Time Out says
It’s easy to see why the junkie’s journey would appeal to movie stars: You get to play everything from the heights of chemical reverie to the depths of degrading yourself for a fix. A cynical person might think that this Aussie take on the heroin addict’s lament was constructed solely as an actors’ showcase, with both Heath Ledger and Abbie Cornish taking care to hit all requisite points of needle-park panic. First comes the eye-rolling ecstasy, followed by the inevitable plummeting to rock bottom. Let’s trot out the rest: cold-turkey flailings, tragic attempts at cleaning up and relapses that dig even deeper holes.
Both leads go through their paces with gusto, though Cornish might have benefited from a bit more life experience before tackling this part. The film’s problems, however, are much larger than whether the performers can convince you that they’re truly wasted, or even whether director Neil Armfield’s artistic flourishes complement Candy’s human carnage (he divides the film into sections titled Heaven, Earth and—sigh—Hell). In terms of narco-realism or just-say-no parables, there’s simply nothing new being said here that justifies another descent into druggy despair. Still, all that screaming and twitching should make for some lovely clips for the actors’ reels. (Opens Fri; Angelika.) — David Fear