The Pale Blue Eye
Picture of Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

The Pale Blue Eye Christian Bale & Scott Cooper’s third collabo is their weakest

Christian Bale reunites with director Scott Cooper for the third time in The Pale Blue Eye from Netflix. In addition to directing, Cooper pens the screenplay, which adapts the same-titled novel by Louis Bayard. 

The year was 1830, and the place was West Point. A cadet is found dead in the early hours of a gray winter morning. The tragedy takes a savage turn when the young man’s heart is discovered to have been skillfully removed from his body after the body arrives at the morgue. The fledgling military academy’s leaders are terrified that irreparable damage will be done to the fledgling institution, so they turn to a local detective, Augustus Landor (Christian Bale), to solve the murder.

Due to the code of silence among the cadets, Landor is unable to pursue the case on his own and enlists the assistance of one of his own who is very eccentric, with a disdain for the military rigors, and a penchant for poetry, a young man named Edgar Allan Poe (Harry Melling).

Undoubtedly, our two haunted protagonists deserve to be in the spotlight. Melling and Bale face each other in a chamber for a short time. This is a chance for us to experience real, driven character heads for a short period. Even though these characters have been churning out helpful information for so long, they still need to be allowed to shine.

There is no doubt that Scott Cooper is a true theatrical prodigy regarding the taciturn and the ambiguous. While he struggles with his inner demons here in the cold and at the edge of twilight, he occasionally displays such strengths. No doubt, they were immediately swallowed up again by the frantic, garrulous pursuit of clues. Having found the solution, this is the resolution that calls to us. 


Final Grade: C

 The Pale Blue Eye is available to stream on Netflix beginning January 6, 2023.

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