Kathryn Bigelow (2017)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Real-life racially motivated violence during the Detroit riots of 1967 is dramatised in a film exploring the riots' continuing relevance in the era of "Black Lives Matter". No strangers to controversy in previous collaborations The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal here take an unconventional approach to storytelling, which starts as a fresco-like overview of a city in turmoil (replete with much vivid archive footage), then homes in on horrifying events at a local motel, where police investigating gunfire leave a trail of broken and bloodied African-American casualties. So brutal, claustrophobic and upsetting is this extended sequence that it pretty much overwhelms the rest of the movie, with Will Poulter's racist white cop wresting centre stage from the key black characters, John Boyega's conciliatory security guard and ambitious soul singer Algee Smith. What does emerge from the expansive, angry, somewhat ragged result is a vital, provocative statement on the oppressive power structures embedded deeply in American society and the long road towards a shared recognition of the need to change.


Premiere. A group of rogue police officers responds to a complaint with apparent retribution rather than justice in mind, launching a raid on a group of African-Americans. Public anger reaches a peak after the incident, as relationships sour with authority. Fact-based drama set during the 1967 Detroit riots, starring John Boyega, Anthony Mackie and Algee Smith.

Cast & Crew

Melvin Dismukes John Boyega
Krauss Will Poulter
Larry Reed Algee Smith
Greene Anthony Mackie
Attorney Auerbach John Krasinski
Carl Cooper Jason Mitchell
Fred Temple Jacob Latimore
Karen Kaitlyn Dever
Julie Hannah Murray
Demens Jack Reynor
Director Kathryn Bigelow
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Entertainment OneGuidance: Violence, swearing.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 25 Aug 2017