INHALE - Movie On DemandOctober 27, 2010

INHALE - Movie On Demand


On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand and from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: INHALE (IFC Films).
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What happens when you mix the of-the-moment Icelandic director of small but notable films like THE SEA and A LITTLE TRIP TO HEAVEN with an actor known for studio flicks like THE FAMILY STONE and ZODIAC as well as his turns in indies like LOVELY AND AMAZING? You get a pulpy popcorn flick with a powerful message about legal and medical ethics.

INHALE stars Dermot Mulroney as Paul Stanton, a New Mexico state's attorney whose daughter has a chronic and likely fatal lung ailment. Desperately trying to get a pair of lungs for his daughter -- with the help of a physician played by Rosanna Arquette -- Stanton finds himself drawn into the murky world of organ trafficking.



Directed by Baltasar Kormakur and written by Walter Doty, John Claflin, and Christian Escario, INHALE is a sad and surprising trip into a Mexican underworld of backroom deals and back-alley operations. With far more potential recipients than there are donors, organs garner big bucks on the black market, as Stanton finds when he heads south of the border to procure the lungs that he has been unable to get for his daughter in the US.


Baltasar Kormakur (IFC)

Though not really an actor's movie, INHALE features performances that give it a strong spine. Mulroney works hard as Stanton, conveying the anguish of both a despairing parent and a morally conflicted court officer.

As Stanton's morally questionable boss, Sam Shepard delivers with his usual taciturn stoicism, though this is clearly a money job for the actor-playwright. And it's nice to see the naturally aging and still lovely Rosanna Arquette (SEARCHING FOR DEBRA WINGER) in features again after a long time plying her trade on television.


INHALE starts as a somewhat rote thriller, but the moral questions it asks amp up the stakes to a lead to a conclusion that's as affecting as it is accurate. The filmmakers aren't afraid to confront the consequences of trading one life for another.

The question of how far a parent would go to save his child has no easy answers, and it's to the credit of the director and the screenwriters that they don't condescend to the audience in attempting to provide one. The moral gray area in which they place Stanton is summed up profoundly when one character reminds him "you knew exactly what you were doing when you crossed the border."



If you're surfing around for a compelling thriller that also asks you to consider some major conundrums, devote an hour and a half to INHALE. It's a challenging examination of the moral issues behind an illicit practice occurring throughout the world.

- Chris Claro

Chris Claro
Chris Claro is a new contributing writer to On Demand Weekly. He is a former Director of Promotion for Sundance Channel and now works as a writer, producer, and media educator. He is a regular contributor to and contributor to the Eyes and Ears section of


Look for INHALE On Demand under IFC Films until 1/04/2011
100 min / Rated TV MA



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