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The Pale Blue Eye (2022) Review


MPAA Rating

R For Really Boring

Boring Time

128 minutes


Scott Cooper


Louis Bayard (novel), Scott Cooper

For a limited time only, the new mystery horror thriller The Pale Blue Eye will play in theaters for a couple of weeks before dropping on Netflix. What does that mean to you? Firstly, you can waste gas and the price of a ticket to sit in a theater and be bored both your blue or red or white eyes to tears or you can wait a couple of days for Netflix so you can sit in front of your TV, be bored, fall asleep after the first act when you realize the movie’s not going to get any better. You’re revived in a hospital room days later with both of your legs amputated because they and you fell asleep and you lost all circulation to your legs and now they’re gone and Judy Greer bought them on eBay.

I’m not a doctor though I play one on TV and I don’t know if that’s really how legs and de-leggings work, but rest assured the above scenario is almost better than actually having to sit through The Pale Blue Eye.


The Pale Blue Eye opens in New York in 1830. We’re at the prestigious West Point Academy School for Wizardry and Taxidermy. It’s a fledging academy that probably has a waiting list.

Good news: There’s a vacancy.

Not as good news: It’s because a cadet was found hanged with his heart cut out. Lest you think it’s just wacky West Point hazing, this cadet named Fry isn’t coming back.

The powers that be at the Point want to keep it quiet because news getting out that a cadet got his heart carved out probably won’t drive up enrollment numbers.

They call the only man they can that’s within driving or horse riding distance. His name is Constable Augustus “Maverick” Landor (Christian Bale).

Yeah, that one. Landor is a very good at his job and has a bunch of medals and citations and end-of-year gift certificates to various candle shops and brothels. His work has fallen off a bit because of a requisite Tragic Backstory. His daughter Mattie has been missing for some time and presumed dead or eaten by raptors. It’s made Landor do desperate things like put his house in disrepair and take a role in Thor Love and Thunder.

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Now you know it’s bad.

That rug really ties the room together.

That rug really ties the room together.

West Point needs Landor to solve the murder before it gets out or another one takes place. Landor has seen a lot of crazy sh*t in his day but carved hearts is something new. Fortunately a young cadet named Edgar Allan Poe (Harry Melling, Dudley from the Harry Potter movies) can read things into the killing that no human being that’s ever had girlfriend or talked to a girl can. Poe has a lot of socks but not all of them are for his feet. Landor could use Poe’s insight but not shake his hand until after he’s washed it.

Poe and Landor will team up, Poe will be the Robin, to Landor’s, um, Batman.

Will they solve the case of the Cadet with the Carved Out Heart? Probably, but there’s a good chance by the time the movie ends you will have been asleep for at least an hour. That tingling sensation in your legs is probably not good.

Where are Gillian Anderson's arms?

Where are Gillian Anderson's arms?

What Actually Works With The Pale Blue Eye

  • Edgar Allan Poe stans will no doubt get the references and chuckle heartily to themselves as they identify all the EAP fan service thrown their way. Like that one poem he wrote about that bird or that other story he wrote about the rotting cheese or that soliloquy he wrote about Bradley Cooper or that one book he wrote about the haunted hotel that got made into a movie starring Jack Nicholson. I’m no Poe scholar so I assume those of you who are will ID more provided you’re still awake.

What Doesn’t Work With The Pale Blue Eye

  • You’ll wait patiently because you allow movies to have some setup time. Not every movie needs to have explosions to be compelling. After the first act of nothing but dreary exposition and characters saying what they’re thinking you’ll wonder if the movie gets any better. SPOILER- It doesn’t. TPBE will be scene upon scene of tedious dialogue with nothing meaningful happening until it’s way too late.
  • Christian Bale is wasted by being the best thing in a movie that does him no favors. You wonder by Bale would take a role as such a basic character. You’ve already given up on the film before you find out why. After Thor 4 and Amsterdam, you wonder if such a great actor like Bale took middling work just to get out of quarantine.
  • There are about 6 more things anyone who’s seen this could add but I’m not going to because it’s better to be done with this f*cking movie.
"What if I touch this?"

"What if I touch this?"


Save your legs from being amputated. Save two hours of your time. You spy with your pale blue eye something else to watch beside this tiresome life-sapping enterprise. Sure, the 3-hour Babylon isn’t that much better but at least it has ______!


This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2022 Noel Penaflor

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