Devil in a Blue Dress

1995

Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)

TOMATOMETER

Critic Consensus: Humor, interesting characters, and attention to details make the stylish Devil in a Blue Dress an above average noir.

AUDIENCE SCORE


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Movie Info

Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins, a decorated war hero who returns home to the segregation of post-war America. Forced to accept an under-the-table job finding a missing socialite, Easy is caught between the white power elite and the vibrant black community of Central Avenue. And as soon as Easy and his trigger-happy friend Mouse find the mysterious Daphne Monet, trouble follows.

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Cast

Denzel Washington
as Easy Rawlins
Tom Sizemore
as DeWitt Albright
Jennifer Beals
as Daphne Monet
Maury Chaykin
as Matthew Terell
Terry Kinney
as Todd Carter
Lisa Nicole Carson
as Coretta James
Jernard Burks
as Dupree Brouchard
David Wolos Fonteno
as Junior Fornay
Beau Starr
as Miller
Steven Randazzo
as Benny Giacomo
Scott Lincoln
as Richard McGee
L. Scott Caldwell
as Hattie Parsons
Joseph Latimore
as Frank Green
RJ Knoll
as Herman
Kai Lennox
as Football
Poppy Montgomery
as Barbara's Sister
Brendan Kelly
as Terell's Chauffeur
Peggy Rea
as Carter's Secretary
Brazylia Kotere
as Neighborhood Woman
Jeris Poindexter
as Alphonso Jenkins
Frank Davis
as Butcher
Matt Barry
as Cop in Car
Mark Cotone
as Cop in Station
Brian E. O'Neal
as John's Band/Singer
G. Smokey Campbell
as Nightclub Owner
J.D. Smith
as Pool Hall Owner
Nigel Gibbs
as Bootlegger
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News & Interviews for Devil in a Blue Dress

Critic Reviews for Devil in a Blue Dress

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (17)

Carl Franklin (One False Move) is a good-and-getting-better director.

Jan 5, 2018 | Full Review…
CNN.com
Top Critic

The evocation of that vanished world is alone worth the price of admission. But this classically built genre movie has plenty else to offer, not least of which is Franklin's solid, measured craftsmanship.

Jul 6, 2010 | Full Review…
Newsweek
Top Critic

Entering the main flow of the story relatively late, Don Cheadle steals all his scenes as a live-wire, trigger-happy old buddy of Easy's from Texas, while Sizemore and Mel Winkler, as colorful underworld figures, make strong impressions.

Mar 26, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

Sheer pleasure.

Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

The role of Easy looks as tailor-made for Mr. Washington as his suit, and it shows off the full effect of this actor's movie-star dazzle.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 4/4

A fluid, persuasive piece of movie-making graced with the considerable visual sophistication.

Aug 15, 2002 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Devil in a Blue Dress

A lot of this movie is unintentionally funny, mostly because it is so obvious in trying to mock the whole Film Noir genre. However, it really doesn't end up doing so visually, which makes no sense really. It has a very unnecessary voice-over from Denzel Washington that really takes you out of the story rather than educate you on the characters and plot. The movie doesn't end up being really bad and for the most part it's very enjoyable, what with the bizarre performances and character choices. It does manage to get the time period down, which is the greatest strength of the movie. Jennifer Beals also plays one good Femme Fatal, but not enough to save the movie. The ending is really what sends it off into the nonsense territory, making the entire story completely worthless.

Conner Rainwater
Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

½

Honest working stiff Denzel Washington finds himself out of a job and desperate for money, so he accepts a job locating a young woman for a shady stranger. Devil In A Blue dress is an extremely stylish modern noir with a slightly different slant; the setting of a post war Los Angeles within the African American community gives this detective story a different flavour that marks it out from the norm. Denzel gives yet another solid performance of a tough but dignified, righteous man but the film is pretty much yanked out from under him by Don Cheadle in his breakthrough role. As Denzel's trigger happy sidekick he is both fearsome and hilarious and he effortlessly steals every scene he appears in. Although Tom Sizemore makes a good heavy, I felt we didn't see nearly enough of the corrupt politician who was behind all of these events but if you liked Chinatown or L.A. Confidential, this is well worth a look.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

This movie would have been so much better if it wasn't made at all & Denzel Washington is annoying like always

Arash Xak
Arash Xak

Super Reviewer

½

Though well acted and beautifully crafted, "Devil in a Blue Dress" falls short of being something special because, although the concept of an African American film noir is commendably original and the background climate - of racial prejudice and the post-WWII hangover in L.A. - is fascinating, the actual mystery is pretty run-of-the-mill. The title is a bit of a misnomer because, if anything, Jennifer Beals' femme fatale is not deadly enough, and the movie also lacks a proper bad guy, a larger-than-life, charismatic kingpin: a Sidney Greenstreet or a John Huston; Maury Chaykin's creepy political candidate would have fit the bill nicely but he's only onscreen for a couple of minutes. The unseen events bookending Easy Rawlins' (Denzel Washington) transition from disaffected war veteran to private investigator - namely his former criminal escapades with a trigger-happy associate in Texas (Don Cheadle) versus his further adventures as a fully-fledged gumshoe - unfortunately sound a lot more interesting than the story we are being told, making this feel like a sequel to, or a two-hour trailer for, an even better film.

Stephen M
Stephen M

Super Reviewer

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