Broken Vessels

This story about a pair of emergency medical technicians, as committed to saving other people's lives as they are to wrecking their own, appears earnest and honest. Jimmy (Todd Field) seems able to live on the edge indefinitely, taking illegal drugs even as he administers legal ones to his patients; he wants his partner to be his protege. Tom (Jason London) has come to LA to make a fresh start, as he tells us in a voice-over that probably isn't necessary: his point of view is securely established by director Scott Ziehl, as the character juggles disturbing hallucinations and the demands of his new job. This highly accomplished exploration of how and how long two strung out guys can keep functioning lures us into their world without judging them—unlike so many addiction movies, which rely more heavily on hindsight than insight. Written by Ziehl, David Baer, and John McMahon.

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