Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. Everywhere the camera turns in this tense and volatile drama, it finds enough interest for a truckload of conventional Hollywood fare. Whatever its limitations, Cop Land has talent to burn.
  2. 89
    Casting is everything, and the casting of Stallone -- playing way against type -- as the powerless hayseed sheriff in Cop Land is nothing short of inspired.
  3. 80
    Cop Land emerges as a first-rate morality play in the form of an effective, if occasionally unwieldy, crime drama.
  4. 80
    The movie's no roller-coaster ride, but there isn't a boring moment either.
  5. 75
    Branching out in a bold new direction, Stallone is quietly devastating. James Mangold has directed Cop Land from his own ardent, audacious script, and despite some draggy, overdeliberate moments, it's the strongest piece of material to come Stallone's way since he invented himself as Rocky 21 years ago.
  6. James Mangold follows up the promise of his excellent "Heavy" with this smartly written, superbly acted melodrama.
  7. Cop Land isn't a perfect piece, but it's sober, wise and adult.
  8. 75
    While this is probably the actor's best turn since Rocky, and he does a credible job that may earn him the opportunity to do more "serious" work in the future, Stallone's performance is outshone on all sides. That's not a knock against him; it's an acknowledgment that the supporting cast is about the best that it can be.
  9. A good film prevented from being a great film by an act of well-intentioned but misguided casting.
  10. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    It's formulaic, but it sticks to a classic Western formula instead of a cartoonish blockbuster one.
  11. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    The increasingly broad strokes with which the story is painted serve to simplify rather than deepen it, and to make it seem more artificially constructed than need be.
  12. Dense, meandering, ambitious yet jarringly pulpy, this tale of big-city corruption in small-town America has competence without mood or power -- a design but not a vision.
  13. Reviewed by: Sandra Contreras
    Writer-director James Mangold has surrounded Stallone with an exceptional ensemble cast, and Sly is smart enough to let the actors do the acting.
  14. Reviewed by: Ian Freer
    An honourable attempt to return the mainstream thriller to a more serious, intelligent vein, yet ultimately lacks the complexity of characterisation, dense subterfuge and overall feeling of weightiness that separates the great from the good.
  15. Unfortunately, while Stallone can carry the weight, the movie can't. Too much of it is too busy -- too many undeveloped subplots -- and some of the main plotting feels murky.
  16. 50
    The characters are all over the map, there are too many unclear story threads, our sympathies are confused, and there's an unconvincing showdown in which the story's lovingly developed ambiguities are lost.
  17. Cop Land presents a fairly involved plot, and Mangold is not equipped to do more than blurt all the information onto the screen and let the nuances settle where they may.
  18. Reviewed by: Jack Kroll
    Mangold is something of a pseudo-Scorsese, assembling elements of other pictures like "Internal Affairs" and "Bad Lieutenant" into an eclectic mix that lacks its own vital reality.
  19. 40
    Mangold never ventures beyond the obvious. We're set up with righteous anger against the liberal establishment and then fobbed off with goombah melodramatics. The film should be called Cop Out.
  20. 40
    Although the newly paunchy Stallone is credible as a weak, conflicted small-time sheriff, this suburban "Serpico" is a noble, passionless charade.
  21. 30
    It's a shame when an actor like Sylvester Stallone, who's always at his most appealing when he just hunkers down and lets himself be a big galoot, feels he has to make a bid for respectability.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. May 25, 2014
    Cop Land is actually a pretty good cop movie i never knew about it which it crazy because it has a lot of big name actors in it like Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Harvey Keitel, Robert Patrick, Michael Rapaport. But seeing that James Mangold directed it and i like most his other movies i thought id give it a try and it didnt disappoint. The movie follows Freddy Heflin (Stallone) as head sheriff in the small town of Garrison, New Jersey. the town is home to a bunch of corrupted cops form the New York Police department and as the corruption gets worse Freddy Heflin can no longer stay by and he steps in to end it and in doing opens up a massive cover-up within the NYPD.

    Overall i give it a 7.0 id definitely recommend this and ill even call it underrated.
    Full Review »
  2. Feb 16, 2014
    Very solid film. It shouldn't take a film genius to recognize the awesome ensemble cast, and for those wondering if Sylvester Stallone actually does have chops behind that beaten face of his - it is more than worthwhile checking this film out. He gives quite a captivating and sympathetic performance, and undoubtedly helps carry along the sound albeit somewhat predictable and straightforward plot.
    The rest of the cast - featuring no less than De Niro, Liotta and Keitel among others - only add value to the film.
    Overall, it is an entertaining and surprisingly intelligent film that left me quite satisfied. If anything, it's only real detriment is a shortage of particularly 'stand-out' moments (the sweet cast occasionally feels underused). Still very much worth it, though.
    Full Review »
  3. Sep 16, 2013
    A brilliant cast and an sharp, literate script make this one of the more overlooked films of the 90's. Stallone's morose and overweight small-town sheriff is a clever and well executed casting choice and he serves the film well by doing much with his body language and letting the other actors do the more fiery displays of cop-on-the-edge theatrics. Ray Liotta gets a part worthy of his brand of intensity and the mash up of High Noon meets Goodfellas is very effective. Too many story arcs spoil the cleanliness of the narrative for many but repeated viewings (of the directors cut preferably which has a valuable 12 extra minutes) show that most of it works itself out. The finale is exceptional in how it allows Stallone to be heroic but in a tired, bloody and almost defeated fashion. Being the hero probably isn't that fun sometimes and he realizes that. Full Review »