The Pale Blue Eye Review: Christian Bale’s Latest Bid For an Oscar
The Pale Blue Eye
Director: Scott Cooper
If you like the murder mystery genre, then the actual mystery will be fun to experience as it unfolds. Although numerous, the core cast of characters are fun to watch and make the viewing experience pleasant.
The Pale Blue Eye is a murder mystery based on the novel written by Louis Bayard in 2003, with the same title. With an interesting mystery, and eccentric cast of characters, The Pale Blue Eye has an interesting enough premise to be enjoyable.
The Pale Blue Eye was an enjoyable movie to watch. With an interesting premise, references to the occult, and gruesome death, this movie had intriguing elements to keep me engaged. I enjoyed the way the story played out, especially the twist at the end. However, with a run time of slightly over two hours, I do have to say that some parts of the movie were slow and hard to watch.
Is The Pale Blue Eye Based on a True Story?
The Pale Blue Eye is NOT based on a true story. I haven’t read the source material for this movie, but The Pale Blue Eye is based on a novel by the same title written by Louis Bayard, written back in 2003. Similar to the book, the story revolves around a young Edgar Allan Poe and a murder mystery set in 1830s when Poe was a cadet.
What happens in The Pale Blue Eye?
Getting into the movie, the plot follows Landor and Poe, two characters who are trying to solve a murder mystery set at the U.S. Military Academy. For a more detailed look at the plot, I wrote a summary that can be found on the website. Beware though, this plot summary covers the whole movie, so spoilers are found on that page.
How Good was The Pale Blue Eye?
Now, with all the background out of the way, you’re probably thinking, “how good is this movie anyways?” Of all the murder mystery movies I’ve watched, The Pale Blue Eye was an enjoyable watch. Now, it might not be one of the best movies I’ve seen, but it still had a satisfactory run. On the good side, I thought the acting and characters were enjoyable to watch.
From our protagonists, I loved the way Poe reacted to all his situations. It felt natural and Harry Melling sells Poe’s eccentric quirks. I also enjoyed Christian Bale’s Landor. He was able to sell the rough edges of Landor’s character, which made his character feel natural as well. Besides the characters, I also enjoyed the mystery aspect of the movie.
First things first, the whole situation Landor and Poe found themselves in was interesting. Not only was the murder a gruesome one, but it also had hints of the supernatural, which was an interesting direction to take the movie. Adding a bit of unnaturalness gave it another layer of depth, while also giving the viewer more questions than answers. Finally, the twist at the end was quite satisfying. Everything looped back on itself, creating a full circle moment, which I liked.
Now, on the other hand, I do have to say that the movie felt quite slow in some places. With a run time of over two hours, there were a lot of scenes that I felt were filler. There was a lot of dialogue that wasn’t needed and just stretched the movie along. The movie did have its good moments, where everything flowed naturally, but between some plot points the pacing slowed to a crawl, making it hard to focus sometimes. Another thing I didn’t enjoy was the number of side characters that were introduced. There were many side characters that were important for the plot, but at the same time felt unnecessary. There was a point in the movie where there were so many named characters that I lost track of who was who.
Why is The Pale Blue Eye Rated R?
If you’ve seen the rating on Netflix, you’re probably wondering why The Pale Blue Eye is rated R. From what I watched, the main reason it could’ve gotten this rating was from violence, gore, and disturbing imagery. Right at the start of the movie, when Landor comes across the victim, it clearly shows the wounds he sustained before his death and the eerie cut on his chest. Not only that, but later in the movie, we get to watch how the victim was killed, which is not something children should be watching without supervision. There were also other instances of brutality. Other than those aspects, there wasn’t any explicit content or anything along those lines.
Should You Watch The Pale Blue Eye?
To wrap up this review and to answer this question, I’d say give it a shot. If you like the murder mystery genre, then the actual mystery will be fun to experience as it unfolds. Although numerous, the core cast of characters are fun to watch and make the viewing experience pleasant. Finally, the supernatural aspect surrounding the plot was intriguing and added another layer to the movie. Fun watch overall, so give it a shot.