“Detroit” (Annapurna)

John Boyega stars in a scene from the movie "Detroit." The Catholic News Service classification is L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. (CNS/Annapurna Pictures)

By Catholic News Service

A dark chapter of the Motor City’s history is revisited in this searing period drama about the so-called “12th Street Riot” during the summer of 1967.

Director Kathryn Bigelow focuses on the notorious police raid of the Algiers Motel which resulted in the death of three unarmed black men and the brutal beating of several others. There, a trigger-happy cop (Will Poulter) unleashes a ruthless, demeaning interrogation of hotel patrons, including a decorated Vietnam vet (Anthony Mackie), two musicians (Algee Smith, Jacob Latimore), and a pair of prostitutes (Kaitlyn Dever, Hannah Murray). A security guard (John Boyega) is a key witness to the unfolding horror.

Although not for the squeamish, the graphic portrayal of police brutality is never gratuitous. Coupled with the subsequent miscarriage of justice, the harrowing events on screen offer a powerful reminder for mature viewers of a sad but significant incident in America’s past.

Intense bloody violence and torture, brief female nudity, pervasive profane and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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