Netflix | Release Date: December 23, 2022
6.5
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 77 Ratings
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39
Mixed:
30
Negative:
8
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7
TVJerryDec 29, 2022
After a murder takes place at West Point Academy, a nearby detective (Christian Bale) is brought in to investigate. One of the first cadets he interviews is a young Edgar Allen Poe (Harry Melling, who not only bears a resemblance to theAfter a murder takes place at West Point Academy, a nearby detective (Christian Bale) is brought in to investigate. One of the first cadets he interviews is a young Edgar Allen Poe (Harry Melling, who not only bears a resemblance to the author but is the movie's standout performance). Director Scott Cooper has turned what could have been a standard murder mystery into a visually stylish procedural revolving around the strained relationship of the 2 men. Additionally, the gorgeous production design and dark, beautiful cinematography give the film a historical atmosphere. While the plot may be a bit convoluted, the production elevates the film to a more stylistic level. Expand
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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6
Badgerryan27Jan 6, 2023
Decent film with an average story but the backdrop is more interesting. The cinematography is great and it makes it look like a type of historical background. Nicely acted but the film isn’t very thrilling or suspenseful as the movie wantsDecent film with an average story but the backdrop is more interesting. The cinematography is great and it makes it look like a type of historical background. Nicely acted but the film isn’t very thrilling or suspenseful as the movie wants you to think. It’s a worthwhile for a one watch. Expand
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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6
UncleWillardJan 6, 2023
Strong performances, excellent production values, and even Poe himself can't save this thriller from the weight of its pretentions. Okay, even the performances were okay. Bale as always is exemplary, but he's the only standout. GillianStrong performances, excellent production values, and even Poe himself can't save this thriller from the weight of its pretentions. Okay, even the performances were okay. Bale as always is exemplary, but he's the only standout. Gillian Anderson was cartoonish and Melling, while somewhat charming, came off like Lt. Barkley foiling his antagonizers in a holodeck play. Lot of very talented, veteran actors sorely underutilized in a mediocre, and at parts goofy plot. I can't really recommend it outside of Bale and the production values. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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6
fabittarJan 7, 2023
No spoilers. This movie would’ve been great if they had cut the last 30 minutes. They should’ve stuck to the cookie-cutter plot. The “plot twist” at the very end wasn’t particularly clever, to say the least. 9/10 if you disregard the last 30No spoilers. This movie would’ve been great if they had cut the last 30 minutes. They should’ve stuck to the cookie-cutter plot. The “plot twist” at the very end wasn’t particularly clever, to say the least. 9/10 if you disregard the last 30 mins that almost sort of ruined it. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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6
NeedFictionJan 7, 2023
Christian Bale and Harry Melling are good in their roles, and so are the character actors who support them. The cinematography in general is very good, and sometimes stunning, although a bit one note in its either snow or darkness for such aChristian Bale and Harry Melling are good in their roles, and so are the character actors who support them. The cinematography in general is very good, and sometimes stunning, although a bit one note in its either snow or darkness for such a long film. The main thing is this film can't decide if it wants to be a murder mystery or a tragic tear jerker period piece. The ratings, I think, would go up 20% overall if this didn't have the Lord of the Rings curse, where the director really, really, wants to put an extra ending. Literally the core mystery is supposedly solved, and then I realized there was 35 minutes left to go. Would have been better to either just let it end at the first "reveal," or move the other endings up and cut out 20 minutes of cultish ceremony and at times very wordy and silly dialogue that goes nowhere. (Two different characters at different times tell Poe that they just "knew he was the one" for their plot point). Then, some background motivation (without adding spoilers) turns into the main plot at the very end, and it just doesn't work. Overall, only because of the last 30 minutes, the whole film feels out of balance. Just stop the film with 35 minutes left and you'll come back here and give it a 10/10, plus, you will have really enjoyed it! Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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8
tjorven13Jan 9, 2023
Fine story, with a 180grade twist, in the end, very likable story.
The filming is very beautifully done, in a dark winter that with the colors of the dresses make it very nice. I would have done 100% the same as the main character if it had
Fine story, with a 180grade twist, in the end, very likable story.
The filming is very beautifully done, in a dark winter that with the colors of the dresses make it very nice. I would have done 100% the same as the main character if it had happened to me for sure!
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2 of 4 users found this helpful22
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1
hnestlyontheslyJan 10, 2023
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This lazy adaptation of a novel by the same name is about as complex a murder mystery as a cheese sandwich. It’s the gothic horror equivalent of Patrick Star eating his own chocolate bar. It’s as if Christian Bale (playing a detective who lives basically on the campus of West Point where the crime has occurred) has walked into a phone booth with five of his closest associates and then declared, once the lights have flickered on and off, that he has a theory of the case for who in the city was responsible for bludgeoning one of the people in the booth with a telephone. We get it? It’s one of you? Or all of you? It doesn’t actually matter all that much what the permutation is for your motives, so much as we are surprised by how quickly we arrive upon the murderers without actually putting them away.

There is, of course, the glimmerings of a twist, much in the same vein as See How They Run, in which (SPOILERS), we briefly suspect that either Edgar Allen Poe!! (Oh did I forget to mention that the entire movie hinges on the promise that hte murder is going to be in Poe's aesthetic?) or Landon (Bale) has the means and the motive to have committed some heinous murders, but no matter, once we are in the room with the pentagram and the Latin chanting, it’s fairly clear that even if they are not directly responsible for the murders, our baddies are deserving of some comeuppance.

The cast is stacked for this progressively dumber historical drama: Christian Bale, Gillian Anderson, the omnipresent Harry Melling (of Dudley Dursley fame, Buster Scruggs, Queen’s Gambit, and the upcoming review I’ll do for the erotic? satire? of toxic masculinity? and West Side Story?, Please, Baby, Please), the ever-ready character actors Timothy Spall and Toby Jones, Fred Hechinger of White Lotus Season 1, and Lucy Boynton of Murder on the Orient Express, Sing Street, and Bohemian Rhapsody). My suspicion is that the expectations for this movie were spoiled by two different high water marks in supernatural murder mysteries of late. One, Misha Green’s Lovecraft Country did a great job of taking the aesthetic of Arkham Horror and adapting it to the 1950s with magical realist elements in ways that commented on and critiqued the source material’s most salient issues with race while also generating new avenues for storytelling. Two, Netflix’s Wednesday updated that source material, which shares some of its gothic aesthetic with Edgar Allen Poe, but found ways to breathe new energy and humor into stories that had some near perfect screen adaptations 20 years ago. The Pale Blue Eye isn’t either of those.

In fact, if I were going to give you a place where you can confidently shut off your computer in order to hate the film marginally less than you might, I would say, leave after the burning building. There is nothing for you after that. If you have proceeded beyond that point, you are aware that the film finds a way to include a rape plot in the ninth inning which is neither interesting nor necessary. If that weren’t enough, the rape plot is capped off with a happy, deranged suicide, all of which feel completely out of left field and not in keeping with the themes of the rest of the story. The best parts of Edgar Allen Poe’s work are the supernatural elements, the weird visions and spooky vistations which bleed into the everyday world and darken it with their pall–the way that gothic horror can properly be understood as a reaction to the soaring Romantic landscapes and cluelessly naive pronouncements of the sublime in the supposedly virgin expanse of the American West at this time. The best parts of The Pale Blue Eye are the moments before you realize how small the confines of the mystery in which you’ve been placed.
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1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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0
GumdropJan 6, 2023
What a let down. Mostly slow, moving and dull. Lacking the suspense I found myself looking for. The casting and writing of the Poe character was completely wrong. And both the ending and the twist were really anti-climactic.
4 of 10 users found this helpful46
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10
barillasJan 7, 2023
Good mystery movie, very good acting. Chris Bale is always fantastic. Must see
2 of 6 users found this helpful24
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8
shoulderoforionJan 8, 2023
I thought The Pale Blue Eye was great fun. Melling is really showing us something here in his portrayal of Edgar Allen Poe, and Bale is his gruff everyman self, which is almost always worth watching. The story is on par from any otherI thought The Pale Blue Eye was great fun. Melling is really showing us something here in his portrayal of Edgar Allen Poe, and Bale is his gruff everyman self, which is almost always worth watching. The story is on par from any other hardboiled private eye mystery, with the added bonus of it being a period piece. I liked it a whole lot more than most others seemed to. Was a nice surprise. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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3
MetacriticOnurJan 7, 2023
bad
[ bad ]

adjective, worse, worst;(Slang) bad·der, bad·dest for 36.
not good in any manner or degree.
bad
[ bad ]

adjective, worse, worst;(Slang) bad·der, bad·dest for 36.
not good in any manner or degree.
1 of 4 users found this helpful13
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9
rihegJan 8, 2023
Certainly not for the critics because ideology is not the highest priority here. Casting, however, is and the acting is in a class of its own. All in all a good mystery movie. The setting is interesting because I haven’t seen much on theCertainly not for the critics because ideology is not the highest priority here. Casting, however, is and the acting is in a class of its own. All in all a good mystery movie. The setting is interesting because I haven’t seen much on the serious side from this era and location, and the dialogue is excellent and correct for the time. All the way around you can tell it’s pretty high budget, The costumes look great too. There’s a lot to enjoy, but the most important thing in this genre is the writing, and I am satisfied, naturally plot twists is a must and it delivers reasonably well on that front too. I didn’t find it predictable or over-explaining and how refreshingly unwoke that is. Also I think the last 30 minutes set it apart and so while some might find it unnecessary, I quite enjoyed it. Expand
2 of 9 users found this helpful27
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9
globalnomadJan 7, 2023
Once upon a midnight dreary / As I pondered, weak and weary / Over many a quaint and curious Netflix file of forgotten lore / I happened upon a strange, new cryptic picture show / Containing plot of Edgar Poe, causing heart to soar / 'TisOnce upon a midnight dreary / As I pondered, weak and weary / Over many a quaint and curious Netflix file of forgotten lore / I happened upon a strange, new cryptic picture show / Containing plot of Edgar Poe, causing heart to soar / 'Tis atmospheric set and dialogue deep / Gothic, great and nothing more / Can one resist Lenore and Poe? / Quoth the raven, nevermore Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
danny1952Jan 6, 2023
II just saw The Pale Blue Eye and am still moved by Christian Bale's nuanced and captivating performance.

Yes, it's a fascinating "whodunnit", but for me, the linchpin of the film is the spirit of solidarity between two men united by the
II just saw The Pale Blue Eye and am still moved by Christian Bale's nuanced and captivating performance.

Yes, it's a fascinating "whodunnit", but for me, the linchpin of the film is the spirit of solidarity between two men united by the loss of a loved one and an investigation into a series of murders. It is almost a father-son relationship that develops between Landor and Poe.

Some critics have criticized the ending of the film, which corresponds perfectly to the ending of Louis Bayard's novel. What did they want the director to do, betray Bayard's novel on which the film is based? Others have said that Christian Bale "faded away" before Melling's stunning performance. These people fail to see the real talent, which is not in the mannerism or extravagance of speech and gesture, which suited Poe well, but in the simple, raw truth of the emotion visibly felt by Bale and evident in every expression on his face and in every vibrant word he speaks about Landor's missing daughter.

For me, this is a film to see again and again, which might help some people better understand what really happened there.
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0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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6
bertobellamyJan 7, 2023
Loved the atmosphere and Christian Bale and Harry Melling's acting, but the execution is rather dull. The ending is good — I didn't see THAT twist coming — but the occult plot feels silly. What I would want to see next is a series about HarryLoved the atmosphere and Christian Bale and Harry Melling's acting, but the execution is rather dull. The ending is good — I didn't see THAT twist coming — but the occult plot feels silly. What I would want to see next is a series about Harry Melling's Poe solving macabre crimes. Expand
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10
TomHugJan 10, 2023
Brilliant script, impeccably acted, directed in a manner that brings early 1800's to life. Thoroughly engrossing and entertaining.
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5
ScienceAdvisorJan 9, 2023
The ending only works if you have no clue about distance and travel time. Not to mention the massive amount of contrivance that is required for the main story line to tie into it on it's own. Not as bad as Glass Onion, but still not great.The ending only works if you have no clue about distance and travel time. Not to mention the massive amount of contrivance that is required for the main story line to tie into it on it's own. Not as bad as Glass Onion, but still not great. The performances lift it up, but the story drags and should have been edited down at least 30 minutes. Expand
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1
OlivierPielJan 15, 2023
Typical mediocre, Kleenex-like one-off and soon to be forgotten Netflix fare for the undiscerning, boulimic crowd. The laughably simplistic plot can be summarized in less than 100 words. Do yourself a favor read it and spare 120 minutes ofTypical mediocre, Kleenex-like one-off and soon to be forgotten Netflix fare for the undiscerning, boulimic crowd. The laughably simplistic plot can be summarized in less than 100 words. Do yourself a favor read it and spare 120 minutes of your life! The actor playing Poe is insufferably overacting.
1 point for Christian Bale.
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7
DubeauJan 11, 2023
Pale blue eye was a good mystery movie. The story is interesting, except maybe for the horror part, but I think it was a necessary part. It was needed to work with the ending. The dialogues are the strong part of the film. The acting wasPale blue eye was a good mystery movie. The story is interesting, except maybe for the horror part, but I think it was a necessary part. It was needed to work with the ending. The dialogues are the strong part of the film. The acting was really great. I especially like the Poe actor. The filming, on the other hand, wasn't always good. Some sequences were poorly lighted, others with questionable choices of angles and settings. Maybe some moments are a bit dull, but not too many. The twist at the end was worth the wait. Unlike Glass Onion, it is revealed in a timely manner. I give it 78%. Great acting and for Poe, it's better to have subtitles. Expand
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5
JLuis_001Jan 6, 2023
A tribute to the squandering of a great actor as a leading man in something that fell rather short of being an excellent detective story.

Even with the forced inclusion of Edgar Allan Poe as a character in this story in something that could
A tribute to the squandering of a great actor as a leading man in something that fell rather short of being an excellent detective story.

Even with the forced inclusion of Edgar Allan Poe as a character in this story in something that could have very easily gone the same route as 2012's The Raven followed, and that I honestly had zero references regarding the book this film was based on, The Pale Blue Eye poses a mystery that could have been sublime and yet only uses it as an excuse for what ultimately becomes a story of revenge and atonement that never lives up to the premise it originally posed.

We're barely 6 days into the year and with this movie and the cancellation of 1899 Netflix has already gotten me pretty pissed off.
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5
Mauro_LanariJan 10, 2023
(Mauro Lanari)
I hoped it wouldn't be another mystery film after Branagh, Christie and Poirot, after the last Batman, after the new sagas of Enola Holmes and "Knives Out". I hoped that the length would be justified by a compelling story. I
(Mauro Lanari)
I hoped it wouldn't be another mystery film after Branagh, Christie and Poirot, after the last Batman, after the new sagas of Enola Holmes and "Knives Out". I hoped that the length would be justified by a compelling story. I hoped the Italian title had nothing to do with "The General's Daughter" (Simon West, 1999). Maybe next time?
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10
HabibiehakimJan 15, 2023
The Pale Of Blue Eye is one of the most clever and intriguing Mystery Thriller film i've ever watch, an unpredictable twist after twist that are so smart and quite shocking, an incredible build up from the beginning to the end fills with theThe Pale Of Blue Eye is one of the most clever and intriguing Mystery Thriller film i've ever watch, an unpredictable twist after twist that are so smart and quite shocking, an incredible build up from the beginning to the end fills with the obvious great performance by Christian Bale but the one that for me stood out the most is Harry Melling as Edgar Allan Poe, his performance deserve an oscar nomination for best supporting actor because his performance amazed me everytime he is on screen, and what a story again man!, it's a very engaging, intense, clever, and exciting mystery story, so well written, The Pale Of Blue Eye could've been in my honorable mention of 2022 if it's release earlier but as it is i think it's one of the best Mystery Thriller films i've ever seen, it's entertaining to watch, it's so clever and it's engaging, it's so good, and not to mention the rest of the supporting cast also from Toby Jones and Lucy Boynton, they were all fantastic, i highly recommended The Pale Of Blue Eye. Expand
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8
endr1Jan 10, 2023
It’s not perfect. But it’s not bad. Seldom semplicistic on Poe’s figure. Investigation story-line not memorable and the academy world description is a bit cliche.
But I enjoyed watching it. It is always a pleasure seeing Bale acting
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4
royalguy07Jan 8, 2023
It has a good setup but is so serious and there is really nothing fun or interesting happening throughout.
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3
alanpotter17Jan 25, 2023
O talento de Cristhian Bale é incontestável, o cara manda bem em vários papéis diferentes, e aqui encarna uma espécie de detetive para tentar resolver um crime numa escola acadêmica masculina cristã: um dos garotos foi encontrado enforcado.O talento de Cristhian Bale é incontestável, o cara manda bem em vários papéis diferentes, e aqui encarna uma espécie de detetive para tentar resolver um crime numa escola acadêmica masculina cristã: um dos garotos foi encontrado enforcado.
Em termos de atuação e reconstrução da época, tudo está ok. Mas as locações, a câmera, o enquadramento, é tudo a mesma coisa. Chega a parecer um documentário. É muito falado, expositivo, e só não fica pior porque tem poucos personagens, é uma história extremamente simples de se narrar, e mesmo assim não houve um esforço para sair da mesmice. Fica, em certas **** tedioso.
Ao se aproximar das soluções, o roteiro mistura uma série de temas, como doenças, bruxarias, rituais, e ainda de quebra salta um plot twist pra tentar salvar a lambança. Eu realmente espero que o livro ao qual o filme se basea seja melhor, porque cinematograficamente ficou uma bagunça.
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7
Broker2022Jan 8, 2023
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Solid and calmly made film with a historical backdrop of the West Point Academy of the year 1830. The suspense curve builds slowly but steadily. Narratively very dense. Played well and convincingly by Christian Bale in the lead role who has to solve a criminal case. The atmosphere is well captured (for example, the burning candles in the evening). You can tell the director put a lot of effort into it. All in all a good film based on the novel by Louis Bayard. I haven't read the novel, so I can't judge whether the original novel has been implemented well. Still worth seeing. Expand
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6
MahaakshayJan 9, 2023
The Pale Blue Eye will surely captivate you for it's historic setting and grim visuals. The film has maintained the dark atmosphere which is required in a story like this. There is a sense of emptiness and isolation which the film keeps youThe Pale Blue Eye will surely captivate you for it's historic setting and grim visuals. The film has maintained the dark atmosphere which is required in a story like this. There is a sense of emptiness and isolation which the film keeps you in.

The film starts of with a very fast-paced and sophisticated story but I felt that somewhere in the 2nd half, the film does drop and it becomes more about character development and the main story (the murder mystery) takes a back seat.

But it is the end that truly is a shocker and the best part of the film. I love stories which make me think and second guess the characters but I myself was surprised with the twist in the end. It was truly very-well played out.

Performance wise of course it is Christian Bale who scores the most! His presence is captivating and he keeps you hooked in the film as the film rides on his shoulders. Please do notice his body language as there are scenes in which his silence and stares are doing most of the talking. He is truly one of the best of our generation.

Harry Melling who plays Edgar Allan Poe is also someone who should be brought into notice as he is remarkable in the film. His conviction to his character can be seen in every frame. Definitely an actor to watch out for.

The supporting cast are good in their respective roles and you can see that everyone has given their best in the scenes they appear.

The Pale Blue Eye is a murder mystery, no doubt about that but it is also a visual treat. So the crew should also be mentioned for their fine work to detail.

From the locations, to the Costumes and Art Design, everything feels authentic and all of these things add more feel to the story.

A special shout-out to the Cinematographer Masanobu Takayanagi for creating a sense of darkness and grim in almost every frame. The blue tone which has been used creates the sense of dread which adds another layer to the story.

In conclusion, The Pale Blue Eye is a well-made film with great performances and visuals. If you are a fan of murder mysteries and thrillers then I would surely recommend you watching this film at least once. It's slow-paced but if you have the patience, the pay-off in the end is truly worth it's 130mins Run time.
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