• “As the greatest film ever made by one of the two or three most important filmmakers to emerge from the New Hollywood movement of the ’60s and ’70s, Blow Out is among the most significant films of the past three decades,” contends critic Travis Crawford in Filmmaker, in his review of the new Criterion Blu-ray and DVD releases of Brian De Palma’s extraordinary paranoia thriller starring John Travolta and Nancy Allen. Crawford, who goes on to call the film “a wrongfully undervalued classic” and “a masterpiece,” is not alone in his excitement. Kevin Courrier, writing for Critics at Large, calls it “the sharpest, most devastating American conspiracy picture . . . In Blow Out, [De Palma] fused the underground political attitudes of his early work with the horror genre techniques he’d been perfecting in Carrie, The Fury, and Dressed to Kill.” And in a grade-A review for Entertainment Weekly, Chris Nashawaty praises this “deliciously twisty and twisted” suspense film and saves special words for Travolta: “De Palma captured something deeper than the star’s dimpled-chin good looks: fear and fragility. Honestly, Travolta’s performance is reason enough to recommend the film.”

    We highly recommend watching this video review from Roger Ebert Presents at the Movies, in which first Matt Singer and then Ignatiy Vishnevetsky take a close, clip-filled look at the film. According to Singer, Blow Out is “a suspenseful thriller and a tender and sad love story,” as well as “a brilliant exposé of sound in cinema”; for Vishnevetsky it’s “a masterpiece by any measure and a film of profound disillusionment,” and “not only the high watermark of De Palma’s career as a director and screenwriter but also the finest performance of John Travolta’s career.”

    More from Dennis Dermody at Paper. Plus, an AV Club interview with Nancy Allen.

9 comments

  • By laura petermann
    May 06, 2011
    05:12 PM

    Blow Out is at the top of my DePalma film list, with outstanding performances by Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow and Dennis Franz. I believe Travolta's insomnia during the film enhanced his moody performance. Can't wait to get this in the new Criterion Blu-ray version!
    Reply
  • By Matt C.
    May 07, 2011
    12:09 PM

    Greatest movie about combinding the techincal and the personal. A recommend among all De Palma fans.
    Reply
  • By Mediocre at best
    May 08, 2011
    09:29 PM

    It is great until that cheesy run on the Jeep at the end. The music make it unbearable at times and Travolta´s character gets into severe contradiction when uses his dead friend´s scream for the crappy film he was doing. Terrible at best. Only remarkable things are how the analogue sound and film are used. Carrie is the greatest film from Depalma, but i guess as Criterion did not release it, is not so good...Really, it sucks most of the time.
    Reply
  • By Julie
    May 10, 2011
    09:09 PM

    Damn, i knew i should have bought Night of the Hunter, this "film" is tasteless and campy as rarely seen on criterion. :(
    Reply
  • By Leonard Lloyd Mukwindidza
    May 11, 2011
    02:38 PM

    why is it that people always think and present the negative past not the positive. are they creating harmony or chaos in the future. think about it.....
    Reply
  • By Sweet Sadie
    May 15, 2011
    07:51 PM

    I bought 3 titles: Senso, Le Cercle Rouge and Blow Out, the last one goes straight to my ebay account as low as $10, i want to recover a little of the money i paid for that piece of garbage. The first 2, sublime, beautifully restored and with excellent extras. How many did Depalma paid to get this mess on Criterion?
    Reply
  • By DVD Phreak
    May 17, 2011
    01:43 PM

    @Mediocre at best, Jack DID NOT use Sally's scream in his movie at the end. He used a different scream, which his director thought was great. Then in his mind he heard Sally's scream, which sounded so much more realistic and frightening than any horror movie could have done. It was a brilliant ending by de Palma.
    Reply
  • By MA
    May 17, 2011
    05:16 PM

    I don't see the contradiction even if it is the same scream. Great movie, masterful ending.
    Reply
  • By Randy Aitken
    July 13, 2011
    01:19 AM

    BLOW OUT is my favorite Brian De Palma film and I know it well having seen it countless times. I finally had a chance to watch it tonight and the blu-ray transfer is stunning and the audio is equally stellar. The film has never looked better. Everyone involved with this release has performed admirably. As a film fan and a De Palma fan I thank Criterion for this excellent release. It's a pleasure to be able to see BDP interviewed among the extras. PS:How long do we have to wait for The FURY or FEMME FATALE from Criterion?
    Reply

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