Matt's Movie Reviews logo
Custom Search
AWFUL
POOR
GOOD
EXCELLENT
MASTERPIECE
*
**
***
****
*****
iTunes subscribes
Youtube image
Bad Lieutenant Movie Poster

CAST
HARVEY KEITEL
VICTOR ARGO
ROBIN BURROWS
PAUL CALDERON
PAUL HIPP
ZOE LUND
LEONARD L.THOMAS

WRITTEN BY
VICTOR ARGO
PAUL CALDERON
ABBEL FERRARA  
ZOE LUND

PRODUCED BY
MARY KANE
EDWARD R.ROBINSON

DIRECTED BY
ABEL FERRARA

GENRE
CRIME
DRAMA

RATED
AUSTRALIA:R
UK:18
USA:NC-17

RUNNING TIME
96 MIN

LINKS
IMAGES
MOVIE POSTERS
TRAILERS & CLIPS

BAD LIEUTENANT (1992)

Abel Ferrara’s Bad Lieutenant is a shocking, confronting, and highly controversial hard hitting drama.

It stars Harvey Keitel as a New York City Police Lieutenant who is corrupted in every which way. He is a hard drug user who abuses crack and heroin and snorts cocaine at any given opportunity. He steals narcotics from crime scenes and sells it on the street for profit. He is a family man who bangs hookers two at a time. And he is quickly mounting an overwhelming debt based on bets lost on the World Series between the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

He is a man lost to the world. However when the brutal rape of a Nun irks his Catholic guilt, he treads down a path of redemption after she forgives her attackers.

Ferrara is a no holds barred filmmaker, and he provides some shocking imagery which can make this film extremely distressing to watch.

Two keys scenes of graphic nature feature Keitel’s cop in various forms of madness. The first has him at his most depraved, when he pulls over two teenage girls who were driving with a broken tail light and no licence, and degrades them in a shocking abuse of authority.

The other scene has his character at his most vulnerable, when he breaks down in a Catholic church and confronts Jesus Christ who appears in the flesh.

There are many other scenes that follow this template, yet some are marred by the poor decisions of cinematographer Ken Kelsch, whose choice of lighting in key scenes – especially that of the rape of a nun whose neon lit look comes off as a perverted porno film – goes against the gritty tone of the film.

But Bad Lieutenant is all about Keitel, who gives an extremely brave and powerful performance. High profile actors hardly ever put themselves out their like Keitel has in this film. He lets it all hang out (literally in one scene!)

The combination of Keitel, New York City, and the Catholic Church reminds of Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets. Yet Bad Lieutenant is much more disturbing and in your face, and successfully portrays the destruction of the soul.

***1/2

 

  RELATED CONTENT  
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans poster
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call
New Orleans film review
The Basketball Diaries poster
The Basketball Diaries film review
Mean Streets poster
Mean Streets
film review

 

Created and Edited by Matthew Pejkovic / Contact: mattsm@mattsmoviereviews.net
Logo created by Colony Graphic Design / Copyright © Matthew Pejkovic

Twitter logo
Facebook logo
    Youtube
Matthew Pejkovic is a member of the following organizations:
AFCA logo