Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 8 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Set in the East L.A. barrio, Colors stars Sean Penn and Robert Duvall as very different cops, both in age and temperment, hand picked for the city's anti-gang campaign. As partners, they daily drive their unmarked car through the warring Los Angeles neighborhoods. Their simple code of endurance: Keep peace in the streets at any price! [MGM] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    A solidly crafted depiction of some current big-city horrors and succeeds largely because of the Robert Duvall-Sean Penn teaming as frontline cops.
  2. But conventional though the patterns are, the dialogue, in black and Latino lingo, is topically hot and is heated further by contemporary street naturalism, which in fact is less "natural" than consciously theatrical; so the familiarity of the story is disguised by the crackle of the production. [16 May 1988]
  3. It's an exhilarating sparring match between Duvall's workmanlike fine-tuning and Penn's raw energy. [15 Apr 1988]
  4. 75
    Sean Penn and Robert Duvall basically played the Two Faces of Dennis: hyper young firebrand and cautious older lion.
  5. Though it all comes together, most tragically, at the conclusion, Colors is less notable for its plot than for its chilling urgency and its sense of pure style. [15 Apr 1988, p.C4]
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    At 120 minutes, Colors is one of the longest cop dramas in movie history, and all the clichés are packed into the second hour. It fades in the stretch - and so may too many moviegoers. [15 Apr 1988]
  7. Without complexity to its characters, with little balance and without a hint of the personal, family or community issues involved, Colors becomes a movie that never has to ask "Why?"--a vivid, noisy shell of a film filled with eager young actors rattling along on the surface of a lethally important subject. [15 Apr 1988]

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1