 Kerry Kenney engrossing, true and not completely depressing. Highly recommend. 5 stars
10/13/04 Gary kuhn Very well done, especially on that budget. Great acting and directing 5 stars
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Directed by
  Marty Sader

Written by
  Marty Sader
  Laura Keys

  Marty Sader
  Laura Keys
  Kenyon Robertson
  Josh Taback
  John Klemantaski
  Sarah Scott

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