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Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 24 Ratings

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  • Summary: A New York cop (Keitel) is hopelessy addicted to drugs, gambling, and sex, in this intense, hallucinatory portrait of sin and redemption. The film follows the lieutenant as he makes his way to various crime scenes, concerned only with taking bets from his fellow cops on the outcome of theA New York cop (Keitel) is hopelessy addicted to drugs, gambling, and sex, in this intense, hallucinatory portrait of sin and redemption. The film follows the lieutenant as he makes his way to various crime scenes, concerned only with taking bets from his fellow cops on the outcome of the ongoing National League playoffs. An investigation into the rape of a nun leads to his spiritual breakdown at the church crime scene, where he sees Jesus and the road to his salvation. Collapse
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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. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    91
    For all its scenes of degradation (five minutes of which have been shorn for an R-rated cut; we recommend the original NC-17 version), Bad Lieutenant is a deeply moral movie. It's not pretty-it's not even very realistic-but it does matter.
  3. There's an undeniable formal elegance in the way Ferrara, who coauthored the script with Zoe Lund, frames and holds certain shots, and Keitel certainly gives his all in this 1992 entry in the Raging Bull redemptive sweepstakes.
  4. It's a film enthralled by its own lower depths… Although Bad Lieutenant is structured as a redemptive thriller, it functions primarily as a freak show with religioso overtones. [30 Dec 1992, Calendar, p.F-7]
  5. 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.
  6. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    60
    A serious film about the gnawing of conscience and the thirst for redemption, but the tone is so dispassionately vile it may leave viewers shaken or sick. [16 Nov 1992, p.95]
  7. Reviewed by: Michael Sragow
    30
    Yes, you get to see Harvey Keitel's penis; the only surprise is that Jesus keeps His under wraps.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. JoshC
    Jan 16, 2007
    10
    A hardcore scuzzmeister elevates himself to a new place with this startling, powerfully restrained portrayal of sin and salvation in godless A hardcore scuzzmeister elevates himself to a new place with this startling, powerfully restrained portrayal of sin and salvation in godless NY. Keitel's inarticulate maudit philosopher is the most uninhabited performance in this disco inferno that also offers relgious hallucinations. As sordid as the material is, the movie isn't oppressive. Expand

See all 3 User Reviews

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