Critic Reviews



Based on 48 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Bigelow, working from a script by her regular collaborator Mark Boal (it’s their first film since “Zero Dark Thirty”), has created a turbulent, live-wire panorama of race in America that feels like it’s all unfolding in the moment, and that’s its power. We’re not watching tidy, well-meaning lessons — we’re watching people driven, by an impossible situation, to act out who they really are.
Arriving in theaters almost exactly 50 years since the Detroit riots of late July 1967, Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit is a searing, pulse-pounding, shocking and deeply effective dramatic interpretation of events in and around the Algiers Motel.
Detroit has a vital sense of authenticity, rooted as it is in history, conveyed via Bigelow’s meticulously crafted cinema vérité style that, essentially, thrusts the viewer into the tense events. She is an expert at managing suspense and deftly blending sensitivity with a journalistic sense of details.
A sincere effort to illuminate a singularly dark chapter in history — and a stark reminder of exactly what gets lost when human beings fail to take care of their own.
This movie will spark debate, even with an end title card that reminds audiences of the concept of dramatic license. But as a movie, and not a court document, it is extraordinary.
It's a hardcore masterpiece that digs into our violent past to hold up a dark mirror to the systemic racism that still rages in the here and now.
This gritty, gripping movie starts slowly but builds in intensity, culminating in sorrow and raw nerves.
Detroit is extremely powerful when its wandering eye is trained on the moment at hand, when it’s performing a bracingly direct meditation on white violence and black fear. The film only runs into trouble when it clumsily attempts to contextualize the events of its horrific second act.
Intense and physically powerful in the way it conveys its atrocious events, the film nonetheless remains short on complexity, as if it were enough simply to provoke and outrage the audience. It's a grim tale with no catharsis.
A handful of films, from "The Battle of Algiers" to Paul Greengrass' splendid "Bloody Sunday," have met the challenge of dramatizing civil unrest and law enforcement outrages, memorably. Detroit comes close.

More Critic Reviews

See all external reviews for Detroit (2017) »

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Reviews | User Ratings | External Reviews