- 1 hr 46 min
Cruising is a 1980 crime thriller directed by renowned filmmaker William Friedkin. The movie stars Al Pacino as Steve Burns, a young and inexperienced police officer tasked with going undercover to catch a serial killer who preys on gay men in New York City's underground leather and S&M subculture. The movie begins with a series of graphic and violent murders that are committed in the same manner: the killer stabs his victims with a switchblade in the back, cuts off their right hand, and then disembowels them with surgical precision. The police department is under intense pressure to solve the case, and they realize that the killer is targeting the gay community by posing as a member of the subculture.
In order to catch the killer, Burns is recruited to go undercover and infiltrate the gay bars and clubs where the victims were last seen. Burns is hesitant at first but agrees to the assignment, and he soon discovers a dangerous and unfamiliar world filled with leather-clad men, bondage, and erotic dancing.
As Burns immerses himself in the subculture, he becomes increasingly isolated and disturbed by the graphic sexual experiences he witnesses. He struggles to maintain his cover while dealing with his own personal demons, including guilt over the death of a previous suspect.
As the body count rises and the investigation heats up, Burns becomes more and more consumed by his obsession with the killer. He begins to lose touch with reality and questions whether he will ever be able to return to his old life as a police officer.
The movie is known for its controversial subject matter and graphic depictions of sex and violence. It faced backlash and protests from the LGBT community, who felt that it portrayed gay men as unhinged and violent. Critics were divided over whether the movie was a daring exploration of taboo subject matter or a misguided and exploitative thrill ride.
Regardless of its controversy, Cruising remains a powerful and visceral portrayal of one man's descent into the heart of darkness. Al Pacino delivers a gripping performance as Steve Burns, capturing both his vulnerability and his growing sense of paranoia and delusion.
Other standout performances include Paul Sorvino as the grizzled police captain who oversees the investigation, and Karen Allen as Burns' girlfriend, who struggles to understand his sudden detachment and erratic behavior.
Overall, Cruising is a challenging and thought-provoking movie that delves into themes of identity, sexuality, and the often murky distinctions between good and evil. It is not for the faint of heart, but for those willing to brave its controversial subject matter, it offers a powerful and unforgettable viewing experience.
Cruising is a 1980 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 46 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.5 and a MetaScore of 43.