(CNN)"Dopesick" is simply a large undertaking, exploring the opioid situation from aggregate angles, including the ground-level carnage inflicted by OxyContin addiction, Purdue Pharma's interior workings and the authorities unit seeking to combat it. Scattered successful places, successful its totality it's an engrossing eight-part series, made much truthful by Purdue's bankruptcy proceedings and the Sackler family's efforts to debar further consequences.
"Empire" shaper Danny Strong did astir of the dense lifting successful adapting the publication by Beth Macy, penning oregon cowriting astir of the episodes and directing a few, joined by a star-laden formed and directors similar Barry Levinson and Michael Cuesta. The effect is simply a affluent mosaic of the high-stakes selling of OxyContin, and the mode Purdue leveraged its fiscal clout to stave disconnected regulators and woo doctors into prescribing ever higher doses with predictably tragic results.
It's a daunting project, seeking to absorption connected idiosyncratic characters but besides contiguous the sweeping toll crossed communities, and the vexation of Justice Department and DEA employees moving connected parallel tracks knowing that the cause is addictive but facing 1 hurdle aft different successful pressing those cases.
Michael Keaton occupies 1 of the pivotal roles arsenic Dr. Samuel Finnix, a state doc successful a agrarian Virginia municipality astatine archetypal reluctant to prescribe OxyContin earlier gradually being won implicit by a persistent income rep (Will Poulter), who yet experiences his ain pangs of conscience amid Purdue's elaborate income techniques and lavish seminars.
Other cardinal players see Kaitlyn Dever arsenic 1 of Finnix's patients, Betsy, who suffers a mining wounded that results successful her rising dependence connected the drug; Peter Sarsgaard arsenic Rick Mountcastle, a US Attorney starring the case; and Rosario Dawson arsenic DEA cause Bridget Meyer, who keeps moving afoul of her superiors and different agencies, with immoderate regulators intelligibly recognizing, arsenic she sardonically observes, the worth of "being affable to a imaginable aboriginal employer."
"Dopesick" besides takes the assemblage wrong the workings of Purdue and the Sackler family's unusual dynamics, hitting its astir glaringly disconnected enactment successful the personage of institution main Richard Sackler, played by Michael Stuhlbarg. Normally a sensational actor, Stuhlbarg plays Sackler similar a huffy idiosyncratic successful a '40s monster movie -- a distracting (and recurring) misstep successful a bid that different makes comparatively fewer of them.
Then again, it doesn't necessitate overmuch embellishment to marque Purdue look bad, from executives urging income reps courting doctors to bash "whatever it takes to triumph their relationship and their trust" to hiding down official-sounding names similar the "Appalachian Pain Foundation" to acceptable minds astatine easiness astir the product's use.
"Dopesick" has a cleanable companion successful Alex Gibney's elaborate HBO documentary "The Crime of the Century," a heavy dive into the origins of the epidemic, including videotaped depositions of Sackler and interviews with erstwhile employees.
Strong and institution spell to large lengths processing these characters, spending possibly a spot excessively overmuch clip connected struggles astatine home, from strained marriages amid the grueling hours to Betsy wrestling with coming retired arsenic a lesbian to her spiritual parents.
Ultimately, "Dopesick" grapples with dramatizing a sweeping communicative filled with symptom and corruption and brings it location connected the astir quality of levels, successful a mode that antiseptic headlines often can't. And successful presumption of gaining the attraction that this communicative deserves, arsenic Purdue executives mightiness say, immoderate it takes.
"Dopesick" premieres Oct. 13 connected Hulu.