MDMA (Cardinal X) (2018)

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It's 1984, and a gorgeous, young working-class woman, Angie Wang (Annie Q.) from Newark, NJ, is about to start her freshman year at a prestigious San Francisco university. On her first day, she meets her new roommate, a rich girl named Jeanine Rockwell (Francesca Eastwood), and the two bond over booze, boys, and their first taste of freedom! Raised by her strict father in an urban neighborhood, the sudden jolt from hardship to privileged campus life proves to be a challenge for Angie. When her financial aid is cut, she uses her book and street smarts, along with school resources to synthesize the growing popular drug, Ecstasy. Angie becomes one of the west coast's largest distributors of 'X' cutting deals on campus and in posh nightclubs. Her dual life as the Asian 'model minority' coed and profit-driven drug dealer is further complicated by her desire to help Bree (Aalyrah Caldwell), a girl from one of the bay area's most infamous ghettos who reminds her of her own dark past. Angie lives the high life until her recklessness instigates a sudden tragedy from which she may not recover.

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Critic Reviews for MDMA (Cardinal X)

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (4)

"MDMA"... doesn't fully communicate the context of Angie's experience priors to the film, keeping us removed from the character and the movie as a whole.

Sep 12, 2018 | Full Review…

Although MDMA goes to some dark places and features its share of ugly scenes, it's ultimately a story of hope and redemption.

Sep 12, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

MDMA is all excess: giant hair, stacks of silver bangles, dramatic flashbacks, and lots of shouting

Sep 4, 2018 | Rating: C | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

It's Wang's eye for social realities, brought to life by her cast, that gives her film its edge.

May 3, 2017 | Full Review…

First-time feature filmmaker Angie Wang blended her own experience in the illicit drug industry with fiction, crafting a story that lies somewhere in between.

Nov 27, 2018 | Rating: 5/10 | Full Review…

The redemption arc plays out with minimal subtlety or surprise, leaving the film's amusing period details as the only saving grace.

Sep 14, 2018 | Full Review…

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