Harvey Read’s review published on Letterboxd:
I'm on a bit of a David Fincher kick at the minute. This film has a perfect setup to an imperfect movie, leading to a perfect, completely unimpeachable second half that flaws me every time I see it.
The crime elements mixed with religious motifs are articulately handled, the performances by Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman - two trying detectives, one quite new to the force and acting on emotion and the other hardened, composed with the experience and horrors that he has seen respectively - are expectedly complex and wonderful. A slightly different approach to the saturated buddy-cop genre in that the two have quite a bit in common and don't have to go through the cliche of comedic tribulations that end up bounce off of the two of them. Although Kevin Spacey, in terms of the performance, is cold and excellent, it does feel a little unsettling after everything that has happened with him, making me almost not warrant talking about him. There are mild imperfections in the script, but it never took me out of the film, especially not the second half; this half of the script could almost compete with anything else.
A seemingly less-unpraised factor is the props and set design that absolutely immerses you into this bleak, gritty environment, excelling in understanding of good mise-en-scene. All of this is fitting the seamlessly perfect directing and metallic ideology that Fincher seems to apply to every project.
Those last 30 minutes though. I get goosebumps every time. The script, the score, the performances, the directing, the payoff, everything works so meticulously that it makes up truly for any momentary mistakes throughout; masterpiece material.