Devil in a Blue Dress
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It was fate and circumstance that led black WW II veteran Easy Rawlins to become a private detective. Living in 1948 LA, he had just lost his job at an aircraft plant. He needs money to pay the mortgage on his GI bill home and so when suspicious-looking DeWitt Albright offers him 100 smackers to find mysterious Daphne Monet, he doesn't think twice. He should have, for soon he finds himself hopelessly entangled in murder, corruption and gangland connections that extend to the highest echelons of LA society. This noirish whodunit is based on a novel by Walter Mosely.

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"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."
‑ Todd McCarthy, Variety
"A fluid, persuasive piece of movie-making graced with the considerable visual sophistication."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"Stylish neo-noir."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Carl Franklin's unusually creative studio movie, boasting superlative acting from Denzel Washington and particularly newcomer Don Cheadle, reinvents a genre and a bygone era, in this case, Los Angeles circa 1948."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"...a throwback to the gumshoe tales of the thirties and forties."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
"Sheer pleasure."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"The film also does a convincing job of re-creating Los Angeles of 1948 with both specificity and poetry."
‑ Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"Invoking social realism more than pulp fiction, Carl Franklin's Devil in a Blue Dress is an innovative genre film on several counts."
‑ Rob Nelson, City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul
"Great, grand piece of modern noir, with a unique twist that rethinks the genre even as it honors its finest elements. Great performances all around."
‑ Rob Vaux, Flipside Movie Emporium
"Production design and acting aside, this film is less than one wants it to be."
‑ Nick Davis, Nick's Flick Picks
"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."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"A bland, workaday detective flick."
‑ Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail
"In the aftermath of the Oscars, it now seems clear that Devil in a Blue Dress was one of the best films of 1995."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"A very complex and engrossing mystery, filled with wonderful period details."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"Monstrously funny and truly scary, Cheadle is handed a scene-stealing role and never hesitates to do it justice."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide
More reviews for Devil in a Blue Dress on Rotten Tomatoes