Blow Out

Blow Out ★★★★½

A masterfully crafted thriller that weaves in political commentary without hitting the audience over the head with the message. Without giving anything away, the film is about the corruption that underlies much of American politics and how the powers that be would rather turn a blind eye and accept lies than confront uncomfortable truths. The juxtaposition of Jack (John Travolta's character) attempting to expose the truth of Governor McRyan's death while the world around him is celebrating the Liberty Bell, a classic symbol of America, is a stroke of genius.

Also, this being Brian De Palma, the film is a stunning exercise in cinematic style. One scene that particularly stands out is when Jack frantically goes through his studio playing tape after tape, and the entire time the camera spins round and round and then stops in the perfect position right as Jack has finished listening to the tapes. The kinetic, almost dizzying motion of this shot brilliantly conveys the whirlwind of stress and paranoia that Jack is feeling at that moment.

Overall, De Palma delivers a film that is both meaningful and highly stylistic. 9/10. I originally leaned towards an 8.5/10, but the more I think about the film, the more I am impressed by it.