Currently on Blu-ray/DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Annapurna Pictures and writer/director Kathryn Bigelow is the stunning “Detroit.”
It all begins on the night of July 23, 1967 when Detroit police raid an unlicensed party for returning Vietnam vet. As people are being arrested, others throw rocks at police and loot stores. That is when Governor Romney orders the Michigan National Guard and the Army to restore order.
The R&B group The Dramatics has arrived in the city with big dreams of getting a recording contract. Just seconds before they are to perform, police bust in and order everyone to leave immediately. When the mayhem starts, Larry Reed (Algee Smith) and Fred Temple can’t find their friends and end up at the Algiers Motel. While there they meet Julie Ann (Hannah Murray) and Karen (Kaitlyn Dever), two white girls and they spend a little time together.
Also at the hotel are Carl Cooper (Jason Mitchell) and Aubrey Pollard (Gbenga Akinnagbe) who are hearing the police outside. Julie and Karen aren’t impressed and meet up with the Vietnam vet Greene (Anthony Mackie). As a joke, Carl uses a racing pistol to pretend to shoot out into the street and the Algiers is fired on by every law enforcement available.
Melvin Dismukes (John Boyega) is a grocery store security guard who wants to help the police with what is going on at the Algiers. Police Officer Krauss (Will Poulder), who already has a chip on his shoulder, along with Melvin and other soldiers get inside the Algiers where they find Julie, Karen, Carl, Aubrey (Nathan Davis Jr.), Larry, Fred (Jacob Latimore) and Greene. Krauss takes it upon himself to take lead on the situation sending everyone else on to handle other situations on the streets of Detroit.
What happens at the Algiers is disturbing, relentless and shocking bringing about one of history’s biggest secret of madness.
Poulter as Krauss is absolutely fantastic in this role which is kind of weird considering what is role is – that of a man who has no business being a police officer. He is cruel, deceptive and full of himself in all the wrong ways. What this person allows to happen is unimaginable yet it is true. Poulter takes on this role and doesn’t hesitate to let it play as it should.
Boyega as John is a man who wants to help keep the peace and shows it from the moment his character is on screen. Even to go as far as making law enforcement and the military comfortable, it becomes clear that not everyone is wanting a peaceful end to an already struggling night. Once part of Krauss’ madness, he continues to try and keep things calm until it becomes clear that it is all crumbling.
Smith as Reed is a man caught in something that can never be imagined, along with Latimore as Fred these two men can only keep themselves alive minute by minute and do so in stunning performances. Mackie as Greene understands the insanity he is involved in and coming home alive, he is once again fighting for his own life.
Other cast includes Ben O’Toole as Flynn, Jack Reynor as Demens, Dennis Staroselsky as Detective Jones, Darren Goldstein as Detective Tanchuck, Zurin Villanueva as Martha, Joseph Jones as Morris, Leon Thomas III as Darryl, Ephraim Sykes as Jimmy, Samira Wiley as Vanessa,
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Annapurna Pictures focuses on creating sophisticated content that appeals to a conscious and diverse audience. Their vision is to put filmmakers and artists first to give an authentic voice no matter the genre or medium. Films such as “The Grandmaster,” “Joy” and “Professor Marston and the Wonder Woman” and brought by this studio. For more of what they have to offer visit www.annapurna.pictures.com.
The Blu-ray includes the bonus features of “The Truth of Detroit,” “The Cast of Detroit,” “The Invasion of Detroit,” “The Hope of Detroit, Detroit – Then and Now” and “Algee Smith and Larry Reed: ‘Grow.’” “Detroit” can be viewed also with the Digital copy that can be seen on television, computer, tablet and smartphone.
Kathryn Bigelow is an award-winning director with films such as “The Hurt Locker” and “Zero Dark Thirty.” Bringing her vision of one night in history, she tells the story without sugar coating it in any way, which causes such an intense viewer reaction.
“Detroit” is a film that absolutely refuses to hold back anything that might make the viewer uncomfortable. By doing so it asks us all to know the truth about what really happened the night at the Algiers Motel and be informed about who and what is responsible.
The performances in “Detroit” are stellar and should be recognized for taking on the subject matter and being a part of telling an important story.
In the end – it’s time we all knew!