films seen
8
average score
2.37*
nationality
USA - 71 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

Worthy but flawed

Detroit

2017 / 143m - USA
Drama, Thriller
2.5*/5.0*
Detroit poster

A decent but somewhat overwrought drama about police brutality against blacks in the 60s. Bigelow's attempts to give the audience a feeling of unease are rather ineffective and the courtroom drama that follows the events drags the film down, but decent acting and a few stand-out moments still make this worth a watch.

Zero Dark Thirty

2012 / 157m - USA
Drama, Thriller
2.5*/5.0*
Zero Dark Thirty poster

The Hurt Locker

2008 / 131m - USA
Thriller, War
2.5*/5.0*
The Hurt Locker poster

Point Break

1991 / 122m - USA
Action, Thriller
2.5*/5.0*
Point Break poster

The one with the presidents. Point Break is somewhat of a cult film nowadays, though not one that is often talked about. It's really just the mask-wearing criminals that have turned into an iconic image (referenced by To it in Fulltime Killer), the rest of the film is pretty mediocre and forgettable.

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Reeves plays a young, promising cop who immediately gets assigned one of the most important cases in the district. A gang has been robbing banks without leaving any traces and the cops are stumped. Reeves' partner believes they're dealing with a gang of surfers, so Reeves goes undercover.

Point Break is a rather basic 90s action flick. The pacing is decent, there are some solid action scenes, but it never goes beyond. It's just simple genre fare that feels a bit outdated. Performances are weak, the editing is insufficient and apart from the masks, there's nothing memorable here. Not terrible, but unworthy of its cult status.

Blue Steel

1990 / 102m - USA
Thriller, Crime
2.5*/5.0*
Blue Steel poster

There are some semi-successful attempts to turn this into a dark and moody film, but in the end it's little more than a cheesy 90s cop thriller. Mediocre acting and a silly plot let this film down, a decent soundtrack and persistent rain make it bearable. Not the worst film in its genre, but clearly not a stand-out entry either. Just decent filler.

Near Dark

1987 / 94m - USA
Horror, Western
2.5*/5.0*
Near Dark poster

Dubious filler

K-19: The Widowmaker

2002 / 138m - USA
Thriller
2.0*/5.0*
K-19: The Widowmaker poster

Hollywood doing a Russian story with English/American actors is never a good idea, K-19 did absolutely nothing to change my mind. Bigelow's film is a simple succession of vintage submarine thriller clich├ęs, with some terrible accents thrown in to make it appear a bit more Russian. Spoiler alert: the accents didn't make it appear more Russian.

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The first Russian atomic-fueled submarine is facing some serious troubles on its way through the North-Atlantic ocean. Captain Zateyev has to keep his sub from exploding, not just to save his entire crew from instant dead, but also to keep a new world war from happening.

Getting past the casting choices was quite a hurdle, but even then this film doesn't have all that much to offer, besides the usual submarine hoopla. There are lots of "tense" moments with people waiting for something to happen/not happen, and since WWIII never happened, it's difficult to make this film truly tense. Not great.

Strange Days

1995 / 145m - USA
Crime, Sci-fi
2.0*/5.0*
Strange Days poster

A typical Bigelow film. An interesting premise and nice (but somewhat modest buzz) raised my expectations, but the film itself is pretty plain and generic. Bigelow just isn't a very good or distinctive director, even after seeing 8 of her films the only thing that sticks out is how much her work blend in with others.

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Lenny is an ex-cop turned rogue. He deals in illegal disks that allow people to share and live through other people's memories. When one day he finds himself in the possession of a murderer's disk, he starts his own private investigation. What he doesn't realize is that he is about the unearth a much bigger conspiracy.

The performances are rather bland, the world-building is generic and the direction is uneventful. What could've been a nice mix of sci-fi and noir elements, turns out to be little more than a bland crime thriller with minor sci-fi elements driving the plot. It's not a terrible film, few Bigelow films are, it's just very forgettable.