Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 56 Ratings

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  • Summary: Nothing fascinates like a dirty cop. In real life they're terrifying, but in the movies their upending of law and order can open deep explorations of psychology, morality and violence. So meet Dave Brown, Brown is a cop long ago unleashed from the rules of the Los Angeles Police Department. Roving the streets in his black-and-white cruiser, he governs and punishes at will. His home life is a riddle. Somehow he has fathered children with two sisters. Somehow he still lives casually with them both, slipping in and out of a family life thats as tangled as his long career on the force. His own daughter calls him Date Rape. Thats because, years ago, Brown may have killed a rapist and gotten away with it. The shadow of the incident still haunts him, so when his Rampart division gets caught up in a corruption scandal, Brown makes an easy target. As the controversy seeps through the department and into city hall, this hardened, reckless officer finds himself at the centre of a sordid L.A. story. (Millennium Entertainment) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Feb 15, 2012
    Harrelson is an ideal actor for the role. Especially in tensely wound-up movies like this, he implies that he's looking at everything and then watching himself looking.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Feb 10, 2012
    Yup, it could have been a bucket of bleak. But the electric talent of Harrelson and Moverman is too exciting to be anything but exhilarating.
  3. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Feb 9, 2012
    This movie's too small and too dark to have gotten Harrelson into the overcrowded best-actor race, but it's without question one of the year's great performances.
  4. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    Nov 22, 2011
    Here the director pulls off the formidable task of marrying two unwieldy performances: Harrelson's, a volatile and vulnerable feat of showboating, and Ellroy's, whose writing voice is unmistakably the voice of the movie.
  5. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Nov 22, 2011
    While it provides a watchable, nuanced portrait of man in crisis, it's an insistently one-note affair, repeated until it induces a splitting headache.
  6. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Nov 22, 2011
    For all of its punishing pathos, the movie does not have the clean lines and elegance of another cut at crime in this city, "L.A. Confidential" (based on an Ellroy novel). As the day of reckoning approaches, the film spins out of control, careening between convoluted subplots, with the emotional pitch of the piece swinging too wildly.
  7. Reviewed by: Andy Klein
    Feb 10, 2012
    Harrelson is effective, but the film isn't helped by the inevitable comparisons to the far superior "L.A. Confidential" and "Bad Lieutenant" movies.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 20
  2. Negative: 6 out of 20
  1. May 28, 2012
    What a reeking, heaping, sack of crap. Dave Brown (Woody Harrelson) lives with two women who are sisters and he has a daughter by each one. All four supposedly live together? If that isn't far fetched enough for you, he meets and picks up strange women in bars and is in the sack with them within minutes. This movie was excessively, and extremely painful to watch. Expand
  2. Feb 12, 2012
    I was expecting something a little darker, closer to The Bad Lieutenant. To the contrary, it's fairly light fare. Woody is excellent in the lead role, bringing wit, humor, and more compassion than I expected, but as a huge The Shield fan, I kept found myself comparing his role to that of Vic Mackie and the strike team. The key difference is that Date Rape's character is a lone wolf, Vietnam Vet who is extremely intelligent and obviously far more tortured. I'm not a huge fan of the ending - which seems to be a trend in movies over the last couple of years. I remember trying it in a writing seminar and got destroyed for it. But I won't hold that against it! Expand
  3. Jun 11, 2012
    A really great movie. Harrelson gives a great performance as a rampart cop that refuses to change his old school ways. Caught up in addiction both chemical and sexual he winds his way through a nightmarish journey between his life as a cop and family man. It is a great story that is well told through Harrelson's performance as well as a few other famous actors that make cameos throughout the film. I highly recommend this film. Expand
  4. Apr 15, 2012
    Woody harrelson delivers a strong performance in a weak plotted film. The character study for me did not keep my interest. There were extremely well made scenes that brought me into this man's madness. On the contrary the film did not deliver enough intrigue to keep the viewers attention. For a similar character study watch drive. For a better dirty cop movie watch Herzog's bad lieutenant. Expand
  5. Jan 12, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Still waiting for the movie to end quite frankly. This movie draws you in with it's over the top portrayal of a bent cop who dishes out "street justice" mainly to thugs and cretins that deserve it, but he obviously has a twisted personal life as evidenced by the fact that he (sometimes) lives with the two women he has children with. Making the home life even more ridiculous is the fact that those women are sisters. Making one of his daughters ask him if they are "inbred".

    The movie creates a web of lies and conspiracy, perceived or real, that's for you to decide. Throws in some big (ish) names stars to try and add some legitimacy to the story but fails miserably because NONE of the conflicts in the movie are resolved. No, not one. The movie goes off with no resolution except for the one you may make up in your mind.

    And ending like this to a movie this complex is simply lazy. If you can't write an ending then don't make the movie. Woody Harrelson plays a "dirty" cop, but is surrounded by people trying to catch him that are just as, or more, dirty as he is.

    If you like movies that you have to make up your own ending you'll love this one. If you like a resolution to your stories, let this one fade away.
  6. Feb 16, 2012
    I really wanted to see this movie, and after seeing it, I wanted to like it. However, this movie is flat out terrible. It's a shame, because Woody Harrelson is truly amazing in his role. He's in literally every scene and does everything he can to carry the movie. After his performance though, there isn't one other redeeming aspect of this movie. There is basically NO plot, and the little there is doesn't make any sense. Not because it's complicated, but because it never goes anywhere, and when it does the writers seem to withhold certain aspects of the plot. They must do this to create some sort of "mystery", but the plot is so simple that it's not necessary. When the movie does end, I still didn't fully understand what the he** happened for what was a very dull 2 hours. This wasn't the intention of writers, it was a lazy half-a$$ed script. EVERYBODY behind the scenes of this movie should be disgusted with themselves, for bringing their D game at best, when Woody brought his A game. What a wasted performance, and just proof that you need a whole lot more than a strong acting performance to make a movie good... or even halfway decent for that matter. Expand
  7. Jun 14, 2012
    This was a real "downer" movie with a terrible ending. Why do investors waste money on trash like this?
    The only thing that made this worth
    watching was Woody Harrelson who was exceptional and carried the whole pix. Where have all the good writers gone? Expand

See all 20 User Reviews