Kathryn Bigelow has often been at her best when detailing the vaguely homoerotic, exceedingly intimate relationships between men, and what drives these men. This is certainly the case with Point Break and arguably with K-19: The Widowmaker too. There’s a volatile current of Oedipal details flowing underneath the action in Near Dark, and the boy’s club mentality of the military can be gleaned in fascinating flecks of dialogue and gestures in The Hurt Locker. In all these movies, including her latest film, Detroit, the way that men compete and speak with one another, whether in a combative tone or to convince someone else, is crucial to her insights on the comfort that comes from violence and its unstable nature, as well as its overall lack of substance.
From Near Dark, her first feature on her own, to Detroit, Bigelow has chronicled the bedlam of man with a steady analytical eye, making for a series of increasingly openly political films. In honor of Detroit hitting theaters wide this week, I decided to rank her filmography, only leaving off her co-directing credit for The Loveless, which is still quite good. Otherwise, everything is fair game. Enjoy!