Every Kathryn Bigelow Film Ranked From Worst To Best

9. The Loveless (1981)

Point Break
Atlantic Releasing

Bigelow made her debut co-directing this ‘Biker Noir’ (with Monty Montgomery), in what is essentially her graduation film from Columbia.

In that respect, “The Loveless” is an impressive piece of work; confidently blending biker movie rebellion with Film Noir pessimism, with a firm handle on period detail and stylistic precision (with more then one sly nod to painter Edward Hopper). Yet, despite both directors enamourment with the era, they also manage to make it feel lived-in in a subversive manner; full of working class extras and dark thematic undercurrents.

It also heralds Willem Dafoe’s proper acting debut as the steely protagonist, a leader of a nihilistic motorcycle gang. He's surprisingly every bit as charismatic and commanding on the screen from the outset of his career.

Outside of that though, the film has problems; its pacing is glacial, with scenes dragging out for what feels like hours. Not to mention every actor speaks shallow dialogue in the same monotonous fashion, and besides Dafoe, the characters tend to be one-note and even obnoxious.

Still, as a curio for Bigelow fans it has its benefits; her 'outlaw family' thematics where birthed here, as well as her fascination with the dark side of the macho image. It's admirable too that whilst most film graduates were aping Spielberg or Scorsese, here comes along one who refreshingly strives to blend Douglas Sirk by way of Monte Hellman.


is a freelance writer that loves ingesting TV shows, Video Games, Comics, and all walks of Movies, from schmaltzy Oscar bait to Kung-Fu cult cinema...actually, more the latter really.