Feature

Pusher

A drug dealer tastes the trade’s dark side.

Directed by Luis Prieto (R)

**

Though predictable, this remake of a 1996 Danish crime film is “fast-moving, stylish, and gritty” enough to entertain, said Bill Goodykoontz in the Phoenix Arizona Republic. Actually, it “would be practically unwatchable” without a strong lead performance, but Richard Coyle “makes us care about a pretty sketchy character”—a successful London cocaine dealer named Frank who gets in over his head when he tries to pull off a big score. There’s at least one major upside to the trouble that ensues, said Lisa Schwarzbaum in Entertainment Weekly. Reprising his role from the original, “colorful” Croatian-Danish actor Zlatko Buric plays the “jovially menacing foreign heavy” who’s out to collect the money he lent to Frank. His performance is the best part of the film. Director Luis Prieto “tells the tale well enough,” considering that he’s working with “the sort of drug- movie tropes we’ve seen a hundred times before,” said Michael O’Sullivan in The Washington Post. But in the end, you just feel “pushed into a corner”—forced to care about Frank “because there’s really no one else to root for.”

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