paulthegrub’s review published on Letterboxd:
I completely agree with everything that Cynic The Critic said in his review. The first half-hour of this is easily the worst part of the film and comes off really dumb. The way the film handles its themes and politics in the first half-hour is super overbearing. The editing was also really cheesy during this part of the film. I also think that the score was used pretty poorly throughout the entire film. The score isn't bad and sometimes it added a lot to a scene. For the most part though, the score really killed the mood and felt super overbearing. Other than the first half-hour, this film was honestly great. Edward Norton unsurprisingly delivered a superb performance. He did a great job getting into character and I always believed him as Derek Vinyard. I think besides the first 30 minutes of the film, the themes were handled really well. This is a very interesting character study that deals with rage and racism. It was very interesting seeing how our main character changed. I'm glad that this film shows people can change and isn't just nonstop about terrible people. People can have a change of heart and others need to accept this. We aren't always going to like what we did in the past and no one should harass someone for their past mistakes. The cinematography was really hit or miss for me. The use of handheld and closeups felt really silly, but other times really worked. The main thing I loved about this film is just how unforgiving it is. Tony Kaye really doesn't hold back and delivers some hardcore scenes. While some may dislike how brutal this film is, I think it's the best way to deliver these themes. I'm certainly not on the "this is a masterpiece" train, but nonetheless, this was a great movie.
Heres that Cynic The Critic review if you were curious: