Darkness Before Dawn

5.91 h 33 min19937+
Starring Meredith Baxter and Stephen Lang. A caring single mother working as a nurse in a methadone clinic escapes her internal torment with alcohol and drugs.
Lionsgate Entertainment, Inc.
Meredith BaxterStephen LangGwynyth Walsh
English [CC]
Audio languages

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Supporting actors
L. Scott CaldwellChelsea HertfordBill ApplebaumMichael Bryan FrenchLee TergesenNatalie WestRobert Desiderio
Meredith BaxterDiana KerewJudith A. Polone
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4.5 out of 5 stars

212 global ratings

  1. 76% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 9% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 8% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 3% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 4% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

barryReviewed in the United States on October 18, 2008
5.0 out of 5 stars
Meredith Baxter Shines
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Meredith Baxter is one of the best dramatic television actresses ever to be on tv. She showed this beginning with her portrayal of Nancy on the highly acclaimded series FAMILY. Many know her for her turn as mom on FAMILY TIES but this show, though great, was a waste of her capabilities. This television movie DARKNESS BEFORE DAWN is an excellent example of what she is capable of.

This is not your typical television movie fare. This is a movie about addiction, how it can encompass and destroy your life and how hard recovery can be. It starts innocently enough. Meredith plays Mary Anne a nurse at a methodone clinic and after much persistence by one of the patients Guy (Stephen Lang) she goes on a date with him. He appears to have it together and seems to have some sobriety under his belt. They become a couple and eventually Mary Anne decides to experimemt and is also asked by Guy to steal drugs from the clinic. How this progression happens is very realistically shown.

Further plot line is unnecessary and would ruin the impact of this film for the viewer. Asddiction is a very serious illness and there are so many movies that merely use the subject for over the top drama. This film is so well researched and the process of getting to the point of addict, all an addict will do to get their fix and how their morals/ personality changes is expertly told. The danger of addiction is not lost in any way as the drama unfolds. The film gets very intense and with the high quality acting it has it is as if you are watching a documentary about addicts - they are so believable.

Meredith Baxter becomes Mary Anne here so fully it is a definite Emmy worthy performance. Stephen Lang is also superb. But my highest accolades go to those behind the camera for the crafting of a film that rises above that of a typical television melodrama and insteads gives us a hardcore, intense realistically based story on the seriousness of addiction that is much needed today.

This is one of the best televison movies you will ever see and Meredith Baxter will take you on a journey you will never forget.
19 people found this helpful
gooseReviewed in the United States on April 27, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
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Great movie story Meredith Baxter about addiction. It’s a really really good movie and I absolutely love it!
One person found this helpful
jorgeReviewed in the United States on February 14, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
holy crap! so i wasn't sure how i might like ...
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holy crap! so i wasn't sure how i might like this movie but since i've been through the methadone program, i was somewhat interested. well im glad i took the time!! very powerful n a very interesting take. this movie reminds you the seemingly normal people can have very dark things going on inside of them. sometimes its the person you would least expect. another thing i liked about this story is how unique i think it is. at first i thought, this is jus some junky dude trying to find some poor lady to leech off of. i thought, once the going gets tough, he will gone. but as the movie progresses, you learn that they really did love each other, its jus hard sharing your love when you are addicted to heroin. i wasnt sure what to expect for an ending and although it wasnt a dramatic ending, it was heart warming. some times when you love someone, you have to jus step back n let them save themselves. this movie was not what i expected n thats what made me give it a 5 star rating. worth watching!!!
2 people found this helpful
jeanniebearReviewed in the United States on August 6, 2013
4.0 out of 5 stars
Credible portrayal of heroin addiction
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While there are all kinds of addicts with varying ways of manifesting, there are striking commonalities. Meredith Baxter does an excellent job of portraying the dark side of addiction and the extent people go to hide their drug usage. Still haunted by childhood abuse, she began stealing amphetamines and other drugs from the hospital where she worked as a nurse, and then later with her husband, who introduced her to heroin. The husband is played by Stephen Lang, who is a heroin addict. It was painful to see their baby, born with heroin addiction. This is a made-for-TV movie, and an excellent one.
2 people found this helpful
CandaceReviewed in the United States on April 1, 2006
5.0 out of 5 stars
Darkness Before Dawn
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This is a movie about a nurse who meets a patient at rehab where she works, and decides to go out with him and well things just go down hill from there. He is unstable and can't find a job. Moves in with her and becomes untrustworthy. She's not the "all too clean" nurse that we'd all like to think, that's she's protraying to be-including to her new post rehab boyfriend. Good ol Meredith Baxter she always plays those "crazy" parts so well!!

Good value!
2 people found this helpful
Doreen Lanier-Mirabella DeneauReviewed in the United States on August 28, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Realistic movie, with superb acting by Meredith..
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Real life, plus best movie with Meredith's acting..
2 people found this helpful
Young Velvet Porcelain BoyReviewed in the United States on October 30, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Meredith Baxter is excellent!!
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Meredith Baxter is excellent in just about anything, but she shines here very much so! A very well-done movie, very realistic of the ups and downs of addiction. Highly recommended!!
Sharon GottliebReviewed in the United States on December 10, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
Sin Sin Sin
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I felt this movie was just an anti-drug manifesto with no real story.
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