I watch a lot of highly visual detective dramas, and True Detective ranks among the best of them. It’s atmospheric without getting boring, and handles suspense with true mastery. The time skipping structure felt a bit uneven, and some of the drama can seem a bit drab, but McConaughey’s depressing diatribes are glorious things to behold. And of course, I ate up all the King in Yellow/Carcosa references.
Like Scarface, this film is destined to be adored by dudebros who miss the point. It has been described as “three hours of debauchery” and while that description is not wrong per se, there is a message about his downfall in there somewhere. Jonah Hill gave another confusingly good performance alongside DiCaprio’s predictably solid one (though the more memorable aspect of his performance mostly involved spasming around drunk and/or in a drug-enduced epilepsy).
This thing is going to win awards. It explored and interpreted its themes with precision and depth. McConaughey delivered a career-solidifying performance. Acclaim can easily be awarded to the camera work. Yet I still found myself exiting the theater thinking, “Yep, that was a movie.” Maybe I’m just stuck in summer-blockbuster-mode. Also I maintain my belief that Reese Witherspoon shouldn’t be allowed in front of a camera.
This is an engaging story of a defense lawyer’s world with continual, and varied, emotional twists. Great characters engaging in believable conversations. The story, while entertaining, was nothing new. My favorite parts were those showing a more detailed and realistic take on how defense lawyers work than is usually portrayed in film and especially TV.