Detroit

Reviewed
Tue. 8/8/17
Detroit
4.5833333333333
Acting
5
5/5
Morality
5
5/5
Music
4.5
4.5/5
Story
4.5
4.5/5
Visuals
4.5
4.5/5
Kernel Factor
4
4/5
A must-watch and timely film
Reviewed By: Steven Siwek
Viewing Environment:
Theater
Viewing Crew:
Myself
Times Watched:
1
Genre:
Epics/Historical
Payment Method:
Regular Ticket
Review:

Detroit is the story of the out of control racial tension and riots that were happening in Detroit in 1967. It focuses on several unrelated people, mostly black, who are staying at a sketchy motel. One of the friends decides to make a prank and shoots his fake gun outside. Of course, the cops/national guard/state police who are nearby hear this and immediately pounce on the building. From there the police begin a very intense interrogation of each and every person, and I'll leave it there. Let me first start by saying Detroit is easily one of my favorite movies from 2017. Now, this film can definitely feel like an agenda piece (against police brutality, rightfully so based on what you'll see), but some people will have a very hard time liking this film because it can have a propaganda feel. By the way, this is not so much a film to be "liked" as it is a film to be remembered and to be a reminder of the ways in which we all treat people. I personally was very moved by Detroit. I grew up in a white family surrounded mostly by white friends throughout my entire life, even to this day. Films like this inspire me to live with more diversity in my own life. I've never consciously tried to avoid diversity, but I want to be intentional about seeking it out. The film rightfully points out that police brutality and racial tensions are obviously not something that we just started dealing with, but rather have been an unfortunate part of our country's DNA for quite some time. I'm grateful I watched this film in light of trying to learn and understand, instead of from a defensive standpoint. If you watch this defensively, you will ruin the positive effect the film can have on you.

Acting
The acting in this movie is incredible. I thought the myriad of characters we were following was very impressive.  
Morality
This film is rough, but if you're going to see this film I'd imagine you already know that. Cursing, beatings, and intense racial hatred are throughout. That being said, the film is telling a real story, and we see a complete breakdown in morality in some of our characters, which I believe is portrayed extremely well by the actors.
Music
Algee Smith's voice is amazing and his songs light up a very intense film. The music matches the film beautifully.
Story
This true story (although admittedly not perfectly true) is riveting. To think this happened in America and is something we don't necessarily address in HS history class is unfortunate. For me, I felt deep empathy for the characters. There were certain scenes that didn't feel finished, but in some ways that made it feel like real life and documentary-esque.
Visuals
There were some visual techniques in this film that were really smart for the story. As an example, the cameras are often following characters into scenes or filming from behind/sides of them so that the audience feels more in suspense of what's going to happen. The camera movement was good, but sometimes overdone. Production design was really solid. Animation at the beginning was unique, and I liked it.
Kernel Factor
I loved this film, which is weird to say (trust me), but there were two elements I struggled with and I could see other viewers really disliking. The "evil" cop might go a step too far in order to really make a point in the movie and the main "scene" of Detroit is very elongated. 

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