Strange Days - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Strange Days Reviews

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November 27, 2016
Somewhere in the future which is now the past, a unique product can be sourced, it works in theories and the characters are likeable, but film drags for something that is not that complicated.
November 16, 2016
This is a pretty underrated movie that's pretty fucking awesome. Angela Bassett was a badass in this flick and the end of the millennium setting makes for a good set piece.
½ September 22, 2016
The mid-90s were filled with some awful attempts at virtual reality thrillers (e.g. "Virtuosity"). This one, overlooked at the time, is one of the better ones. A bit clichéd at times, it's well acted and has a smart approach to VR. The opening shot (one long POV shot) is some masterful filmmaking.
August 25, 2016
I enjoyed this fascinating punk sci-fi movie immensely a couple of times!
Refreshing untypical characters of Fiennes and Bassett, Angela Bassets super cool action heroine and Fiennes as a "homeless" dog anti hero,,
I never thought this film was longer than the average movies!
August 21, 2016
I didn't like it, though I watch anything with Ralph Fiennes.
Horror Movie Project
Super Reviewer
½ August 3, 2016
Alright if you want to pass some time. Nothing too memorable. The effects are kind of cool and the grunge is a good touch. However, it's just kind of poorly acted. However, it's fun and suspenseful.
½ August 3, 2016
Alright if you want to pass some time. Creative and suspenseful.
June 25, 2016
Cool sci-fi setting. Ages reasonably well. Very predictable and formulaic plot developments.
½ June 13, 2016
A grifter has tapes of homicides in this weird but entertaining sci-fi flick. Director Kathryn Bigelow's finished product is visually interesting and the action is fast and smooth.
½ May 5, 2016
Strange Days is the highly underrated and way ahead-of-its-time science fiction masterpiece from Kathryn Bigelow that brought challenging ideas to the forefront of the action and features a stellar cast to back up the material. Ralph Fiennes stars as Lenny, a low-level street hustler who deals in lived-memories where people can wear a device known as a SQUID, which records everything the wearer sees which can then be viewed by the public as a sort of, ultra-real, virtual reality. This opens the door for people to live out their wildest fantasies such as what it feels like to be a member of the opposite sex, and in some cases, what it feels like to die! But after Lenny receives the recording of a brutal rape/murder, a web of conspiracy opens up and he has to solve the case and stop this maniac from killing again. It's a fantastic premise that reminded me of ideas from films like Total Recall and the slightly futuristic setting of two-days-prior to the new millennium evokes images of the classic, Blade Runner. The film is masterfully directed by action veteran, Bigelow and features an all-star cast with Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Vincent D'Onofrio, and William Fichtner, but it is Fienne's slightly unhinged and desperate performance as a man who's seen more than he should have that steals the show. This is a very hard film to market and based off of the terrible trailer, it's understandable why this wasn't a financial success, but if they had promoted the fact that, James Cameron wrote the story, it wouldn't have been swept under the rug like it was. This concept has a wide range of possibilities and that's what makes it so special, it's just such a shame that most people have never even heard of it!
April 14, 2016
"Strange Days" is the all too rare futuristic sci-fi thriller that seems to be about something. Not that I'm keeping score - it's just that I often find myself in the presence of genre pictures who use a tumultuous setting as basis for neat sequences of action, as a sleek place for sleek characters to do sleek things. More important is the plot, curiosities touched upon but never felt through.
So while plot is important in "Strange Days," different is the way the world it's set in is fascinating enough to cause one to thirst for a quasi-documentary covering how things came to be. It takes place in 1999, in an apparent alternate universe that sees Earth on the brink of anarchy. We're transported to inner city Los Angeles, where the streets are everlastingly dangerous and where the police seem to be more compelled to save their own skins than to protect those of others.
Such attributes are engrossing provocations to begin with, and pleasing is "Strange Days's" way of never getting too absorbed in its style. It's not trying to create a new world per se; it's more content seeing how the world might look if all of its flaws became too prominent to escape. Some might consider it depressing, especially since the film, even in its most optimistic of moments, has a pertinent atmosphere of misery. But as it's directed by Kathryn Bigelow, a filmmaker whose works frequently jump to the more venturesome side of things ("Point Break," "The Hurt Locker"), and as it's co-written by sci-fi extraordinaire James Cameron (the man behind "The Terminator" and "Avatar"), one can expect that we're not going to be presented with a conventional piece. Instead brought to our screen is an epic of steampunk bedazzlement, as in-your-face and thrilling as it is cerebral. It all seems very plausible, and that's what makes it such a visceral experience.
Ralph Fiennes stars as Lenny Nero, a cop turned hustler making a living off dealing America's new favorite drug, SQUID. SQUID, however, isn't typical in that it isn't a powder you snort, a substance you inject. SQUID, in actuality, is short for "Superconducting Quantum Interference Device"; they're illegal electronic gadgets able to bring someone the experience of another. Place one on your head (they take the shape of a futuristic claw), insert a pre-recorded disc in, and you're living a few minutes of someone else's life, feeling everything that they felt in those moments. As it turns out, getting addicted to seeing the world through someone else's eyes is easy and treacherous.
Most use SQUIDs to undergo trivial things like imaginary sex, or for more dangerous highs like a robbery. But rising is the number of "blackjack" exploits, which, in addition to giving the wearer the experience they crave, also show the death of the person they're living vicariously through. Lenny only comes across these sinful depictions once in a blue moon, and when he does, he does everything he can to keep himself and his clients far away from their effects.
But one SQUID proves to be much more disturbing than what he usually might see in an average blackjack. He, unflinchingly, witnesses the brutal rape and murder of a prostitute he casually knew. We are put in the shoes of the predator with horrifying realism. But the most disconcerting feature of the recording is the added detail that the killer placed his very own SQUID onto the head of his victim, thus letting her see her own death from the eyes of her murderer. The event shakes Lenny up with great force, and after he begins receiving even more anonymous snuff clips, he teams up with old coworker, Mace Mason (a stupendous Angela Bassett), in hopes of tracking down the fiend responsible.
This storyline, however, is only a fragment of the triumph of "Strange Days" - being almost two-and-a-half hours in length, its multiple, intertwining plots, along with its intricate character relationships, make it much more credible than the formulaic mainstream thriller. Also pivotal is Lenny's own addiction to SQUID (he uses the device to recount his past relationship with Faith [Juliette Lewis], a trashy would-be punk rocker), and his affiliation with Mace, which is perhaps the only sanguine part of the film.
The central plot is exciting enough as is (the murder that kicks off the action is supremely effective and supremely terrifying), so the added fixtures of social commentary is what makes "Strange Days" so spectacular. Cameron and Jay Cocks tap into society's obsessions with pleasure, pushing a need for escapism to bewildering extremes (a characteristic more relevant than ever), and question the strength of governmental power in the face of civil unrest.
But the most disquieting thing about the film is how persuasively it portrays a world where most of the law has lost control (most remaining officers have succumbed to extreme corruption), where culture has become so enamored with dopamine release that Earth has become a gigantic survival of the fittest - anarchy is on the verge of becoming a reality. Such a setting is nothing new in the movies, but because Bigelow so sure-handedly transforms us into voyeurs, the film's stimulations hit close to home. I hesitate to call "Strange Days" sci-fi because so much of it doesn't feel so far off.
It's a work that gives you whiplash, from its "Ghost in the Shell" meets film noir visual style (most of the film's best scenes occur during the darkest hours of the night) to its abrasive performances - Bassett, emulating a prime Pam Grier, and Lewis, believable as a rock 'n' roll star, are standouts. "Strange Days," simultaneously eerie and searing, is science fiction at its most piquant.
March 25, 2016
"Strange" indeed, but also very interesting, especially for a movie of this length. A great cast makes the unlikely believable.
March 24, 2016
this movie is amazing! the whole cast delivers! the storyline is intriguing as well as the script!
January 1, 2016
Strange Days is an indisputably exhilarating and disturbing thriller about complex characters, their perception and acceptance of reality, their journeys for deserved or undeserved redemption, and the preservations of their futures.
½ November 29, 2015
Unlikeable cast of characters and poor acting. There is little to like about this film and it has not aged well. I rarely turn off a movie but about 3/4 the way through I couldn't take anymore. The one interesting this about this movie is the interpretation of how virtual reality would be used. I couldn't even enjoy this movie ironically. Skip it.
½ November 15, 2015
89%
Watched this on 14/11/15
Katheryn Bigelow directs Strange Days with vigour and pace and her work is almost impeccable. The film shows an extremely realistic possible future without relaying on unnecessary CGI effects or over-the-top excess in most sci-fi films. The story and script written by James Cameron effectively captures the madness of it's dystopian and frenetic world and also whenever it centers on Virtual Intelligence, the film is ground breaking. However, once the story progresses most viewers will be longing for more sci-fi and the film always try to make it more of a murder mystery than a sci-fi film. Even when you feel like it's gonna fail, director Bigelow effectively manages to keep it afloat. The film is also well shot and the climax scene is a true evidence of it. Ralph Fiennes and especially Angela Bassett give commendable performances and as always Juliette Lewis is nothing but an irritation. The film also sadly tries to over exploit racism by making suggestion that in 1999, the racism was almost as severe as in the 1800s. Another fine example of this is how the cops are only white and the protesters are mostly black.
October 12, 2015
This cyberpunk masterpiece has James Cameron's stamp all over it. I am biased as I saw this when I was a teen and it stuck with me. Fantastic soundtrack, amazing characters and character growth, they really do evolve as people in this fine film. Ralph and Angela are simply sublime and their relationship is beautiful at times. Visually stunning, great plot and wonderful acting. A must watch.
Robert B.
Super Reviewer
October 8, 2015
Strange Days is too long, too dated, and the male lead cannot be taken seriously enough for it to be the thrill ride it pretends to be. But I do give Angela Basset credit for the effort put into her character, the only sympathetic one in the film.
August 15, 2015
Increiblemente bien dirigida pero sobre todo un genial escalafon medio entre el cyberpunk y la scifi que deberia haber cundido mas, no se entiende la poca repercusión de esta memorable pelicula. Una rareza, una extrañeza realmente muy especial.
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