Detroit

Detroit (2017)
ReviewerAutar Kaw
Grade: C
Genre: Crime, Drama, History, Thriller
Rating: R
Running Time: 143 minutes

I reached the theater 10 minutes before the movie start-time and assumed that the theater would be packed. There were people, just a handful, mostly who munched on the popcorn through the quiet scenes and put their shoes on the seats in front of them.

I had decent expectations for the movie directed by my fav – Kathryn Bigelow whose Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty were impressive cinema. This powerful story of racism, which no one wants to voluntarily think or talk about, went mostly downhill for me after the initial impressive animated montage lesson of the history of blacks moving to the north for factory jobs.

The shaky camera is impressive in small doses but it just took away from the story in a major way for me. It was relentless just like the pain inflicted on fellow humans in the movie. The tone of the film color does take one back to the late 60s, but that also made it guilty of pushing an unwelcome caricature of complex themes and human nature.

Depicting racism through a white-colored prism is a painful balance and it simply failed here. I would have settled for neutrality.

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Autar Kaw

Autar Kaw (http://autarkaw.com) is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Florida. He has been at USF since 1987, the same year in which he received his Ph. D. in Engineering Mechanics from Clemson University. He is a recipient of the 2012 U.S. Professor of the Year Award. With major funding from NSF, he is the principal and managing contributor in developing the multiple award-winning online open courseware for an undergraduate course in Numerical Methods. The OpenCourseWare (nm.MathForCollege.com) annually receives 1,000,000+ page views, 1,000,000+ views of the YouTube audiovisual lectures, and 150,000+ page views at the NumericalMethodsGuy blog. His current research interests include engineering education research methods, adaptive learning, open courseware, massive open online courses, flipped classrooms, and learning strategies. He has written four textbooks and 80 refereed technical papers, and his opinion editorials have appeared in the St. Petersburg Times and Tampa Tribune.

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