COPS (1989) Image
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 5 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Starring: Harry Newman, Richard Scheff, Robert Deak
  • Summary: Now known as the original reality series, COPS hit the airwaves in early 1989, putting camera crews in police cars all across the United States. Adopting the Cinema Verité style of documentary filming, COPS uses no narration, depending completely on the police officers and the footage shot as it happens to tell the story.

    Still one of the most popular television shows on the air, COPS continually wins its 8pm time slot Saturday nights on FOX. COPS can also be seen in syndication on TruTV.
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  • Genre(s): Drama, Reality, Game Show
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Reviewed by: Marvin Kitman
    May 7, 2013
    90
    Don't miss the pilot. It's the best new crime series of the year, whatever you call it, tabloid TV, exciting TV, real TV. [6 Jan 1989]
  2. Reviewed by: Steve Sonsky
    May 7, 2013
    80
    An ugly little glimpse into our hometown community...A cinema-verite, hand-held camera walk on the wild side with the Broward County Sheriff's Office.. A televised tour into (Broward's) heart of darkness...It had real energy. It was tense, taut, a video knuckle sandwich. You were with those cops as they chased fleeing perps, wrestled with muscled smugglers. And you couldn't help but be impressed with the heroism and dedication of the men and women on the streets -- Sheriff Nick 'I Never Met A Camera Angle I Didn't Like' Navarro's grandstanding antics notwithstanding. [Jan 1989]
  3. 80
    More compelling than the general run of fictional drama, and often funnier, sadder and more poignant, Cops at first seems to be an unassembled jigsaw puzzle...This is a documentary being pieced together before our eyes. There is a strong, undeniable element of tabloid TV in Cops, of sensationalism and exploitation. But there is more. There is a picture of the toll this kind of work takes on the human beings who do it. Cops may also make television stars of its subjects.[11 March 1989, p.C-11]
  4. Reviewed by: Joseph P. Kahn
    May 7, 2013
    80
    Be forewarned: Cops may not be everyone's cup of tea. The language is raw, the emotions intense, and some of the scenes, like the one where a homicide unit fishes a cadaver out of a canal, are definitely not for the squeamish. But give credit to Cops' producers. They didn't want "pretty," and they didn't want Armani. They wanted the real stuff. What they got makes "Miami Vice" look like a cop-out. [7 Jan 1989, p.30]
  5. Reviewed by: Howard Rosenberg
    May 7, 2013
    80
    On the one hand, it's absolutely captivating, raw and unpredictable, a bubbling boiler of excitement rendered in the style of CBS' "48 Hours" and unrivaled by conventional cop dramas in prime time...On the other hand, the camera assumes the disgusting role of hanging judge by prematurely filling the screen with the faces of numerous suspects swept up in drug busts, some of whom may turn out to be innocent or may even go uncharged, for all we know. [7 Jan 1989, p.C1]
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 1 out of 2
  1. Jan 3, 2014
    8
    Watching criminals get arrested on TV never gets old. Episodes of COPS are rarely repetitive and always include some sort of action and excitement. The only problem with this show is that it makes people think that crime is more common that it really is. Police officers aren't actually arresting someone at all times of the day as the show suggests, especially in smaller towns. Expand
  2. Aug 26, 2013
    2
    Why? Why do you need to watch criminals get arrested on TV? It makes no sense what the inventors of this show wanted. to broadcast criminals to everyone? Expand