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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 31.87%
Average: 13.19%
Pretty Bad: 3.3%
Total Crap: 4.4%

6 reviews, 55 user ratings

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by Chris Parry

"Add my name to the buzz. Ray Liotta and Jason Patric - Oscar time."
5 stars

It's not often a cop film will blow me away, especially when half of them seem to star either Will Smith, Martin Lawrence or Robert "Love me, I'm funny" DeNiro. Or a combo of the three. But my buddy BMWJoe has been singing the praises of this flick for months now so I finally decided to fork out for a matinee ticket and risk a few hours on joe's questionable judgement. Well bugger me if I didn't just witness one of the finer films to get a release this year. I said it when he ate the screen in Your Friends and Neighbors, and I'll say it again - Jason Patric is a god damn dynamo. Give him a solid, meaty part and he'll burn the screen with it. In Narc, Patric is on fire but is given a run for his money by the best Ray Liotta performance ever - period. And yes, I'm not forgetting Goodfellas.

After a few years in movie wilderness, Patric plays an undercover drug detective in a situation. The guy he's chasing has just made him and if he lets the dude go, he's finished. Added to the peril, the guy he's chasing is quite happy to stab a guy in the throat if it means stopping the guy chasing him. Patric's not about to stop though, he's gotta bring this guy down. So when the runner grabs a small child and holds a knife to its head, Patric takes a desperate few shots - one of which finds its mark, but the other which takes a ricochet and takes down a pregnant woman.

Flash forward, Patric's needed to find a cop killer. Though he's been discharged, he's still unknown as a cop by the drug kids and thus he's one of the few tools the cops have left to find their man's killer. It doesn't help that he's a little screwed in the head...

And then there's Liotta. It was his ex-partner that was killed and he's just a little messed up himself. This is evidenced via some handy work with a billiard ball, a sock and a skinhead's jaw.

Let's be up front about this from the outset, this is a film that takes you to places you might not want to go. Whereas Lord of the Rings hides the blood so your kids can come watch, Narc revels in it, spurting the claret at every opportunity and not letting you get a moment's respite.

And Patric and Liotta clearly love it.

The chance to be a real fucking bad guy doesn't come along often. All too regularly Hollywood writes a bad guy as a twisted motard who can't see past some petty hate. In Narc, you don't know who 'the bad guy' is, but it's pretty easy to see that the lines are very blurry between good and bad. You get a sense just from the tired, worn faces working the cases that this is a meat factory, that the distinction between right and wrong is purely for the publicists to worry about and that results are less important than staying around to be yelled at for getting no results.

And once again, Patric and Liotta LOVE it.

Think about it, you'r an actor, you get paid to play characters and every damn character you're asked to play is the same old same old. Then along comes a guy whose first flick, Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane, fairly stank. It was cheap, it was wrought with problems, but it had a little style and a lot of balls. Let's give the dude a budget and see what he can do.

BAM! We've got Narc, and there's a lot of people to thank for making it a reality. There's exec producer Tom Cruise, producer Ray Liotta, any one of the nearly TWENTY producers, co-producers, associate producers, executive producers and co-executive producers... man, what they do, sell shares in the film for $15 a piece?

Perhaps it's because this is the perfect time of the year tobe thinking about it, but I'm going to say it anyway, Ray Liotta - Best supporting Actor. Jason Patric - Best Actor. They won't win, they might not even get nominated, but they should. And director Joe Carnahan should be considered too. I kicked his ass for Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane and I'm proud to turn around 180 degrees for Narc. It's a brilliant, gritty, well conceived, amazingly performed, superbly shot film that blows inferior yet critically praised crap like Training Day out of the water.

In fact, Narc beats Training Day in the head with the butt of a gun repeatedly, covering itself with blood and teeth and nearly biting through its tongue with joy as it does so. The real crime here is that most people will never see the flick, but you can be damn sure they'll turn out for Bad Boys II.

Thanks Joe, may I have another?

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originally posted: 01/12/03 19:44:59
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2002 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2002 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

4/15/20 Charles Tatum Well-done enough to cover its predictability 4 stars
12/08/17 morris campbell gritty compelling cop movie 4 stars
1/18/12 hurdygurdy man Not bad. 4 stars
10/26/09 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
5/20/09 the dork knight somewhat decieving mystery (macguffin) with a cast so good, I wanted more 4 stars
2/15/07 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
4/02/06 Dillon Gritty and real cop drama. Liotta and Patric are great 5 stars
9/05/05 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
7/31/05 yuko great movie 5 stars
7/11/05 Indrid Cold Liotta is awesome as usual, but on the whole it's just a drop in the police drama ocean. 3 stars
12/02/04 lucas great acting by both leads 5 stars
8/16/04 Dallas Moye Best cop movie ever 5 stars
6/21/04 Rock Hound Just another yarn about corrupt cops: actually, they ALL are, really, and I ought to know.. 2 stars
5/06/04 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
1/03/04 A F That was a let down. 2 stars
9/18/03 AD better then training day 5 stars
9/17/03 Jinnvisible Angst(lots of close ups),claustophbic(set indoors),Cop,(same ole) ,Good facial hair though 3 stars
8/21/03 Piz Everything you would expect from a 2-hr crime/thriller flick 4 stars
8/15/03 Paul Dempsey Why can't a film like this get made in Australia I wonder? Low budegt yet top notch quality 5 stars
8/15/03 Double G pissing is more entertaining 1 stars
8/07/03 Monday Morning Gripping. I gripped my remote control and shut it off. 3 stars
7/30/03 Dr. Bitterpants I liked it in 1992 when it was originally called "NYPD BLUE: SEASON I." Same old stuff. 3 stars
7/06/03 Mr. Hat (I'm Back MoFos!!!) Liotta deserves an Oscar, the camerawork is great, and the finale is awesome! 5 stars
6/18/03 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
3/14/03 Ashley Corpening What a piss-stream of consciousness-numbing! Incoherent and insufferable. 1 stars
2/14/03 Andrew Carden Ray Liotta - It's Your Birthday! 5 stars
2/11/03 Syrinx Great cop flick, but the cinematography makes you a little airsick. Ray Liotta was awesome. 4 stars
2/04/03 ownerofdajoint pactric and liotta put on a great show!!! 5 stars
2/01/03 Jimmy Jamez gripping stuff 5 stars
1/31/03 rue the whirl fuck king awes some 5 stars
1/27/03 adrianna GOOD MOVIE THAT KEPT YOU ON YOUR FEET. 4 stars
1/26/03 Mr Math Truly awesome flick, deserving of Oscar merit. Don't wait until video, see NARC 5 stars
1/24/03 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
1/18/03 john contrary to an earlier review Tillis's home life don't bog this film adds to it 5 stars
1/16/03 Bill everything a movie should be...the acting was phenominal 5 stars
1/15/03 nick2k didnt need to see busta though. 5 stars
1/14/03 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
1/12/03 Mr Math Hard-hitting stuff, Patric used right. 5 stars
1/12/03 Snake MASTER-PIECE! 5 stars
1/07/03 Flounder I guess I am in the minority here but this film sucked big time 1 stars
1/07/03 Ted Knutson Incredible. A must see for the discerning film watcher. 5 stars
1/01/03 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
12/25/02 Mason Really Good 5 stars
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  20-Dec-2002 (R)



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