• Guy Jeffries

Detroit Review


Director: Kathryn Bigelow.

Starring: John Boyega, Will Poulter, Algee Smith, Anthony Mackie, Jacob Latimore, Hannah Murray, Ben O'Toole, Jack Reynor, Jason Mitchell, Kaitlyn Denver, John Krasinski, Nathan Davis Jr.

Another highly anticipated feature from one of my favourite directors. Whether female directors comes up in conversation, Kathryn Bigelow is my first go to example with films like Zero Dark Thirty, The Hurt Locker and Point Break. With a career spanning over 30 years, she hasn't directed a lot, but when she does...

Her recent films been close to controversial viewpoints that speak volumes, providing new found truths to certain events. This is no exception and is certain to shock a number of viewers inciting emotion and disgust, telling an unforgettable story of the Detroit riots of 1967. But the focus is on the traumatic events that took place at the Algiers Motel on the night of the 25th of July. Where a group of majority African Americans become the subject of a brutal, unwarranted search of the Motel.

Bigelow's filmmaking is incredible, having such great vision and knowing exactly what she wants to see on the screen, repeating her methods used during The Hurt Locker of using multiple cameras for each shot allowing the actors freedom to move and express themselves more. She really does manage to capture that tone of the era it's set in, transplanting the audience back to 1967 Detroit, Michigan.

There's an interesting cast but all giving outstanding performances. It's great to see quite a number of British actors in this, Boyega, Poulter and Game of Thrones' Gilly, Hannah Murray. Everyone, including the supporting cast give good, strong performances that really bring this film to life and emitting fear, intimidation, suffering and power. Praise to Smith and Latimore, among everyone who gave incredible portrayals.

Even though it's based on true events, it does state some elements that are imagined, but Bigelow has told a story as close to the truth as possible. This is where the still raw controversy comes in. Boyega actual met with his character Melvin Dismukes and Julia Hysell, another key witness, overlooked and possibly assisted where throughout filming.

It's claustrophobic, intense and unsettling to watch. That looming threat with temptation staring people in the face can be all too much, the harsh, harrowing reality of what's going on or what could happen. It's a suspenseful thriller bordering on horror but what makes this so powerful is that it happened.

It's a film that will stay with you long after. Serving as a strong reminder of the atrocities that happened that night. A must see.

Running Time: 9

The Cast: 9

Performance: 10

Direction: 9

Story: 9

Script: 8

Creativity: 9

Soundtrack: 8

Job Description: 10

The Extra Bonus Point: 10 for being an incredible use of cinema to tell a shocking true story.

91% 9/10

#KathrynBigelow #JohnBoyega #WillPoulter #AlgeeSmith #AnthonyMackie #JacobLatimore #HannahMurray #BenOToole #JackReynor #JasonMitchell #KaitlynDenver #JohnKrasinski #NathanDavisJr #LaxAlonso #JeremyStrong #JamesNewtonHoward