• “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.

Leave the first comment