A time capsule of mindset and culture, with a pungent masochistic streak to match Killer Joe, in pitting the S&M gay underground against the stern orthodoxy of the thin blue line, only to be bound by Pacino as inquisitor and saviour (?). Yet there lies an elegance in Friedkin’s mise en scene that curbs gratuity; human angles that add slightest texture to the doubly masculine proceedings. While the final depiction can be inconsistent, indeterminate and struggle to overcome its slasher cycle, Friedkin’s thriller craft remains sturdy throughout.
Here's the thing about Friedkin. He is, quite simply, the greatest. Or at the very least one of the greatest. And Cruising is one of his very best films. An understated but very effective performance from Pacino coupled with some bizarre surreal sequences and profoundly affecting violence, as well as being bathed in that denim blue light that Friedkin so often employs. Influences from Giallo are clear. 5 stars
Gritty, 'NYC-as-hell' thriller. This is not so much about gay culture (I WISH gay clubs played punk music and looked this fucking hot and dark) but about men/masculinity in general, almost like a queer 'Fight Club'. It is only ruined by a lame ending that would work if they had the balls to have Pacino get 'nasty' rather than just walk around as a sexless voyeur. Still all the leather and sleazy vibes are pretty hot.
This has some of the most intense scenes I've seen in a long time. Al Pacino's performance is typical here; it's powerful yet never over-the-top and he fits the role perfectly. And the more and more I think about the ending, the more devastating I believe it to be. Fits well with Friedkin's other movie To Live And Die In L.A. as a double bill, one after the other. A lot of similar themes and they're both great films.
It impressed me much more on a second viewing. Friedkin's fractured, organic structure lends the film with a uniquely hypnotizing quality. Pacino's performance is the definition of subtle, and his character's transformation is more disturbing as a result.
Todavía no se que pensar del final de la película, no sé si fue deliberado de Friedkin. ¿Pero que debo pensar? ¿Que el personaje de Pacino es también un asesino?. Hay que verla de nuevo. Lo que si es un acierto es la ambientación y la fotografía de la película, parece casi que la película hubiese sido filmada con una cámara de 16 mm y por eso le da una sensación de documental bien interesante.
Not a bad film - Friedkin's direction is great, Pacino really displays his character's discomfort as well as his own, the inspection of the homosexual S&M scene is rather dark though not stereotypical of practices that are within such groups - but it just felt like something was missing here and there.
This film dared to look at something many Americans don't want to think about or even acknowledge and attempted to present it to a mainstream audience. I don't find it shocking that it was attacked upon release.
Grim and grungy, which without the S&M bunting, would be just another routine police procedural. Whether it shows Freidkin’s versatility, I’m not sure, but it disturbs me that this is the same director as was responsible for The Boys in the Band. Mind you, cinema isn’t social work, but this is a generally tawdry piece of exploitation. An adjunct of sorts to Looking for Mr Goodbar in its nihilistic view of New York.