The Crow (1994)

6.5 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great visuals

Sloppy story and so-so acting

Movie Info

Movie Name: The Crow

Studio: Dimension Films

Genre(s): Action/Adventure/Comic Book

Release Date(s): May 13, 1994

MPAA Rating: R


It’s hard being the Crow

Eric Draven (Brandon Lee) and his fiancée are killed on the eve of their wedding. Draven fights to stay alive, but after a long battle passes away from his injuries. A year later, Draven rises from the grave with new powers, he is accompanied by a crow and appears to be invincible. Now Draven is out for revenge against the gang that killed him and his girlfriend but finds himself with help from the officer that investigated his murder (Ernie Hudson) and Eric’s friend Sarah (Rochelle Davis). Now Top Dollar (Michael Wincott) and his men are being hunted and the Crow isn’t giving up until he has vengeance.

The Crow was directed by Alex Proyas and became known more for the fact that Brandon Lee was killed during the filming of it. It was adapted from the James O’Barr comic book and is fairly faithful to the storyline. It was generally well received by critics but the story and Lee’s death seemed to mesh, and the ideas couldn’t be separated.


Not only am I an avenging force…I am an artist!

The best part about The Crow are the amazing visuals. Proyas creates a very dark and grim reality with many creative shots and this is what drives the crow. Unlike a Tim Burton, Proyas’ darkness feels a bit more real and less amplified though they both have similar styles. While Burton’s Gotham City is more gothic, Proyas’ Detroit is more urban and dangerous. Proyas’ development can be seen in his far superior Dark City in 1998.

The plot of The Crow is very generic. The Crow comes back from the dead…the Crow kills his killers. There seems to be very little danger involved until the final act, but that doesn’t make for very compelling storytelling. Even when the Crow becomes vulnerable, there is very little doubt that he will fail. With no sense of danger (or danger to any of his friends), plus generic villains that go out like chumps, The Crow kind of fails to hit its mark as a film as a whole.


I’m going to feel really embarassed if you are crapping down my back, bird.

You also can’t talk about The Crow without talking about Brandon Lee. Though it was his final film, I have a hard time saying it was a perfect final performance. It is possibly due to the editing after his death, but Lee’s character seems all over the place. Sometimes he’s sociopathic and sometimes he’s soft spoken. It doesn’t feel that it has much direction. There isn’t any character development, so it is hard to gauge if he did an ok job or not.

The Crow is a visual masterpiece, but a so-so story. If the movie was told without the visuals, it would be a pretty crappy b-movie, but the visuals and style of the film do elevate it. Brandon Lee’s fatal performance helped make this movie a cult-classic, and it probably deserves that title. If Lee hadn’t died (under which some conspiracy theory nuts call mysterious circumstance like his father Bruce Lee), The Crow might have been forgotten or just remembered as a quirky odd film.  The Crow was followed by The Crow:  City of Angels in 1996.

Related Links:

The Crow:  City of Angels (1997)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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