Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. 100
    No one is better at this kind of performance than Nicolas Cage. He's a fearless actor. He doesn't care if you think he goes over the top. If a film calls for it, he will crawl to the top hand over hand with bleeding fingernails.
  2. Bad Lieutenant doesn't go where you expect, but it has a stubborn, trippy logic.
  3. The marvel of Cage's performance is that, somehow, it's all of a piece. That's the marvel of the movie, too. This is one fever dream you'll remember whole.
  4. 88
    Frankly, the story isn’t remotely as interesting as Cage. Nothing is. In Ferrara’s movie, Keitel emptied himself out. But there’s a hellion’s joy in Cage’s cop.
  5. 83
    It’s not always easy to sort out the legitimately inspired touches from the merely campy ones, but the film has a deranged, go-for-broke spirit that makes such distinctions irrelevant.
  6. A true feat of daring and one of the craziest films of the year.
  7. 90
    Mr. Herzog’s film is a pulpy, glorious mess. Its maniacal unpredictability is such a blast that it reminds you just how tidy and dull most crime thrillers are these days.
  8. It's tempting to forget that Cage is not Terence. That would be unfair though, and diminish the sheer ferocity of his performance.
  9. Reviewed by: Adam Smith
    100
    An exhilarating riff on the cop-thriller drama by a director at the top of his game -- Herzog is also at his most accessible here -- powered by an incendiary performance from Nicolas Cage. A very bad lieutenant, then. And a bloody good film.
User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 95 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 32
  2. Negative: 9 out of 32
  1. MichaelJ
    Mar 25, 2010
    10
    Excellent. DO NOT MISS. For yourself, see a movie worth its salt. Maybe the best, certainly the most underrated cinema of 2009. Anyone who Excellent. DO NOT MISS. For yourself, see a movie worth its salt. Maybe the best, certainly the most underrated cinema of 2009. Anyone who doesn't think so, doesn't really like movies, maybe coffee table books are more their thing. Full Review »
  2. Nov 27, 2011
    8
    Bad Lieutenant is a movie that you either get and like or dont and hate. I got it. Some may be disapointed by the story and its weirdness. IBad Lieutenant is a movie that you either get and like or dont and hate. I got it. Some may be disapointed by the story and its weirdness. I am interested in its character who nicholas Cage plays marvelously. Not to mention the iguanas. Overall great ride of a film Full Review »
  3. Nov 17, 2013
    3
    Nicolas Cage is by far one of my favorite actors, because even in a bad movie like this one, he gives everything he's got. The man is pureNicolas Cage is by far one of my favorite actors, because even in a bad movie like this one, he gives everything he's got. The man is pure intensity and believable in any role. That's why I get so frustrated when he wastes his time on a bad movie like this one. I never saw the first Bad Lieutenant film, but this one was presented as a dark drama, centered around the murder of an immigrant family, but that really wasn't the focus of this film. Port of Call New Orleans focuses on a cop who was injured in the line of duty. As a result of severe pain, he turns to drugs and to using any means necessary to obtain those drugs. If I were the writer of a film like this, I would have made it a comedy and the cop would be completely outrageous and over the top. There were a lot of scenes that could have been made really enjoyable with a little bit of comedy, but they didn't do that. This is a slow moving film, about a mess of a man doing up things. There really is no point to the whole thing and it is more than somewhat hard to follow. A good measure of a movie is how long does the film actually feel. Bad Lieutenant was 2 hours, but easily felt like 8. The beginning is kind of interesting, and while I was beyond bored, I had to stick it out to see what happened, I'm sorry I did. Cage is fantastic as usual and the film makers had all the tools needed to make this an amazing film. Instead, they were lazy and dropped this giant turd on us, that is nothing more than a confusing waste of time. Full Review »