Manhunter ★★★★

Michael Mann is obsessed with real-world details and processes, and it's that along with his simultaneous obsession with visual stylization that gives his movies their special flavor. Here, though, the real world can only take you so far, and Mann seems to embrace the artificiality of the story, with impossible lighting schemes (seriously, where is all that blue coming from in the Graham home, is there a Crest billboard next to the house or something?) and at least one gloriously unlikely piece of action-music synchronization. The suspense shines through, though, and it's easy to get swept up in this tale of psychological gamesmanship even if you don't buy it as being particularly believable or true to life. That's what seems to have happened to Mann, anyway.

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