I was very mixed on this. I read one person describe this as a liberal version of 13 Hours and I think that's an apt description. I texted a friend the following:
First 45 minutes: 4/10
Next 60 minutes: 9/10
Next 25 minutes: 5/10
Last 5 minutes: 10/10
Part of the problem I had with it was that, unlike The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, there's not a protagonist to latch on to. Whatever flaws those movies had, they both had unique protagonists who you don't see too often in movies. Here, there's not really anyone the film puts out as a protagonist, and the characters who make up the ensemble aren't anything all that distinctive. I thought the first act was just a mess--jumping around trying to establish storylines and characters, without really establishing much at all. It didn't make a great deal of sense, and it was at times as preachy and didactic as Crash, just better made. Once it settled down into the conflict at the hotel, I was pretty riveted. Even when the guy shot off the air pistol it was with an air of tragedy because you knew what was about to happen. I do think that the police were right to respond, and at least check things out at the hotel, because from their perspective they had no way of knowing if the shots were "real" or not, but you can't think of a worse way that the response could've gone--just a perfect storm of tension with the worst possible officers getting in on things at the hotel. But it was a very riveting, often disgusting sequence, especially since Will Poulter, Jack Reynor, and Ben O'Toole are really good--and really human--as the three cops. You really do get a sense that they're varying degrees of racist, young and dumb, and really enjoying their first chance at a true power trip. Those performances make a good point of contrast with the totally false work from John Krasinski. It's a terrible performance, from an actor who seems to be trying with every fiber of his being to make sure that the audience realizes that he is not the character he's playing, so there's nothing approaching a believable human being there. Final five minutes ended the movie on a completely unexpected, cathartic note; for whatever reason I was kind of expecting a different gospel song (one called "Take My Hand, Precious Lord"), but the one they had the character was a perfect choice, I think.