Cruising (1980)

A New York City cop goes undercover in New York's gay community to catch a serial killer.

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: February 8, 1980
DVD Release Date: September 18, 2007
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Also Available On

Critic Score: 50% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Cruising glides along confidently thanks to filmmaking craft and Al Pacino's committed performance, but this hot-button thriller struggles to engage its subject matter sensitively or justify its brutality.

Anton Bitel
Little White Lies

Here Steve's 'undercover' status serves as a metaphor for his closetedness (and vice versa) - while murder is committed at the behest of an internalised paternal voice of authority that regards homosexuality as a guilt that must be bloodily expunged.

Full review…
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

What we're left with is a movie without the courage to declare itself.

Full review…
Jason Shawhan
Nashville Scene

At its best, this William Friedkin effort is an American giallo and a document of a community just before HIV/AIDS came along and demolished it.

Full review…
Charles Champlin
Los Angeles Times

The principal complaint, artistically, about Cruising is that it is not very clear at the rudimentary level of exposition of character and event. The problem... is in a script that never seems sure enough what it wants to say or prove.

Full review…
Frank Rich
TIME Magazine

This detective melodrama has something to offend almost everyone.

Full review…
David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews

...sluggish and disastrously repetitive...

Full review…
Bruce McCabe
Boston Globe

William Friedkin's Cruising is a work of art.

Full review…
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

What's left is the framework for a graphic, brutal, sickening film, without the violent effects that might have made sense (however illegitimate) out of the conception.

Full review…
Marina Hirsch
Berkeley Barb

Cruising is rife with laughable loopholes.

Full review…
More reviews for Cruising

Flixster Audience Score: 48% Flixster User Reviews
Christian C
Interesting film -- if for no other reason than to see gay stereotypes from the late 1970s and early 1980s. Bold role for Paccino, played convincingly.
Adam Mahler
Friedkin uses the gay leather scene to show NYC as an abattoir where two will go out at night to play a game trading turns as butcher and meat. They often get… More
Reid Volk
With the 80's explosion of homosexuality in the mainstream, director William Friedkin set out to explore the tension that consumed New York during this… More
Mark Hobin
Unsettling slasher film masquerading as a crime thriller. NYC cop goes undercover in the gay underworld of S&M leather bars in order to uncover a murderer… More
Steve K
A compelling look at the gay underground in late 70's NYC, with a complex Pacino performance. Unfortunately, there is ample evidence of studio tinkering,… More
Lady D'arbanville
Highly controversial in it?s time, both in subject matter and portraying the Gay scene and Leather scene in a bad light. It?s very much a film way ahead of… More