Based on the true story, the movie is a poignant legal drama revolving around the brilliance of a junkie lawyer and dismal state of the health care system in the United Sates.
Michael “Mike” Weiss (Chris Evans) and Paul Danziger (Mark Kassen) are friends and struggling partners of a small-time law firm in Houston. While Paul is serious, practical, and family oriented, Mike is a polar opposite – brilliant, drug addict and completely out of control.
They take up the case of an ER nurse – Vicky Rogers (Vinessa Shaw) who contracts HIV/AIDs after being accidentally pricked by a contaminated needle on the job. She eventually dies. In hospital parlance, such injuries are called needlestick injury or needlestick. Vicky informs the duo that her friend has invented a retractable needle that will not infect another person. Mike investigates into the case and finds out that hospital organizations are reluctant to purchase retractable needles owing to high production costs. He further finds out that there is a hospital -pharmaceutical nexus / bribery racket. As a result, the nursing staff are in risk. Fearing backlash, healthcare giants hire top notch lawyers to defend them in the case. Meanwhile, due to heavy pressure, lack of funds and Mike’s addiction, the relationship between friends/ law partners is on the brink. While Paul wants to finalize an out of court settlement with the defence team, Mike thinks otherwise. His legal brilliance and ethic do not permit him to accept defeat. Mike is implored by Vicky’s friend to not give up and fight for the cause as the unhealthy practice of using contaminated needles is spreading diseases such as HIV, Aids & Hepatitis around the world.
Mike then challenges the defence team that he will find out all those who are affected and bring justice, only to be found dead due to overdose the next day. This opens Paul’s eyes who then takes up the case in court and fights it alongside another noted attorney to bring a settlement from the nation’s largest medical supply manufacturer for over $150 million. As a result, thousands of hospitals in U.S since have been using safety needles.
The movie had power packed performances from the star cast especially Chris Evans who is otherwise famous as ‘Captain America’. A brilliant portrayal as a brilliant druggie lawyer. The movie was one of the spotlight films for the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, New York. A must watch.