Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman Revealed
The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
Guardians Of The Galaxy Review
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: 6 Issues For £15!
Subscribe today and save 37% off the cover price!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Tom Sizemore
Jennifer Beals
Don Cheadle.
Directors
Carl Franklin.
Screenwriters
Running Time
102 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
All This Mayhem
3 Star Empire Rating
Guardians Of The Galaxy
4 Star Empire Rating
A Promise
1 Star Empire Rating
A Night At The Cinema In 1914
4 Star Empire Rating
Hide Your Smiling Faces
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating
Rebel Without A Cause
5 Star Empire Rating

Devil in a Blue Dress
Adap. of 40s crime novel.


submit to reddit


Plot
An Afro-American private detective is hired to find a woman and gets mixed up in a murderous political scandal.


Review
Carl Franklin’s likeable take on Walter Mosley’s nostalgic 40s LA-set pulp fiction proves another chip off the noir(ital) block from the director of the more contemporary, and frankly better, One False Move. The latest in a series of private eye movies which descend from Chinatown, Devil attempts to recreate the labyrinthine cynicism of a bygone genre and although not without class ends up substituting blurry period feel for the contemporary grit of the films it evokes.
Ezekial “Easy” Rawlins, handsomely played by Washington, is a just-fired ex-GI who needs to keep up payments on his LA tract home. He is hired by a suitably shady character (Sizemore, this year’s Mr Sleaze) to locate Daphne Monet (Beals), the missing girlfriend of a mayoral candidate. Daphne likes blue dresses and black men and Easy’s search for her turns up two corpses in as many days. The case, and the film, proceed predictably until Easy calls in Mouse (Don Cheadle), a friend from back home whose comical but frightening violent streak livens things up considerably.
This is a very seductive picture, with Washington posing in a vest or a snappy hat, a cool jazz soundtrack, lots of vintage cars and hopping dialogue. Franklin expresses a genuine nostalgia for the neatly lawned and folksy black LA communities that would turn into the urban wasteland of John Singleton. However, the resolution of the mystery — which depends on a pathos Beals isn’t allowed to evoke — prompts a strong shrug of “is that all there is?” leaving you expecting a bigger finale than the one you’ve had. In all, it’s of considerable interest, but can’t cut it with the trenchcoat classics.


Verdict
Compared to similar genre offerings, this ain't much cop. But standing alone, it's an entertaining and amiable film.


Reviewed by Kim Newman

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Covers Are Here
Bard The Bowman or Smaug The Magnificent?

A Pocket Guide To Game Of Thrones’ New Cast Members
Know your Doran Martell from your Nym Sand

Directors Special: Peter Hyams Goes Film-By-Film
The veteran director on Timecop, Outland, 2010, Enemies Closer and more

Explore The Massive Avengers: Age Of Ultron Comic-Con Banner
Use our interactive gadget to zoom in on Hulk, Iron Man, The Vision and co. in action

The 10 Biggest Stories Of Comic-Con 2014
The shocks to emerge from this year's geek-fest. Avengers! Max! Mann!

Models Inc.: The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
How the likes of Batman, Superman and Luke Skywalker become collectible figures

The Empire Podcast #121: Brett Ratner Talks Hercules On This Week's Show
Plus The Purge: Anarchy producer Jason Blum pops in to talk horror

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)