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(2017) (John Boyega, Will Poulter) (R)
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- QUICK TAKE:
- Dramatic Thriller: During the Detroit riots of 1967, a number of African-Americans must contend with racist white cops who terrorize them and two white women in a motel.
- It's 1967 and riots have broken out in Detroit following the police shutting down an illegal bar and manhandling some of the African-American patrons, all of which causes some locals to loot stores, start fires and so on.
All of which means that Larry Reed (ALGEE SMITH) and his R&B group, The Dramatics, have their chance of being discovered in Motown scuttled. With their venue being emptied and things getting worse out on the streets, Larry and his buddy, Fred Simple (JACOB LATIMORE), take refuge in the nearby Algiers Motel for the night.
There, they meet Karen (KAITLYN DEVER) and Julie Ann (HANNAH MURRAY), two young white women from Ohio who are hanging out with a number of black men in the motel, including Aubrey Pollard (NATHAN DAVIS JR.) and Carl (JASON MITCHELL). Seeing the chaos outside along with the presence of Michigan State Police and National Guardsmen who've arrived to assist the local police, Carl gives a demo to the young women about what it's like to be a black man stopped by a white cop.
One person who's trying to quell such tenuous and potentially violent encounters is Melvin Dismukes (JOHN BOYEGA), a black security guard who's been assigned to protect a grocery store from looters. Wanting to keep the peace and avoid further escalation, he intervenes when he can and tries to make nice with the armed white men by bringing them coffee and such.
What he and rest don't anticipate, however, is Carl firing a starting pistol from a motel window at night, all of which causes the cops and National Guardsmen to believe there's a sniper located there. Accordingly, local cops Krauss (WILL POULTER), Flynn (BEN O'TOOLE) and Demens (JACK REYNOR) arrive on the scene and round up everyone inside, including war veteran Robert Greene (ANTHONY MACKIE).
They then proceed to interrogate, harass and physically intimidate the men and two women, with the cops taking a dim view of those white ladies being with black men. From that point on, those who've been rounded up fear for their lives, all while Melvin stands on the sidelines, mostly powerless to do anything to put a stop to this nightmare.
- WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
- Those interested in the real-life events or the parallels to things happening today might be interested, while fans of anyone in the cast might as well.
- WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
- For strong violence and pervasive language.
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