Kyle Says DETROIT Is The Early Frontrunner for Best Film Of 2017

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FILM REVIEW: DETROIT

BY KYLE ARANGO

Detroit is directed by Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) and stars John Boyega, Will Poulter, Anthony Mackie, Jack Reynor, Algee Smith, Jacob Lattimore, Jason Mitchel, and John Krasinski. “Detroit” tells the true story of the events at the Algiers motel during one of the nights of the Detroit riots that led to the murder of 3 African American men. This film wanted to capture the story and feel of the time and did it succeed? Absolutely, this is one of the best films of the year. Kathryn Bigelow has done it again.

“Detroit” perfectly encapsulates the intensity and tension of the time thanks to a well-balanced story and top notch performances. At the time, the issue was racism and police brutality, and these issues are displayed perfectly in this film. My Grandmother lived through these events so I’ve heard much about it.”Detroit” shows the events of the Algiers motel shooting from multiple perspectives including the victims, the police, and local security forces.  Motivations are clear from all characters and the emotions are captured because you truly feel the gravity of the situation.

In the Algiers motel shootings, cops beat and interrogate occupants of the motel because they believe a sniper was present in the building. Their racial beliefs play heavily into their actions throughout the night. The directing in this movie is what holds this film together. Kathryn Bigelow sets up tension from the beginning and keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time constantly wondering what is going to happen next. The tone is also consistent whereas, there is no moments that feel out of place or wrong.

The shining star of this movie is its performances from all its stars. The biggest standout was Will Poulter who plays the head police officer who is menacing and completely believable as a racist cop. John Boyega plays a security guard who is trying to take in what is happening and doing his best to help those in need. He does a terrific job of this. Another standout is Algee Smith who plays an African American singer who just wants to succeed in his life for him and his friends but is a victim of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. You grow to feel for him and feel his pain in the worst moments. Other standouts include Jack Reynor as an unsure cop who makes a terrible decision, Jacob Lattimore who plays a scared child, and Anthony Mackie who is a veteran victim to bad circumstances.

If there is anything negative to say about this film it would be that it just felt a tad bit too long. At two and a half hours, the film can seem daunting. However, the tension throughout the film kept you locked in and the length did not feel like a chore to have to endure. You enjoy ever second. To sum it all up, “Detroit” perfectly captures the tone of the time and shows how terrible racial tensions were in the 60s. Kathryn Bigelow delivers another terrific film to add to her already amazing career. The film grabs you from the beginning and doesn’t let go until the lights turn on. “Detroit” is the early favorite for best picture at the Oscars this year along with “War for the Planet of the Apes”. I highly recommend this film and can’t praise it enough.

 

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