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Surly Squirrel is loved by Liberty Park’s Urban wildlife community and oversees an all-you-can-eat buffet at Maury’s Nut Shop. This worries Andie, as she has a more hard-working outlook on life than Surly. Mole accidentally blows up the nut shop after he forgets to reduce pressure from the boiler. Andie suggests returning to their roots by foraging for food in Liberty Park as Surly and Buddy fail to find other food-packed places. Defeated, he and Buddy return to the park.

Concerned that Liberty Park never makes money, Percival J. Muldoon, the unscrupulous Mayor of Oakton City, decides to turn it into an amusement park named Libertyland. Surly and Andie discover Muldoon’s plot, and Surly convinces the animals to sabotage the construction workers’ efforts to tear down the park.

Surly’s enjoyment is short-lived; Andie attempts to convince the animals to work hard for food, which Surly believes can result in disappointment. When the construction workers’ foreman tells Muldoon about the animal attacks, he calls an animal extermination squad led by Gunther. Surly becomes caught in one of Gunther’s traps, and the animals are pursued by Muldoon’s dog, Frankie, who later falls in love with Precious. Surly and Buddy leave to rescue her while the others find a new park.

While searching for Muldoon’s car, Surly and Buddy run afoul of a colony of territorial white mice led by Mr. Feng. They evade the mice and find Muldoon’s mansion, where they find Precious in the bedroom of Muldoon’s bratty daughter, Heather. Precious tells Frankie she is uninterested in him, breaking his heart. Surly’s recklessness causes Muldoon to shoot Buddy, who falls off a balcony and falls unconscious. Andie, Jimmy, Johnny, and Jamie find what seems to be a suitable park, but it turns out to be a golf course that almost gets them killed. The brothers having multiple injuries while Andie had to resuscitate Jamie with CPR and even defibrillation with some wires.

Surly, Precious, and Buddy reunite with the others in the nut shop’s remains. While mourning Buddy, Surly recounts how they saved each other as kids; Buddy wakes up after Precious licks him. Surly leads the animals in retaking the park from Muldoon during Libertyland’s grand opening. Muldoon calls Gunther and his team over to capture them. Surly, the only one left standing, goes to Mr. Feng and his army. While attacking Surly, the latter convinces Feng the animals must work together regardless of whether they are from the city or a park.

Surly and the mice free the other animals and round them up to take back Liberty Park. They overwhelm the humans, destroy all of the rides, and attract the attention of the police. Precious finds Frankie, apologizes, and confesses she does care for him, causing Frankie to fall in love with her again. After the pair make up, Heather tries to convince Gunther to tranquilize them. But due to the interference of Surly, Andie and Buddy, Gunther shoots Heather, knocking her out while he runs away. Muldoon tries to escape the chaos using a hot air balloon, but Surly and Buddy commandeer a roller coaster to catch up to him. Surly makes it on top of the balloon, and he and Muldoon engage in a long battle. Muldoon falls on top of a bouncy house and is attacked by Feng and his colony. Muldoon, Heather, and Gunther are arrested for their crimes, and Libertyland is shut down for good.

Several months later, the people help rebuild Liberty Park to its former glory. After the park is rebuilt, Feng and his colony stay and focus on Tai Chi; Precious and Frankie have puppies; and Surly takes Andie on a ride with Precious to rob a nut cart.

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As a child, Jeannette Walls lives a nomadic life with her painter mother Rose, her intelligent but irresponsible father Rex, older sister Lori, and younger brother Brian. While cooking unsupervised, Jeannette is severely burned. At the hospital, a doctor and social worker question her home life, but Rex distracts the staff and escapes with Jeannette. The family leaves town, and Jeannette is enchanted by Rex’s plans for the family’s dream house, a glass castle.

The family soon includes Jeannette’s infant sister Maureen, and remains on the move for years, eventually relocating to a dilapidated house in Utah. Jeannette nearly drowns when a drunk Rex aggressively teaches her to swim. He assaults the lifeguard, forcing the family – now pursued by the law and with no money – to go to Welch, West Virginia, where the children meet their grandparents and uncle Stanley. Rex moves his family into a ramshackle house in the wilderness, living without running water, gas, or electricity. When the family has not eaten in days, Rex takes their remaining money to buy food, but returns home drunk after a fight. Sewing up his wound, Jeannette asks him to stop drinking, and Rex ties himself to his bed, successfully enduring withdrawal. He lands a job as a construction worker and the family enjoys a comfortable Christmas.

The parents attend the funeral of Rose’s mother in Texas, leaving the children with their grandparents in Welch. The sisters discover Irma sexually assaulting Brian and attack her, but are pulled away by Stanley. When their parents return, Rex refuses to listen to his children about the incident. The family returns home and he resumes drinking, leading to a violent altercation with Rose. Jeannette is unable to convince her mother to leave Rex, and the siblings promise to care for each other and escape their poverty.

As a teenager, Jeannette is drawn to journalism. The siblings save enough money for Lori to leave for New York City, infuriating Rex; Jeannette prepares to do the same. Irma dies, and after the funeral, Jeannette is pulled into her father’s scheme to hustle his acquaintance Robbie at pool. He loses to Rex and reveals Jeannette’s plan to move to New York City. She accompanies Robbie upstairs and he attempts to rape her, but she shows her scars from her childhood burns and leaves. At home, she discovers her father has stolen her savings, but escapes home anyway. Attending college in New York City, Jeannette faces financial difficulties and prepares to drop out, but Rex arrives with a pile of gambling winnings, telling her to follow her dreams.

By 1989, Jeannette is a gossip columnist for New York magazine and engaged to marry David, a financial analyst. At dinner with a client of David’s, Jeannette lies about her parents. On the way home, she sees her now homeless parents dumpster diving. She later meets with her mother, who is dismissive of her engagement. Jeannette and David visit her family at the abandoned building where her parents are squatting. Brian, now a police officer, and Lori live comfortably, but Maureen has moved in with their parents. Rex and David drunkenly arm wrestle and David wins, but Rex punches him in the nose. Returning home, David tells Jeannette that he wants nothing more to do with her parents.

Maureen calls Jeannette to explain that she is moving to California. At her engagement party, Jeannette discovers that her parents have owned valuable land – now worth almost $1 million – since she was a child, but chose never to sell. Furious at Rex’s refusal to admit to the pain he caused his family, Jeannette bans him from her life. Some time later, Jeannette is unhappily married to David. Rose reaches out to tell her Rex is dying, but Jeannette refuses to see him. At dinner with another of David’s clients, Jeannette finds the courage to reveal the truth about her parents. She races to her father, and they reconcile before he dies. The following Thanksgiving, Jeannette – now a freelance writer living alone – celebrates with her family, reminiscing about Rex’s unconventional life.

Posted in G

Annabelle: Creation

A dollmaker named Samuel Mullins and his wife Esther grieve for the loss of their seven-year-old daughter Annabelle, nicknamed “Bee”, who dies when she accidentally steps in front of a car.

Twelve years later, the Mullins open their home to provide shelter for Sister Charlotte and six girls left homeless by the closing of their orphanage. Despite having been warned to avoid Bee’s locked bedroom, Janice, a young orphan disabled by polio, discovers a note saying “Find me” and sneaks into the room, which has mysteriously become unlocked. She finds a key for Bee’s closet and opens it, where she sees an eerie porcelain doll. This unwittingly releases a powerful demon that begins to terrorize the girls.

One night, the demon, taking Bee’s form, appears to Janice, saying that it wants her soul. Although she attempts to get away using a stairlift, the demon recalls the stairlift and hurls her violently down to the ground floor, leaving her severely injured and confined to a wheelchair. Janice’s best friend Linda is tormented by the demon. One morning, the demon, posing as Sister Charlotte, wheels Janice into the old barn, where, in the form of Bee, it attacks and possesses her after throwing up black bile directly into Janice’s mouth. Linda notices changes in Janice’s behavior and tells Samuel that Janice snuck into Bee’s room and found the doll. Janice, who can now walk, transforms into the demon and brutally kills Samuel.

Linda takes Janice’s doll and throws it into the well. A strange noise comes from the well and she is almost dragged into it, but Sister Charlotte saves her. Alarmed, Sister Charlotte speaks with the disfigured Esther, who is confined to her bedroom. Esther explains that after Bee’s death, they prayed to whatever entity would grant their wish to see their daughter again. An unknown entity answered their prayer and though they briefly saw Bee’s spirit, the entity convinced them to transfer its essence into one of Samuel’s crafted dolls. They happily agreed but soon realized they had attracted a demon looking for a human host. One night, Esther saw Bee’s spirit transforming into the demon, which then gouged out her eye. Enlisting the help of priests to bless the house, they locked the doll in Bee’s closet. Esther and Samuel opened their house as a shelter to repent for their actions, but Esther now regrets it since this has provided an opportunity for the demon to look for a human host.

The demon murders Esther and attacks Sister Charlotte. The orphans leave the house, but Linda is trapped and hides in Bee’s room as the possessed Janice tries to stab her. Sister Charlotte locks Janice and the doll inside the closet. The next day, police arrive to search the house and find only the doll, which they remove as evidence. Sister Charlotte, Linda, and the orphans are escorted away by officers, while Janice escapes through a hole in the closet wall and relocates to an orphanage in Santa Monica. Still possessed, she becomes reclusive and calls herself Annabelle. The Higgins family soon adopt Annabelle.

Twelve years later, a grown-up Annabelle joins a Satanic cult and, along with her boyfriend, murders her adoptive parents, which catches the attention of their next-door neighbors, the Forms.

Posted in A

Armed Response

A team of trained operatives are sent to a facility, in a prison building, as the team working there have not been heard from. Soon after arriving they find the dead bodies of the team and then find themselves trapped inside after a full lock-down. They see the surveillance footage of the other team being killed by unseen assailants and soon they in turn begin to experience strange and horrific phenomena as they attempt to uncover what killed the previous team.

The building is a highly evolved AI named Temple which is in effect a huge lie detector. The team who have been killed and the team sent to rescue them had previously been on a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Whilst in Afghanistan they were questioning a village elder and things got out of hand and they massacred the village; they have been covering this up and this is what Temple wants to expose and why they are being punished.

Posted in A

Wind River

During the winter on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming, expert tracker and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agent Cory Lambert discovers the frozen body of 18-year-old Natalie Hanson in the snow. Her body is barefoot, without proper winter attire, miles from any building, and has a blood-stained forehead and groin. FBI Special Agent Jane Banner arrives to investigate a possible homicide, because the FBI has jurisdiction over murder cases on reservations. The next day, Banner learns from Natalie’s father, Martin, that his daughter was dating a new boyfriend, but he does not know the man’s name or where he lives. The autopsy shows blunt trauma and sexual violence and confirms Lambert’s deduction that the girl died from exposure. She suffered pulmonary hemorrhage caused by rapid inhalation of sub-zero air. However, the medical examiner is unable to confirm the death as a homicide, and Agent Banner cannot get additional help from FBI investigators.

Lambert discovers that Natalie’s “new boyfriend” was Matt Rayburn, who works security at a nearby oil drilling site. The next day, Matt’s body is discovered, nude and already ravaged by scavenging wildlife. Lambert tells Agent Banner about his own daughter’s death three years earlier. Her body was discovered in the snow, following a party at their house while he and his wife were away. No one was charged in her death.

Banner, accompanied by Tribal Police Chief Ben Shoyo and two county police officers, visit the drill site where they are met by several of the company’s security guards. They claim that Matt had stormed off a few days ago, following an argument with Natalie, and has not been seen since. One guard mentions that they heard about Natalie’s body being found by monitoring law enforcement radio channels. Agent Banner notes that the victim’s name had not been released. One of the police officers notices that the security guards are slowly surrounding Agent Banner and her team. The confrontation quickly escalates into an armed standoff as they argue over who has jurisdiction. Agent Banner defuses the situation by asserting FBI authority. She asks to see where Matt was bunking, and they resume their approach to the trailer.

A flashback shows Natalie in bed with Matt in his trailer, in what seems like a loving relationship. Unexpectedly, Matt’s security colleagues barge into the trailer after a night of hard drinking. Pete, Matt’s roommate, taunts them and tries to sexually assault Natalie, which provokes Matt to violence. The other guards retaliate by beating Matt down while Pete rapes Natalie. Matt’s attempt to fight back gives Natalie an opportunity to escape, while the group bludgeon their co-worker to death.

Back in the present, Lambert has retraced the tracks from where Matt’s corpse was found back to the drilling camp. Meanwhile, Agent Banner and the three police men approach the security crew’s sleeping quarters. Lambert, looking down at the group from a distance, radios a warning to Police Chief Shoyo. But Agent Banner is wounded in the chest by a shotgun blast fired through the door by Pete. An all-out firefight ensues at point-blank range. Chief Shoyo and the other two officers are killed. Just as the surviving security guards prepare to execute Agent Banner, Lambert kills four with his high caliber rifle. Pete, also wounded, flees on foot. Lambert catches him and, at gunpoint, takes the guard up to the foot of Gannett Peak. After forcing his confession related to Natalie and Matt, Lambert offers him the same chance as Natalie had: he can run barefoot to a distant road wearing only light-weight clothing, rather than being shot. Pete runs but quickly succumbs as his lungs give out from the frigid air, suffering a pulmonary hemorrhage.

When Lambert visits Banner in the hospital, he praises her toughness. He later visits Martin, Natalie’s bereaved father, and finds him sitting outside his house wearing his “death face” paint and holding a handgun. Lambert tells Martin that the case is closed and that the man responsible for Natalie’s death went out, “with a whimper.” They share grief over their daughters’ deaths. A title card follows this scene, stating that missing-persons statistics are kept for every demographic group except for Native American women, whose numbers remain unknown.

Posted in W

Step

Step is the true-life story of a girls’ high-school step team set against the background of the heart of Baltimore. These young women learn to laugh, love and thrive – on and off the stage – even when the world seems to work against them. Empowered by their teachers, teammates, counselors, coaches and families, they chase their ultimate dreams: to win a step championship and to be accepted into college. This all female school is reshaping the futures of its students’ lives by making it their goal to have every member of their senior class accepted to and graduate from college, many of whom will be the first in their family to do so.

Posted in S

Kidnap

Diner waitress and single mother Karla Dyson takes her six-year-old son, Frankie, to a carnival. Once there, Karla leaves her son to take a phone call and hears from her lawyer new information about her current custody battle with her estranged husband. She returns and finds that Frankie is missing and that he left his toy voice recorder behind. Frantically searching for him, Karla spots a woman dragging Frankie into a green Ford Mustang with no license plate driven by a man. As it takes off, Karla tries to stop the car by clinging onto it and drops her phone after failing to do so. Karla then jumps into her minivan and races after the kidnappers.

On a highway, Karla attempts to attract the attention of a motorist. However, her efforts are foiled when the kidnappers throw a tire into the open traffic and cause a pile-up. After the abductors threaten to murder Frankie with a knife, Karla is forced to take an exit ramp before resuming her pursuit.

Karla hears a voice from her son’s toy voice recorder, revealing the female abductor’s name to be Margo. Spotting a police motorcycle, Karla successfully gains the officer’s attention by swaying her car side to side. While the cop orders her to pull over, Karla tries to tell him that her son has been kidnapped, to no avail. The kidnappers notice and ram their car into the motorcycle, killing the officer, before both cars abruptly stop in a field.

After Karla confronts the male driver with no response, Margo approaches her vehicle. Demanding a ransom payment of $10,000 in exchange for Karla’s son, Margo enters the minivan and tells Karla to follow her accomplice’s car. In a tunnel, Margo attacks Karla, who fights back and manages to throw Margo out of the car. Noticing this, the male driver forces Karla to stop tailing him by threatening to drop Frankie onto the highway. After several minutes, Karla spots a traffic jam and finds the Mustang abandoned after having caused a collision; a passerby tells Karla that the pair left on foot.

Karla stops at a police station to report the incident and spots a wall filled with missing posters from the past decade. Fearing that her son will disappear for good if she waits, she promptly leaves. Soon after, she spots the male driver using a stolen black Volvo V70 and chases him until her vehicle runs out of fuel. Attempting to hitch a ride from a fellow motorist, the pair are blindsided when the Volvo rams their vehicle without warning, killing the driver and knocking Karla unconscious.

Waking up, Karla discovers that her son is no longer in the Volvo. As the kidnapper emerges from his car with a sawed-off shotgun, she puts her car into reverse, resulting in the man being fatally struck by a tree. Reading his ID and finding out that his name was Terrence Vickey, Karla decides to travel to his address.

At the Vickey’s house, Karla calls 911 and eventually locates Frankie in a barn with two other kidnapped girls. Promising to come back, Karla and her son run away before being spotted by a distressed Margo with a shotgun, who has learned of her husband’s death. As the pair hide underwater, Margo and her dog locate them. Karla pulls Margo underwater, who wildly fires and kills the dog, and drowns her.

At the barn, Karla is confronted by a man who claims to be Margo’s neighbor. Karla realizes that he is actually participating in the kidnapping ring since he knows how many children were hiding without her telling him. She then knocks him out with a shovel before he can draw his gun. After the police arrive and the children are rescued, it is announced that the events resulted in the dissolution of an international child abduction ring, with Karla being praised as a hero.

Posted in K

The Dark Tower

11-year-old Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) experiences visions involving a mysterious warlock, the Man in Black, who seeks to destroy a Tower and bring ruin to the Universe while a Gunslinger opposes him. Jake’s visions are dismissed by his mother, stepfather, and psychiatrists as nightmares resulting from the trauma of his father’s death the previous year.

At his apartment home in New York City, a group of workers from an alleged psychiatric facility offer to rehabilitate Jake; recognizing them from his visions as monsters wearing human skin, Jake flees from them, and they give chase. Jake finds an abandoned house from one of his visions where he discovers a high-tech portal that leads to a post-apocalyptic landscape called Mid-World.

In Mid-World, Jake encounters the Gunslinger, Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), who has emerged in his visions. Roland is pursuing Walter Padick (Matthew McConaughey) who has also appeared in Jake’s dreams, seeking to kill him as revenge for the murder of his father, Steven, and all remaining Gunslingers. He explains to Jake that for decades, Walter has been abducting children with psychic powers, attempting to use their “shine” to bring down the Dark Tower, a fabled structure located at the center of the Universe. This will allow monstrous beings from the darkness outside to invade and destroy reality.

Roland takes Jake to a local village in order to have his visions interpreted by a seer. Having learned of Jake’s escape, Walter investigates and discovers from his minion Sayre that Jake has “pure Shine”, enough psychic potential to destroy the Dark Tower single-handedly. Walter kills Jake’s stepfather; then he interrogates his mother about her son’s visions.

Back in Mid-World, the seer determines that the machine is six months away on foot and portal access is restricted to Walter’s bases. Jake realizes that Walter has a base in New York that they can use to reach the machine. Suddenly, the Taheen, Walter’s minions, attack the village – but Roland kills many of them. Roland and Jake return to Earth where Roland’s injuries are treated at a hospital. Jake learns the location of Walter’s base from a homeless man who helped him earlier. When Jake returns home to check in on his mother, he finds her charred remains and breaks down in tears. Seeing this, Roland vows to avenge her death. This leads to him teaching Jake the basics of gun fighting, as well as the Gunslinger’s Creed, which he hasn’t uttered since his own father’s death.

As Roland replenishes his weapons supply at a gun store, he is attacked by Walter, who captures Jake and takes him through a portal at his base to a machine that will destroy the Dark Tower with Jake’s powers. Jake uses these psychic powers to alert Roland to the portal code he needs and Roland battles his way through Walter’s henchmen, reopening the portal, which Jake forces to stay open. Walter is forced to return to New York to fight Roland and wounds him. When Jake reminds him of the Gunslinger’s Creed, Roland recovers and kills Walter with a trick shot after a brief fight. Finally he destroys the machine and saves the Dark Tower, Jake, and the other children.

As the film ends, Roland prepares to return to his own world and offers Jake a place by his side as his companion. Jake accepts the offer and the two head back to Mid-World together.

Posted in D

Menashe

Menashe, a recently widowed Hasidic Jewish man, tries to regain custody of his ten-year-old son Rieven. Rieven is living with his aunt and uncle (Eizik, Yoel Weisshaus) per a ruling by the Rabbi that Menashe must first remarry to provide a proper home for his son. Menashe’s first marriage was unhappy, and he is reluctant to wed again. He works as a clerk in a grocery store with a difficult manager, and has a hard time earning enough money for himself. He doesn’t wear the traditional black coat and top hat in public, though his son tells him he would look nice in one. Eizik, his successful brother-in-law, looks down on him. They argue in front of the Rabbi, who lets Rieven stay with Menashe for a week, until the upcoming memorial service for his wife, but reiterates the requirement for a two-parent home. Eizik wants the memorial meal in his finer home, but Menashe insists on having it in his shabby apartment. Getting a “bachelor-proof” recipe for kugel from a neighbor, Menashe puts the pan in the oven before going to the cemetery for the service. He and the participants, including the Rabbi, return to an apartment full of smoke. Eizik criticizes the burnt kugel, but the Rabbi praises it and insists the uncle eat a piece. Menashe begs Eizik to let Rieven live with him, but is told he must first find a wife. Menashe says he will see the matchmaker again. He goes to the ritual bath (mikvah), and dons a coat and top hat.

Posted in M

Brigsby Bear

James is forced to live in an underground bunker with his parents Ted and April Mitchum. While Ted tells James that the outside world is dangerous, he often is seen by James leaving the bunker with a gas mask on. James is fascinated with an educational children’s show titled Brigsby Bear, centered around the title bear helping characters escape from trouble, because it is the only show he owns and is allowed to watch. One night, he sneaks out only to see several police cars approach the home. As the police raid the bunker, James is taken away from Ted and April, who are arrested.

James is brought to the police station and meets Detective Vogel, who tells James that Ted and April are not his real parents and that he has been held captive since he was a baby. Vogel then introduces James to his real parents, Greg and Louise Pope, and their teenage daughter, Aubrey. Having trouble adapting to his new life, James visits a psychologist named Emily, who informs James that Brigsby Bear is not real and was made by Ted, a former artist and designer, who disappeared with his wife in 1987. Emily explains that the police tracked Ted from the studio where the show was made after he was spotted by a passerby days prior. Realizing that no one else will continue the story, James comes up with the idea to make a movie based on the character to close the series.

One night, Aubrey takes James to a party. He meets Aubrey’s friend Spencer and later starts talking about Brigsby Bear to his new friends. He starts production after Vogel, who sympathizes with James through Vogel’s own early acting dreams, lends James some props from the show, and Spencer, being a filmmaker, agrees to make the movie with him. Spencer also advertises the movie by uploading episodes of Brigsby Bear to YouTube, where it gains popularity and a new audience. Greg and Louise do not approve of James’ activities because they fear it hinders his chances of living a normal life.

While filming in a forest, James uses an explosive he made for a scene that detonates, surprising Spencer. The group is arrested, but James takes the blame for it. The police release him but confiscate the Brigsby Bear props once again. James takes his parents’ car out one night to steal the costumes and props. He takes a detour first to his old underground home, now abandoned and cordoned off with yellow tape. James stops by a diner and discovers Whitney, an actress he recognizes from Brigsby Bear. She tells him that she never knew the true circumstances behind the side acting job, having been told by Ted that it was for Canadian public access. As the police arrive outside, James asks Whitney to reprise her role for his film and admits he has had a longtime crush on her.

James is placed in a mental institution. Meanwhile, Aubrey shows her parents parts of the movie, where the two realize that making the movie allowed him to spend time with his friends. One night, James breaks out of the institution to grab his belongings, but discovers his family, along with Spencer and Vogel, building a Brigsby Bear set in their garage. The family tells him that they had agreed to help out after seeing how happy he was behind the scenes.

James finishes the movie, with Vogel and Whitney in lead roles, and visits an incarcerated Ted, who apologizes for abducting him. James tells Ted about the movie and states that they are having trouble getting the voices right. Ted helps him out by recording the voice-overs for Brigsby and other characters.

On premiere night, the show is sold out and James is worried no one will like it, so he stays out of the theater while the movie plays. After it concludes, James walks into the theater and is met with a standing ovation. While being embraced by his family, James notices a real-life Brigsby on stage. The pair nod at each other and Brigsby disappears.

Posted in B

Detroit

On Sunday, July 23, 1967, the Detroit Police Department stage a raid on an unlicensed club during a celebration for returning black veterans from the Vietnam War. While suspects are being arrested, a crowd forms and starts throwing rocks at the officers before looting nearby stores and starting fires, beginning the 12th Street Riot. With state authorities, elected representatives and emergency services unable to maintain any semblance of order, Governor George W. Romney authorizes the Michigan Army National Guard and President Lyndon B. Johnson authorizes Army paratroopers to enter Detroit in order to provide assistance. On the second day of rioting, two cops pursue a fleeing looter. One of them, Philip Krauss, kills the man with a shotgun against orders but is allowed to remain on duty until his superiors can decide whether to file murder charges.

The Dramatics, a professional black R&B group, arrive in Detroit hoping to score a recording contract. Seconds before their scheduled performance at a music hall, the police shut down the venue and order them to leave the city. En route, their bus is attacked by rioters and the group splits up, with lead singer Larry Reed and his bodyguard Fred Temple renting a room at the local Algiers Motel for the night. They meet two white girls, Julie Ann Hysell and Karen Malloy, who introduce them to their friends Carl Cooper, Aubrey Pollard, Jr., Michael Clark and Lee Forsythe. Carl Cooper and another friend stage a prank using a starter pistol, upsetting Hysell and Malloy, who move to the room of Karl Greene, a Vietnam War veteran, while Reed and Temple return to their own room.

Melvin Dismukes, a private security guard, is assigned to protect a grocery store from looters and ingratiates himself with the Guardsmen. Cooper decides to fire several blanks from his pistol in the direction of the troops to frighten them but they mistake it for a sniper attack and pinpoint it coming from the Algiers due to the pistol’s muzzle flash. Led by Krauss, the Michigan State Police, National Guard and Detroit Police arrive at the motel to investigate. Entering the building, Krauss kills Cooper when he tries to escape and plants a knife next to his body as he bleeds to death.

The police round up everyone in the hotel and line them against the wall, demanding to know who the sniper was. Despite not finding any weapon during a search of the room, Krauss terrorizes and interrogates the occupants of the hotel. Dismukes arrives to try to help. Unwilling to get involved, most of the state police and National Guard leave without informing anyone of Krauss’s abuse.

Krauss orders several suspects to be moved to different rooms and subjected to mock executions to terrify the others into confessing. One officer, Ronald August, actually kills Pollard, as he did not understand that the executions were supposed to be faked. Hysell and Malloy are taken to an upstairs room, with Hysell’s clothes being accidentally torn off. Disgusted, a Guardsman returns and manages to get them released from custody. Fearing arrest, Krauss permits the remaining three men to leave but only if they swear to keep silent. Greene and Reed agree but Temple is shot twice in the chest by Krauss after he persists in telling them that he sees a body.

As the riots die down, Dismukes, while working his other job in a factory, is arrested and charged with murder after Hysell identifies him as being present at the Algiers that night. His fellow officers are questioned as well and when everyone except Krauss confesses, they are also charged. Reed, whose singing career has stalled due to the trauma he experienced, is summoned as a witness to testify. The judge ultimately refuses to accept any of the confessions as evidence and without a solid case, the all-white jury acquits Dismukes and their co-defendants of all charges. Dismukes confronts the three officers but finds himself powerless to get any justice for the victims.

The film ends by explaining what became of the participants: Dismukes moved to the suburbs to escape death threats and resumed work as a security guard for companies including Sears Roebuck. Although Senak, August and Paille were found not guilty of criminal charges, they never returned to active duty. Paille died on September 9, 2011, while Senak and August were arrested and remain in prison. Years later, a civil court ruled against one of the officers and he was ordered to pay a fine to Pollard’s family of $5,000 ($62,000 to each of the rest of the families). Temple’s family sued the city of Detroit for wrongful death but the city would not admit guilt. Cooper’s starter pistol was mysteriously never found. Hysell left Detroit, raised four children and now works as a hairdresser. The Dramatics broke out in the 1970s with several hits and continue to perform to this day. Reed never rejoined the band; he lives in Detroit and sings in a church choir.

Posted in D