Monday, March 20, 2023

Boston Strangler (2023)

Streaming Service: Hulu
Movie Name/Year: Boston Strangler (2023)
Genre: History, Drama, Crime
Length:  1h 52min
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: 20th Century Studios, Langley Park Productions, LuckyChap Entertainment, Scott Free Productions, Warner Bros., Hulu
Director: Matt Ruskin
Writer: Matt Ruskin
Actors: Keira Knightley, Carrie Coon, Chris Cooper, David Dastmalchian, Alessandro Nivola, Ivan Martin, Jon Lindstrom, Kris Sidberry, Mellanie Hubert, Morgan Spector, Owen Burke, Robert John Burke, Rory Cochrane
IMDb Blurb: Loretta McLaughlin was the reporter who first connected the murders and broke the story of the Boston Strangler. She and Jean Cole challenged the sexism of the early 1960s to report on the city's most notorious serial killer.

Selina’s Point of View:
Boston Strangler was an old-fashioned crime film.
Any unnecessary convolution, or heart-pounding action, that a modern crime story might have utilized was replaced by intrigue and tension. It reminded me more of the old black-and-white crime films than anything else. I was impressed. Boston Strangler took something that most filmmakers have left in the past and showed that there’s still a place for it in our current cinematic landscape.
I thought it was moving slow, but when I checked the runtime, I was actually about halfway through. Boston Strangler simply had a setup that I wasn’t entirely used to anymore.
I figured it would be a bit like a 2-hour episode of Criminal Minds (2005 -). Mostly mystery, with some high tension and a touch of police action. Instead, it reminded me more of Murder She Wrote (1984-1996). A slow burn that has more energy in the characterizations and mystery than anything else.
That kind of thing can be hit or miss for me. If there was even a little less quality to it, I would have lost focus. I never had that issue, though.
I think a lot of my interest came from just how well Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean, Colette, Silent Night) portrayed Loretta McLaughlin. She was poised and intense. I followed the story as closely as I did because her curiosity was infectious.
My only complaint would have been the ending. I felt like it was a little anti-climactic. But that’s it.
I’m surprised by how good Boston Strangler was. I would absolutely recommend it.

Cat’s Point of View:
I settled in with a blanket, a good beverage, and some burning curiosity as I began my viewing experience with Boston Strangler. It seemed like a perfect fit for this final gasp of winter cold snap that we’re having. I was just hoping that a low-energy spell wouldn’t send me snoozing before it was done. I’m happy to report that I was engrossed enough in this movie that fatigue could not pull me under. 

When I listed Boston Strangler in March’s Top 20, I mentioned part of my reasoning for placement was due to the fact that this particular piece of history doesn’t come up a lot. I’d only vaguely remembered that the Boston Strangler was even “a thing,” much less any details about the criminal cases. We hear so much about other historical travesties and their masterminds, yet this generally unsolved murder spree has slipped through so many cracks. It’s a deserving story with an important underlying message - don’t let anyone in your home that you haven’t vetted first; especially if you’re alone. 

Beyond that, this was a breakthrough for women in the workplace in journalism and otherwise for that era. 

Boston Strangler gave me a lot of crime noir vibes with its approach to the production. We just had a pair of intrepid reporters hot on the trail of this story instead of a smooth-talking gumshoe in a trenchcoat and fedora. There weren’t any flashy chase scenes or overtly grisly imagery, and yet the tale spun was still full of grit and tension. I became invested in the case and concerned for the well-being of these ladies. Everything was to the point, and very well executed. 

The cast really knocked this one out of the park, as well. Powerful performances drove Boston Strangler home and made what otherwise might be a dry procedural drama feel so much more intense. 

True crime tales have become a pop culture touchstone in recent years. Fans of that genre should likely appreciate Boston Strangler, but I believe that it could appeal to wider audiences as well. If you have Hulu, it’s definitely worth giving a chance. 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 62%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 76%
Metascore – 60%
Metacritic User Score – 5.6/10
IMDB Score – 6.5/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating – 4/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 4/5
Movie Trailer:

No comments:

Post a Comment