Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 34
  2. Negative: 2 out of 34
  1. 90
    Carnahan alternates gritty neo-realism with bursts of extreme stylization -- most notably in a breathless opening chase filmed with handheld cameras -- but thankfully, his stylistic flourishes are in the service of the film's story, not the other way around.
  2. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    80
    A darkly textured, powerfully suspenseful genre piece.
  3. 80
    It joins “Rush,” “The Onion Field,” “Serpico,” “Seven,” “The French Connection,” Traffic, and “Prince of the City” as a grimy, hyper-real exploration of the emotional and psychological prices paid by cops.
  4. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    75
    This may be the most uncompromisingly raw police drama since "Across 110th Street," starring Anthony Quinn and Yaphet Kotto.
  5. Reviewed by: Jeff Stark
    70
    The direction of Joe Carnahan, who also wrote the script, is stylish without being overbearing, the actors look comfortable in their roles and the modest twists unfold at a pace that doesn't seem ridiculous. The film would probably make a good episode of "Homicide: Life on the Streets."
  6. 67
    Beneath its frantic surfaces, Narc is terribly ordinary, built on a mystery that will puzzle only those who have never watched a TV cop drama.
  7. Liotta's acting can't redeem senseless violence.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. Jul 2, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Narc outdid my every expectation - after reading the summary, I was in no way anticipating such a hugely original and deeply emotional thriller. It's dark, stylish and endlessly gritty. The acting is spot-on, and it's Ray Liotta's performance that really shone through, but every element is crafted with a huge amount of creative thought and technical expertise. This is a phenomenal debut from writer/director Joe Canahan and though his successive films haven't lived up to the sheer brilliance that is Narc, it just goes to show what a hugely effective film it is incredible too. The twists are mindblowing, as repeated flashbacks from different perspectives offer conflicting recounts of the murder. Liotta's character being "revealed" as the murderer would have been a great ending in itself, but to turn it back and finally see the truth blew me away. The cinematography is stylized and very much reflective of the anxious narrative, and really added a subtle realism to the film. To summarize, Narc is possibly the most refreshing and effective crime thriller I've seen since Silence of the Lambs and one I'll gladly revisit. Expand

See all 9 User Reviews

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