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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 31.87%
Just Average: 13.19%
Pretty Crappy: 3.3%
Sucks: 4.4%

6 reviews, 55 user ratings

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by Mark Rodger-Snelson

"A powerful, tough-as-nails cop drama."
4 stars

For those who are sick of buddy-cop comedies and the unbelievable heroics that usually fill the screen in police thrillers, then look no further than Joe Carnahanís Narc. It is a gritty and uncompromising journey into the world of undercover narcotics law enforcement.

Suspended for messing up a covert operation with a stray bullet, Officer Nick Tellis (Jason Patric) is offered a second chance due to his many contacts within the Detroit drug dealing underworld. The deal is that he will get a permanent desk job if he gets lands a conviction for the murder of a policeman that the department has no leads for. Tellis is teamed up with the hardnosed and violently unstable Detective Henry Oak (Ray Liotta) who also happens to be the slain copís last partner. Together they take the viewer on a journey through the seedy underbelly of the Detroit drug community as they search for answers. Both Tellis and Oak are determined to solve the case but for very different reasons. Tellisí wife does not want him in the line of fire any longer and a conviction will mean restarting a safer position in the force. Oak, on the other hand, wants nothing more than to become judge, jury and executioner to his partnerís killer. With the seeds of these contradicting motivations firmly planted, conflict between the pair is imminent.

Narc has a strong level of character development that fully explains the motivations and intentions of Tellis and Oak. Tellisí unraveling family life is frequently shown and Oakís background is revealed giving clarity to his fiery temper towards criminals. This gives the film much more depth than what is normally served up in this genre.

The film looks great thanks to some very stylish editing and brilliant camerawork that depicts a very bleak side of downtown Detroit. Carnahanís script and confident direction show much potential considering this is only his second film. The acting is first-rate with Patric playing the troubled Tellisí with flawless conviction and Liottaís explosive portrayal of Detective Oak being one of his best performances to date.

Narc is a tough-as-nails cop drama that, as well as delivering plenty of action and suspense, delves deeply into dark corners of the human psyche. It is a film shot with harsh realism that relies on a character driven story rather than car chases, explosions and goofy sidekicks in order to entertain.

Narc is the best police thriller in a long while and gives a much needed shot in the arm to what has become a fairly worn-out genre.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=6186&reviewer=388
originally posted: 11/01/04 04:51:57
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2002 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2002 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

4/14/20 Charles Tatum Well-done enough to cover its predictability 4 stars
12/08/17 morris campbell gritty compelling cop movie 4 stars
1/17/12 hurdygurdy man Not bad. 4 stars
10/25/09 Boy76 Most people agree that it is legitimate for jewelers to make ornaments out of raw gold, but 2 stars
10/23/09 Gangster57 These two modifications allowed the aging network to expand the scope of its reach to inc 5 stars
10/22/09 Settor26 Which backfired because that pissed her off. , 5 stars
5/19/09 the dork knight somewhat decieving mystery (macguffin) with a cast so good, I wanted more 4 stars
2/14/07 johnnyfog I still can't believe that was Jason Patric! Outstanding movie 5 stars
2/01/07 William Goss Gritty style, great performances make up for underwhelming, overwrought plot. 4 stars
4/01/06 Dillon Gritty and real cop drama. Liotta and Patric are great 5 stars
9/04/05 R.W. Welch Urban cop flick has good plotting but is slightly overwrought -- steady fever pitch. 4 stars
8/04/05 Hockeytown Gripping reality, raw and visceral. Don't waste your time trying to find its equal. 5 stars
7/30/05 yuko great movie 5 stars
7/10/05 Indrid Cold Liotta is awesome as usual, but on the whole it's just a drop in the police drama ocean. 3 stars
12/01/04 lucas great acting by both leads 5 stars
8/15/04 Dallas Moye Best cop movie ever 5 stars
6/20/04 Rock Hound Just another yarn about corrupt cops: actually, they ALL are, really, and I ought to know.. 2 stars
5/05/04 J.Peckerfoot dave told me it was awesome, i thought it was just good. 3 stars
3/22/04 Keifer Sutherland_RULZ This is may not be the best film but... It beats watching 'Training Day'. 5 stars
1/08/04 Shane Myers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Better then TRIAING DAY is very much right AD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
1/02/04 A F That was a let down. 2 stars
9/17/03 AD better then training day 5 stars
9/16/03 Jinnvisible Angst(lots of close ups),claustophbic(set indoors),Cop,(same ole) ,Good facial hair though 3 stars
8/20/03 Piz Everything you would expect from a 2-hr crime/thriller flick 4 stars
8/14/03 Paul Dempsey Why can't a film like this get made in Australia I wonder? Low budegt yet top notch quality 5 stars
8/14/03 Double G pissing is more entertaining 1 stars
8/06/03 Monday Morning Gripping. I gripped my remote control and shut it off. 3 stars
7/29/03 Dr. Bitterpants I liked it in 1992 when it was originally called "NYPD BLUE: SEASON I." Same old stuff. 3 stars
7/05/03 Mr. Hat (I'm Back MoFos!!!) Liotta deserves an Oscar, the camerawork is great, and the finale is awesome! 5 stars
6/17/03 Jack Sommersby Superb perfs by Patric and Liotta slightly redeem a palpably absurd screenplay. 3 stars
5/23/03 Johnny One of the best drama of the year 5 stars
5/17/03 planetlucas twisted shit, kind of depressing 4 stars
3/13/03 Ashley Corpening What a piss-stream of consciousness-numbing! Incoherent and insufferable. 1 stars
2/13/03 Andrew Carden Ray Liotta - It's Your Birthday! 5 stars
2/10/03 Syrinx Great cop flick, but the cinematography makes you a little airsick. Ray Liotta was awesome. 4 stars
2/03/03 ownerofdajoint pactric and liotta put on a great show!!! 5 stars
1/31/03 Jimmy Jamez gripping stuff 5 stars
1/30/03 rue the whirl fuck king awes some 5 stars
1/26/03 adrianna GOOD MOVIE THAT KEPT YOU ON YOUR FEET. 4 stars
1/25/03 Mr Math Truly awesome flick, deserving of Oscar merit. Don't wait until video, see NARC 5 stars
1/23/03 meathole Holy fuck!!! Amazing!!! 5 stars
1/19/03 othree U already kno the butler did it Patric Liotta always deliver heroic even if the story wsnt 4 stars
1/17/03 john contrary to an earlier review Tillis's home life don't bog this film down..it adds to it 5 stars
1/15/03 Bill everything a movie should be...the acting was phenominal 5 stars
1/15/03 nick2k wow...wow...wow... didnt need to see busta though. 5 stars
1/13/03 ajay I can't say it enough, "Fuckin' Awsome!" 5 stars
1/12/03 Uncle Salty Liotta and Patric were on thier game from frame one. Excellent. 5 stars
1/11/03 Mr Math Hard-hitting stuff, Patric used right. 5 stars
1/11/03 Snake MASTER-PIECE! 5 stars
1/06/03 Flounder I guess I am in the minority here but this film sucked big time 1 stars
1/06/03 Ted Knutson Incredible. A must see for the discerning film watcher. 5 stars
12/31/02 Jesse the Movie Ventura This was a nicely told typical story. Well worth the drive to the Arclight in Hollywood. 5 stars
12/31/02 Don Great.............. 5 stars
12/24/02 Mason Really Good 5 stars
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  20-Dec-2002 (R)



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