Dark Blue


Mixed or average reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 37
  2. Negative: 4 out of 37

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Critic Reviews

  1. 100
    Dark Blue is one of those totally happy surprises that moves so quickly and curves so sharply that it leaves this era's hyped critical hits looking like beached whales.
  2. Goes where all too few films dare to venture these days -- into the heart of moral darkness.
  3. Another harrowingly cynical dirty-cop movie in the recent tradition of "Training Day" and "Narc." Yet it's so much more complex, engrossing and satisfying than those films that the comparison is not entirely fair.
  4. Shelton's harrowing and compulsively watchable morality play.
  5. 80
    Flaws and all, Dark Blue has a combustible energy that's usually anathema to Hollywood, reopening an old wound that has festered too quietly for more than a decade.
  6. 75
    Russell is the reason to go to the theater. He will continue to hold your attention when things around him -– like the storyline -– lose steam and credibility.
  7. 75
    A film of wounding power. It stays with you.
  8. While Dark Blue may not be easy to watch, it's exceptionally well made.
  9. 75
    Not a great movie, but it has moments that go off the meter and find visceral impact. The characters driving through the riot-torn streets of Los Angeles provide some of them, and the savage, self-hating irony of Russell's late dialogue provides the rest.
  10. It gains a major charge of dramatic energy from Kurt Russell's ferocious acting, almost certainly the best of his career.
  11. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Refreshingly devoid of flashiness or artificially pumped-up action, this consistently gripping, well-constructed police thriller… showcases a tightly controlled performance from Kurt Russell.
  12. 70
    Eleven years on, someone in Hollywood has finally worked up the nerve to address the LA riots--but only on the slickest terms imaginable.
  13. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    This is ultimately a conversion melodrama, and a clumsy one. But until it goes to hell, it's thrillingly good, a fervid answer to the spate of cop movies that glorify brutality and sanction ends over means.
  14. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    In the end, the problem with movies like Dark Blue is that they willfully ignore the systemic, historical, cultural, and class causes of racism in favor of pinning it all on a few bad apples. Sure, that's entertainment. It's also a lie.
  15. After a decade of silence, surely Hollywood can do better.
  16. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    There's at least one plot element too many here; let your own taste determine which one. Yet until it dissolves into conventional melodrama during a climactic fracas, this fast-paced story is never less than watchable.
  17. 63
    Ron Shelton effectively ratchets up the tension without resorting to the stylistic flourishes of a more recent flick about dirty cops, "Narc."
  18. Unlike the intrigue and winding switchback of moral mysteries that defined "L.A. Confidential," Dark Blue travels on flat, predictable terrain.

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