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Will Poulter and Anthony Mackie in Detroit, photo courtesy Annapurna
Will Poulter and Anthony Mackie in Detroit, photo courtesy Annapurna

3. Detroit

Director Kathryn Bigelow is one of the best in the biz, and she shows her chops once again in this harrowing drama predicated on real-life events.

Detroit was on fire in the summer of 1967. Racial riots raced through parts of the city. Buildings were burned and looted. The National Guard was called in. In the midst of that strife, someone fired a small starter pistol out a window at the Algiers Motel—as a joke, the movie tells us. But for on-edge law enforcement, the sound of gunfire wasn’t funny at all. Soon, armed men—including three white Detroit police officers—storm the motel. Before the sun rises, three black motel guests will be dead.

Detroit can be hard to watch, but it’s an important movie, too. (I’ll write more about it next week.) Bigelow’s take on the Algiers Motel Incident feels as timely and as relevant as ever. Expect to hear more about Detroit when awards season rolls around.

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