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A suspended undercover narcotics officer is reluctantly drawn back onto the force to find the truth behind the murder of a young police officer killed in the line of duty. He is teamed with Henry Oak, the slain officer’s partner, a rogue cop who will stop at nothing to avenge his friend’s death. As Tellis and Oak unravel the case, the dark underbelly of the narcotics world reveals itself in surprising ways.
PROFANITY: Over 30 F-words, over 30 S-words, 5 GD's, many others. SEX/NUDITY: Brief bare buttocks and sex noises. VIOLENCE: Numerous bloody beatings, shootings. DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Some drug use. ACTION: A foot chase, some gunplay and fighting. COMEDY: None.
The above rating is an average of the critic reviews below.
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Review Very Good "The characters, and Carnahan's shades-of-gray French
Connectio'-style action, inspire the actors -- they play off one another
with blazing skill. Bulked up and upholstered into bland coats and ties that
manage to look menacing, Liotta, with a mean salt-and-pepper goatee, is a wonder
recently risen from the acting underworld. And Patric, his worthy ally (or
opponent), gives Tellis' ambivalence a dimension of real sadness.''
James Berardinelli, Internet Critic
Review Good "Narc is a relentless downer. The movie is about
murder, abuse, and betrayal, with no distant ray of light shining like a beacon
of hope. Some of Carnahan's dialogue has the rat-a-tat feel of Tarantino, but
the uncompromising bluntness of the violence is pure Scorsese. This is not
gratuitous bloodshed; it's the kind that makes you feel like you've been punched
in the gut. Narc's characters live in the shadows, and the movie works
because Carnahan takes us into the darkness with them. Unfortunately, when it's
all over, he leaves us there.''
Review Good "The investigation itself must remain undescribed here. But its
ending is a neat and ironic exercise in poetic justice. Pay attention during one
of the very last shots, and tell me if you think the tape recorder was on or
off. In a way, it makes a difference. In another way, it doesn't.''
TV Guide OnlineFull
Review Above Average "The movie's shattered, chilly look embodies the
bleak brutality and casual corruption of Tellis's crumbling world: Color bled
out to post-mortum grays and blues, shivering camera, editing that stutters and
lurches. Tellis isn't hip or fatalistic about the thin line between cops and
criminals: ... In an era of pre-packaged cynicism, Carnahan's old-fashioned
sense of outrage makes his film feel fresh.''
Note: The rating
above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on
their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.
OPINION OVERVIEW The following is the original "What's Worth
Watching" write-up for this movie.
We were only able to collect 35 moviegoer opinions. There was just no market for this movie, which is a good thing since about half the moviegoers didn't care much for it and most of the other half only rated it above average. This is one that you could easily wait to see on video or maybe in the second run theaters.
Cinema Review Prediction: (before moviegoer opinions are collected)
Sorry, we were not given an advance screening of this movie.
When a drug bust goes
awry and a pregnant woman is shot, undercover narcotics officer Nick Tellis
(Jason Patric) is suspended from the Detroit Police Force. With a baby of his
own and a wife who has seen him tortured by the horrific incident, Tellis is not
anxious to go back onto the force, but he doesn't know any other kind of work
that can fulfill him.
Now it is eighteen
months after his suspension, and Tellis is brought before a review board and
told he is needed to help crack a homicide case. A rookie undercover officer has
been killed, and if Tellis takes on the assignment and apprehends a suspect, he
is told he can have the assignment of his choosing and all the charges against
him will be dismissed.
Henry Oak (Ray Liotta), the slain officer's partner and mentor, is a bare
bones, brass knuckles cop who has been leading the murder investigation. A
respected officer, who brings in solid collars with a 93% conviction rate, Oak
has become increasingly volatile and aggressive since the trail of clues in the
case has gone cold. In fact, for over sixty days, there has been no tangible
evidence or a single suspect uncovered.
Despite his wife's
concerns about his mental stability if he goes back undercover, Tellis teams up
with Oak, whose heavy-handed, and often brutal style, is difficult for Tellis to
handle. Still, somehow the two men begin to work together, chasing down leads,
tracking informants and finally zeroing in on two primary suspects, drug dealers
Beery (Busta Rhymes) and Steeds (Richard Chevolleau), who operate out of a grimy
Detroit chop shop.
As Oak browbeats Beery
and Steeds for a confession, the true story of how the young officer was killed
slowly comes into focus.. .and the truth is nothing less than shocking.