DID YOU READ

The 30 Greatest Drug Scenes of All Time

The 30 Greatest Drug Scenes of All Time (photo)

Posted by on

There are plenty of movies that depict drug use, but often it’s just a prop, a shortcut — a character does drugs on screen because he or she is bad, or out of control, or doomed, or simply not to be trusted. The effects are exaggerated, the consequences over the top or unrealistic. And so we felt driven to make this list, to sort through countless films to find drug scenes, some famous, some not, that have a ring of authenticity to them. The 30 scenes we picked are funny, sad, outrageous and sometimes awful, and they’re certainly not all depictions of drug use as fun, but we feel pretty certain of their legit greatness. In other words? No “Reefer Madness” here.

[#26-30]   [#21-25]   [#16-20]   [#11-15]   [#6-10]   [#1-5]


30. Creedence Car Crash
“The Big Lebowski” (1998)
Directed by Joel Coen

White Russians may be the Dude’s poison, but it is a simple joint that nearly proves to be his undoing when he finally recovers his crapped out ’73 Ford Torino and the beloved Creedence Clearwater Revival tape that he left inside when it was stolen. Paranoid that he’s being followed by a mysterious VW beetle while listening to “Looking Out My Back Door,” the Dude finds himself in the nightmare scenario for anyone who’s ever smoked in their car when his attempt to flick the remnants of his doobie out the window lead to it bouncing back into his lap. He furiously fumbles for it out of concern it’ll set his crotch ablaze, yelping and trying to douse things with the beer he’s been drinking. What’s amazing about the scene is how what begins as a simple sight gag turns into a microcosm of the Dude’s entire odyssey, ending with the revelation of who destroyed his car (via a term paper on the Louisiana Purchase in the crevice of the cracked vinyl interior) when all he really wanted was to find his joint. And as with any trip, revelations occur in the most unexpected places, sometimes leaving a crashed car to show for it. —SS


29. Drey Discovers Dan in the Bathroom
“Half Nelson” (2006)
Directed by Ryan Fleck

One of the most empathetic and original portraits of drug addiction in recent memory is that offered by “Half Nelson,” the 2006 debut of writing and directing partners Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden. The film follows a Brooklyn junior high school teacher and basketball coach named Dan Dunne (played by Ryan Gosling) who also happens to be a crack addict. The pivotal scene is one in which Dunne seems about to cross the line between being a high-functioning addict and one who is officially out of control. Following a basketball practice he steals into the emptied girls’ locker room, shutting himself into a stall to smoke some crack. Tension builds around Dan’s need for release and competing need, perhaps, to be caught; the scene is shot as a sort of mosaic of impressions and fragmented angles. After taking his first hit a young student (Shareeka Epps) enters the next stall, and upon leaving discovers her teacher and coach in the throes of obliterative high. Her response is what makes the scene and sets the movie on its course. Fearful and yet contained, she doesn’t run and doesn’t yell, she just stays by his side until he’s able to figure out what he has to do. —MO


28. Elliott Joins Beverly in Drug Addiction
“Dead Ringers” (1988)
Directed by David Cronenberg

Whether they involve drugs or not, nearly all of David Cronenberg’s movies touch on the ecstatic euphoria and physical decay of addiction. In “Dead Ringers,” the schizophrenic life of a high-functioning addict is doubly made flesh in the persons of twin gynecologists of Beverly and Elliot Mantle, both played by Jeremy Irons. As Beverly descends into addiction, aided by drug-seeking actress Genviève Bujold, Elliot keeps up appearances, seamlessly substituting for his brother in high-pressure situations. But the façade inevitably cracks, and Elliot follows his brother down the rabbit hole. The final sequence, in which one eviscerates the other, serves as a chilling encapsulation of addiction’s endgame. In the end, all they have is their need, which consumes them both. —SA


27. Dinner Party Disaster
“The Boost” (1988)
Directed by Harold Becker

The afternoon before his big dinner with prospective investors, Lenny Brown (James Woods) does everything right, tipping the maître d’ to book his favorite table at an upper crust restaurant and refusing the Quaaludes offered by his neighbor to calm his nerves as ’80s smooth jazz swells in the background. But on the verge of landing the real estate deal of his career, Lenny can’t keep up the act, sneaking two lines of coke in the bathroom after his reservation gets screwed up, thus screwing over himself by returning to the table and launching into a tirade after his integrity is questioned. “My idea’s going to be on the cover of Fortune. You know what these guys are going to be doing? Carrying around some Arab’s dick,” he barks at his helpless wife (Sean Young). The anti-Middle Eastern sentiment may be the influence of “The Boost”‘s author, noted conservative and “Ferris Bueller” star Ben Stein, but the live wire act is all Woods, who probably unleashed a similar invective backstage at that year’s Spirit Awards where he was nominated, but did not win, for his electric performance. —SS


26. Church Hallucination/Confession
“Bad Lieutenant” (1992)
Directed by Abel Ferrara

If drugs can provide ecstatic highs, they can also result in the deepest of lows, magnifying pain and suffering in ways that border on the cruel. It’s this latter effect that marks the torturous church sequence in Abel Ferrara’s notorious “Bad Lieutenant,” in which Harvey Keitel’s dissolute cop confronts his moral and spiritual crisis through a narcotized encounter with Jesus. Wailing in agony, Keitel is visited by a vision of Christ, whom he first berates for being silent in the face of his own suffering, and then to whom he confesses his sins (“I’ve done bad things!”). It’s a portrait of accusatory rage, grief and self-castigation that encapsulates the character’s torment — and, via a final shot in which Keitel kisses Jesus’ feet and then looks up to see that he’s actually accosting a stunned parishioner, the film’s black sense of humor. Repudiating the notion that they’re merely a gateway to escape, Ferrara argues that, though drugs may offer momentary reprieve from personal misery, they ultimately amplify, and thus reveal, the true self. —NS


[#26-30]   [#21-25]   [#16-20]   [#11-15]   [#6-10]   [#1-5]

Watch More
Brockmire-103-banner-4

Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

Posted by on

He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

Watch More
Brockmire_101_tout_2

Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

Posted by on
GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

Watch More
Brockmire-Sam-Adams-great-effing-beer

Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

Posted by on

From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

via GIPHY

It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

Watch More
Powered by ZergNet