There can be no denying Bigelow's craftsmanship, or the sterling efforts of her terrific ensemble cast -- but the 'torture-porn' criticisms aren't completely unfounded. You'll leave furious, disheartened and angry; of course, that may be the point. But, the gratuitous, exploitative nature of "Detroit," as well as its defeatist attitude, keep it from being the seminal picture it could've (and should've) been.
I am going to concede at the outset that many concerns that have been raised re: telling this particular story this particular way are legitimate. Like the majority of the problems w/ DETROIT this is a problem of modus operandi. As filmmaking in and of itself, this strikes me as unquestionably the greatest of Bigelow's three docu-minded quasi-reportage movies. And what can I say? Tricky beast, but it spoke to me.
Kathryn Bigelow delivers another gripping story from the untold pages of history and it is also serves as an indictment of our own times that shows fifty years later ain't shit really changed. This is a powerful film that will make you feel every emotion and really stop and think about the way we treat each other and how we perceive each other as people.
The saddest thing about "Detroit" is it should be a time capsule movie. The kind of film we look at like "12 Years a Slave" or "Lincoln" and quietly whisper to ourselves, "that's crazy, how could they do that?" "That doesn't happen today, thank God." But instead, "Detroit" is about a problem that is still prominent today; still interwoven in the fabric of America bearing the same disgraceful, inconsequential outcome.
Crash for a new era. It's clear Bigelow and Boal want to make The American Battle of Algiers - but when it gets to the Algiers Motel, it shifts into two overlong hours of torture porn (with all the genre's cartoonish characterizations and voyeurism) before dry heaving into pedantic courtroom scenes. I have no doubt this film will pick up awards and Oscar rumors. Because it's tackling racism in America, right? Right?