User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22

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Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 1 out of 18
  1. 100
    It is not a "dirty movie," and in fact takes spirituality and morality more seriously than most films do. And in the bad lieutenant, Keitel has given us one of the great screen performances in recent years.
  2. 70
    Ferrara is clearly drawing an equation between the criminals' actions and The Lieutenant's, and as trite (and potentially shameless) as this may sound, it actually works.
  3. Despite a glut of luridness, the story line feels essentially flat, as Keitel stumbles through New York in an immoral, unchanging haze. It is only the strength of Keitel's performance that gives his personality human dimension.