Just 6.5

Metri Shesh-o Nim

Iran, 2019
134 minutes, Color

Regarding the scourge of drugs, one question is who is most addicted to it, the druggies or the cops. This is Tehran, where the hunt for a fabled kingpin, Nasser Khaksad, is led by detective Samad; his team rounds up crack addicts by the horde, brutalizes families of small-time dealers, and fills teeming, sweaty jail cells with the usual (miserable) suspects. The mythical Nasser Khaksad doesn't seem to exist—until, suddenly, he does. The commanding actor Navid Mohammadzadeh's portrayal of this criminal's wily intelligence and faltering humanity has garnered well-deserved praise, but pity is hard won in this social drama. It's a Fritz Langian world in which a cop's wife rejects him for his compromised lifestyle and a criminal's loving clan depends on him for theirs. Cinematographer Hooman Behmanesh beautifully captures the movement of crowds and the stillness of their despair, and this, too, is Tehran.—Judy Bloch

In Farsi with English subtitles

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