THE BREAKDOWN with SUNSHINE - Kathryn Bigelow

Detroit hits theaters soon and I am incredibly excited to see this flick on the big screen. Kathryn Bigelow has been pretty successful over the last few years and with her new movie on the verge of being released, let’s take a look at her entire career in this installment of The Breakdown.

Critical/Public Response

Bigelow’s greatest success came from the phenomenal war drama, The Hurt Locker, which picked up several awards in 2009, including Best Picture and snagged Bigelow an Oscar for Best Director. Not only is it the move that performed best with the critics, but also with the fans. Bigelow pulls incredible performances out of the cast and it is arguably the best movie made about the war in Iraq. That being said, Bigelow doesn’t always knock it out of the park. 2001’s The Weight of Water didn’t perform well in the slightest. Critics and audiences alike thought it was a disengaging, muddled mess. We also can’t write a piece on Kathryn Bigelow without mentioning 1991’s Point Break. It’s an absolute blast of movie with some incredibly iconic scenes. Sure people make fun of it, but I absolutely dig it even if others find it to be a mediocre endeavor. Overall, Bigelow has enough heavy hitters to help her have a respectable response score of 70.52

Financial Impact

Bigelow looks like she is starting to find ways to spend her money wisely as the last 2 pictures are in the green. That being said, The Hurt Locker wasn’t a blockbuster by any means (it's still the lowest grossing Best Picture Winner, even adjusting for inflation, in the history of The Academy Awards) and she has never made a movie that broke $100 million. That being said it seems to be a coin toss on whether or not her movies will be profitable but for the last 9 years she has kept it moving in a positive direction and I hope that Detroit will continue that pattern.

Financial Impact: $100,737,300

The Defining Style

Bigelow is a tough nut to crack when it comes to finding similar filming styles throughout her lengthy career. She has grown with each and every film that she has made and the versatility of her film's genres have led to different styles of shooting. Realistically, she isn’t doing anything groundbreaking when it comes to filmmaking but her movies look good and the stories work (mainly due to the consistently excellent screenplays from recent regular collaborator Mark Boal). You are also bound to see people get shot, like a lot.  

That’s a Wrap

Kathryn Bigelow is a solid filmmaker. If you take out the early 2000’s, you can see a career that stands up against some of the greatest directors still working. Her early films are moody, gritty, and have some kick ass sequences that are fun to revisit and her most recent films are powerhouses. If Detroit delivers the way I think it will, she will solidify her spot in the upper echelon of directors.

Response Score: 70.52

Financial Impact: $100,737,300

Years Active: 1978-Present (39 Years)

Sunshine’s Rankings

The Hurt Locker (10/10)

Zero Dark Thirty (8/10)

Point Break (8/10)

Near Dark (7/10)

Blue Steel (5/10)

The Loveless (4/10)

K-19: The Widowmaker (unseen)

The Weight of Water (unseen)

Strange Days (unseen)

Hurt Locker [Blu-ray]
Starring Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Ralph Fiennes, Evangeline Lilly

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