Cruising Blu-ray Review – 1980 Powerful & Disturbing Thriller

I’ve always enjoy pretty much all of Al Pacino’s films. One film that had so far passed me by was Cruising (1980) from director William Friedkin. Fortunately Arrow Video has only gone and released it on to blu-ray having undergone a 4K restoration. Seems like I film I need to review. Let’s take a look, here’s my Cruising blu-ray review.

  • Cruising (1980)
  • Genre: Crime, Thriller
  • Directed by William Friedkin
  • UK Rating 18
  • Discs: 1
  • Released By Arrow Video
  • Blu-ray Released: 19 August 2019


There’s a serial killer on the loose on the streets on New York City. Furthermore he seems to be targeting the city’s gay community. The police decide to send an officer undercover to flush out the killer.

Style / Direction

The films directed by William Friedkin whilst the cinematography is handled by James A. Contner. Friedkin produces another exceptionally well made movie.

Music / Audio Effects

The music score comes from Jack Nitzsche.

Acting / Characters

Al Pacino takes on the role of undercover police officer Steve Burns. He’s a straight guy that soon begins to struggle and suffer from being deep undercover in an extremely uncomfortable environment. Little is known about the killer and that means Burns is going to have to risk his life if he is to bring the killer to justice.

The film does a good job of showing the emotional and mental problems Officer Burns struggles with that includes pushing away his girlfriend Nancy (Karen Allen).


  • Al Pacino as Steve Burns
  • Paul Sorvino as Captain Edelson
  • Karen Allen as Nancy Gates
  • Richard Cox as Stuart Richards
  • Don Scardino as Ted Bailey
  • Joe Spinell as Patrolman DiSimone
  • Jay Acovone as Skip Lee
  • Randy Jurgensen as Det. Lefransky
  • Barton Heyman as Dr. Rifkin
  • Gene Davis as DaVinci
  • Arnaldo Santana as Loren Lukas
  • Larry Atlas as Eric Rossman
  • Allan Miller as Chief of Detectives
  • Sonny Grosso as Detective Blasio
  • Edward O’Neil as Detective Schreiber
  • Michael Aronin as Detective Davis
  • James Remar as Gregory
  • William Russ as Paul Gaines

Conclusion: Cruising (1980) Film Review

There’s little doubt Cruising is still an immensely powerful and disturbing film today just as it was back upon it release in 1980. It’s not a film I could honestly say I enjoyed. More like it’s uncomfortable but then cinema should be able to provoke that response from time to time.

Will I be watching it again soon? Probably not.

If you enjoyed my Cruising blu-ray review so far you may want to check out the following films:

Conclusion: Cruising Blu-ray Review

Cruising has undergone a 4K restoration and looks pretty good. I won’t say amazing but I think that’s more to do with how the film was originally shot. In any case it looks fine and there’s certainly no speckles or damage to the film image.

As you might expect from an Arrow release the extras are pretty extensive.

Cruising (1980) Blu-ray is available now from Amazon and Arrow Video.

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Cruising Blu-ray Review


  • The History of Cruising (21 mins)
  • Exorcising Cruising (23 mins)
  • Original Trailer
  • William Friedkin Audio Commentary
  • Mark Kermode / William Friedkin Audio Commentary

Popcorn Cinema Rating: Cruising (1980)




Cruising (1980) Trailer

For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster.

Clip may not representative of the blu-ray version

That concludes my Cruising blu-ray review. What’s next? Check back soon as I look at more recent releases.

What Do You Think?
Summary: Cruising (1980) Blu-ray Review
Cruising Blu-ray Review

Movie title: Cruising (1980)

Duration: 102 mins

Director(s): William Friedkin

Actor(s): Al Pacino, Paul Sorvino, Karen Allen, Richard Cox, Don Scardino

Genre: Thriller

  • Movie Rating
  • Blu-ray Picture Rating
  • Extras


Immensely powerful and disturbing