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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.

Watch out for: Intense bloody violence and torture, brief female nudity and pervasive profane and crude language.

Rated: L, limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling; MPAA: R

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017