Paul Schrader did very well his first time out as a director with this downbeat tale (1978) of workday oppression starring Richard Pryor, Yaphet Kotto, and Harvey Keitel. The union squeezes from one side, the bosses from another, and three autoworkers are caught in the contradictions of capitalism. Schrader’s cold, deliberate camera style plays a subtle counterpoint to the story of breakdown and despair. An intelligent, controlled, and well-observed film, with excellent performances by Kotto and Pryor.
R • 1 hour 54 min • 1978