Best Doc Feature at LA Film Fest and Hamptons International Film Fest Must Be Seen On Demand



Code Black (courtesy of Music Box Films)
Code Black (courtesy of Music Box Films)

“Electrifying. A remarkably candid and kinetic documentary about emergency medicine that could probably only have been made by an ER doctor.” – John Anderson, WALL STREET JOURNAL

“Riveting! McGarry has created something that feels personal, vital and revelatory.” – Los Angeles Times

“Very moving! An absorbing documentary.” – Village Voice


In his thought-provoking filmmaking debut CODE BLACK, physician Ryan McGarry presents audiences with unprecedented access to the emergency room of Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center, the country’s busiest Emergency Department. Amidst real life-and-death situations, McGarry follows a dedicated team of charismatic young residents as they wrestle with both their ideals and the realities of saving lives in a complex and overburdened system. Their training ground and source of inspiration is “C-Booth,” Los Angeles County Hospital’s legendary trauma bay, the birthplace of Emergency Medicine where “more people have died and more people have been saved than in any other square footage in the United States.”

CodeBlack_IMG03CODE BLACK profiles nearly a dozen young residents who work in the unit, allowing them to reveal their often mixed ideals and motives for taking on such a stressful assignment. Though everyone’s reasons are different, all believe that the purpose of the medical profession is to reduce human suffering—and not just to make a substantial amount of money. This certainly is the case in CODE BLACK; the LA County Hospital is one of the few in the country where the uninsured and impoverished can receive excellent treatment for free, though they might have to wait 18 hours to get it.

“I went to great lengths to capture the noise, the adrenaline, the commotion, and the fear of what life is really like in the ER. I wanted the audience to feel like they are there with us, experiencing the highs, the lows and all the frustration in between,” says CODE BLACK director McGarry. “I hope the film will also provide some crucial perspective on the current healthcare debate. To see what it’s like to be on the front line of providing care in this country shows just how difficult it is for physicians and nurses—try telling a patient that they need to see a specialist for their rotting foot, only to find out that the specialist will only accept a certain level of insurance.”


Following its acclaimed release to the U.S.’s top theatrical markets last summer, Music Box Films Home Entertainment will release CODE BLACK on VOD (Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, iTunes) and DVD for the first time on February 24, 2015. The disc will carry bonus features including a short film and interview with the director.


Ryan McGarry, M.D., Director of CODE BLACK. Courtesy of Music Box Films
Ryan McGarry, M.D., Director of CODE BLACK. Courtesy of Music Box Films

CODE BLACK was a lauded winner on the festival circuit, taking home the prize for Best Documentary Feature at both the 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival and the 2013 Hamptons International Film Festival. CODE BLACK also won the Audience Award at the 2013 Aspen Film Festival and the People’s Choice Award at the same year’s Starz Denver Film Festival.


Garnering an outstanding rating of 91% at Rotten Tomatoes based on 34 published reviews, CODE BLACK is a New York Times Critics Pick that’s been described as “Extraordinary…Illuminating and Powerful” by THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER and “Vitally Important, Urgent and Fascinating” by USA TODAY. Simply, it is a must-see film for anyone concerned about the state of the health care industry.
More information on CODE BLACK can be found here at