Sunday, August 13, 2017
"Detroit" Review by Tim Hellman
'DETROIT': Four and a Half Stars (Out of Five)
The new crime drama based on the racially charged Algiers Motel incident, during the 1967 12th Street riot in Detroit (the film was released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the horrific incident). The movie was directed by Kathryn Bigelow, and it was written by acclaimed journalist/screenwriter Mark Boal (the duo also performed the same duties on both 2008's Best Picture winner 'THE HURT LOCKER', and 2012's Best Picture nominee 'ZERO DARK THIRTY'). The film stars John Boyega, Will Poulter, Algee Smith, Jason Mitchell, Jacob Latimore, Hannah Murray, Kaitlyn Dever, Jack Reynor, Ben O'Toole, John Krasinski and Anthony Mackie (who also costarred in 'THE HURT LOCKER'). It's received almost unanimous positive reviews from critics, and it's also a modest hit at the Box Office as well. I found it to be extremely well made and involving.
The film begins with a police raid of a private party, in 1967 Detroit, which then resulted in multiple days of rioting. The story then centers on a police raid of the Algiers Motel, on July 25th, where police believed a sniper fired on them from. The raid resulted in the terrorizing of several black suspects, and two white women, and the deaths of some of those involved. The story then shifts to the court room battle that followed the incident.
The movie is interesting, and pretty intense, from pretty much the opening scene until the last. All of the performances are good in it as well, and of course Bigelow's direction is almost flawless. For me the film was also very educational, as I knew very little about these events in history (prior to seeing the movie). I think the film is yet another great example of what a talented filmmaker Bigelow is, and obviously her and Boal make a great team together too. It's also cool to see Boyega in another strong starring role; a 'STAR WARS' actor that's actually making a name for himself (outside of the franchise) is always good to see.