The so-called "Black Pack" films of the late '80s and early '90s intersect with this attempt to revive film noir, set in 1940s Los Angeles. It has all the staples of the noirs of decades past: a dogged private eye Denzel Washington, shady, omnivorously sexual women, duplicitous clients, brutal cops, and a Deep, Dark Secret at the heart of it all. What makes Devil different is its pungent depiction of racism, which victimizes Washington's character repeatedly. Previous private eyes such as Sam Spade had to worry about getting killed or beaten up when they learned the truth; Washington has to worry about it while walking in a white neighborhood after dark. Director Carl Franklin also posits a black suburbia where both parents raise children in lovely middle-class homes with white picket fences, razor-cut lawns, and brightly beautiful sunlight, ironically contrasting the murky depravities of the night and the bombed-out minority "drug war" neighborhoods of decades later. Washington contributes a workmanlike performance, and watch for Don Cheadle as a friendly but hopelessly psychotic best friend -- he's terrifying. In all, Devil is a good but minor movie.