Bad Lieutenant Review

Bad Lieutenant
A New York cop self-destructs on booze, drugs and gambling, but salvation possibly awaits following the rape of a nun: he can use the $50,000 reward to pay off his debts.

by Ian Nathan |
Published on
Release Date:

01 Jan 1992

Running Time:

96 minutes



Original Title:

Bad Lieutenant

Abel Ferrara out-sleazes even his own grubby oeuvre with this powerful if overbearing study of a soul swallowed by depravity.

In truth, the intensity is more implied than real and far less bloody than any of the accompanying controversy suggested.

Still, there's every form of narcotic imbibing going and Keitel beats off in front of two girls he's pulled over for a minor traffic violation and later staggers about bollock-naked mewing like a sick cat. Stunningly he never even recieved an Academy nomination as the cussedly vile nameless New York cop spiralling out of control - the role he was born to play. Which is a strange kind of compliment.

Quite possibly Ferrara's finest hour, with an almost unbearably sincere performance from Keitel.
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