Bad Lieutenant (1992) - Crime, Drama, Thriller

Hohum Score



While investigating a young nun's rape, a corrupt New York City police detective, with a serious drug and gambling addiction, tries to change his ways and find forgiveness and redemption.

IMDB: 7.1
Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Harvey Keitel, Brian McElroy
Length: 96 Minutes
PG Rating: NC-17
Reviews: 32 out of 179 found boring (17.87%)

One-line Reviews (104)

Schrader's Taxi Driver shows that to create a truly tragic individual means that he most have at least some moral purpose behind the confusion of emotions.

Waste of Time .

Keitel's performance is strident and intense, all consuming and depraved.

We all know Abel Ferrara isn't the greatest of storytellers, but who really needs a good story when you're able to create such an intriguing atmosphere?

Anyway the writer/director seems to take pleasure in this, how he got Keitel to perform in this the way he does, I've no idea, but the glee with which we are dragged through the gutter is disturbing in itself.

Started out strong and has good performances, but the rest is fairly boring(spoilers) .

It's disturbing yet fascinating.

The movie is only 98 minutes long but most likely will bore anyone who requires action and story.

, Disturbing probably, but I think your more likely to change the channel or fall asleep.

That stunning ten or so minute sequence is worth the price of admission alone!

While this heinous crime only serves to strengthen the Lt's belief in the general depravity of the world around him, the nun herself has found solace in her refusal to condemn those who wronged her, viewing them instead as victims as their own confusion and despair.

The second is even more gripping.

Oddly Keitel's character goes nameless which one could see as a symbolic film-making gesture as Keitel's bad Lieutenant is no longer the man he once was, he is an empty shell with no name or personality totally taken over by his addiction to drugs & alcohol.

STAR RATING:*****Unmissable****Very Good***Okay**You Could Go Out For A Meal Instead*Avoid At All CostsIntently focusing on the seedier side of life,Abel Ferrera's deeply controversial 1992 bad cop thriller is estentially a movie stabbing at an awkward character study which seems to have come at the expense of an engaging story.

Conversely, however, it takes itself so goddamned seriously and shoves the viewers' face so relentlessly into the cesspool existence of its leading character that, if one is to avoid feeling suicidal by the end of it, he has to let out the occasional chuckle at the self-indulgent and overbearing seriousness-cum-shock value of it all.

Undeniably grim and compelling.

And when he is on top form he is as compelling as contemporary movie making gets.

Like most Abel Ferrara films it's pretentious and self-indulgent in pornographic levels.

The last shot of the film is fascinating and can be interpreted in two ways.

"Bad Lieutenant" is an impressive character study, and though it occasionally gets meandering and repetitive and seems to be missing something (which I might be able to identify on a second viewing), it's a moving story with terrific acting.

he will be recalled as that Brooklyn cop on the edge of a bottomless pit of insanity in "Bad Lieutenant".

No reason, no creation of a world, no story other than the story of loud.

With no real plot, "Bad...

Keitel's acting was good as usual, however the rest of the movie was just boring.

Intense, subtle, and in some ways unique- Bad Lieutenant is the sleeper of 1992 .

Keitel is dead on here and I found myself wondering how deeply immersed in the character he actually was during the drug use scenes.

But an unsympathetic lead, one-dimensional supporting characters, a boring plot and moments of hideous immorality do not, Mr Ferrara, a good film make.

Harvey Keitel provides the audience with another strong performance but the story line itself is simply one dimensional and the bad Lieutenants repetitive bad habits and rants to the almighty Jesus or anyone else who will listen to him are quite frankly boring and lead the audience to the inevitable conclusion that the bad Lieutenant by title alone is not very good.

So, for having a great lead role and having the courage to have content as intense as this movie has, I applaud it.

Bad Lieutenant (Director Abel Ferrara) "90 mins, starring Harvey Keitel, NY cop,… hopelessly addicted to drugs, gambling, and sex, in this intense, hallucinatory portrait of sin and redemption…"So says the blurb.

This film is what everybody says it is: grimy, slimy, disturbing and the intense uses of drugs.

Just watched this with my wife, honestly a waste of time.

I sort of associate this flick with FARGO - as they are both very dark but enjoyable to watch.

There is no storyline, the characters have no depth to them and there is no "message" to be found really?


Its made more intense if you know she was an enthusiastic, cool junkie and died only a few years later from drug-related wear and tear.

Compelling as a show-off acting prospect for Keitel...

One of the most boring films ever.

All cast members turn in stellar performances in the course of playing out Ferrara's sickening, stunning and stark backdrop of filth - all his fellow cops seem to be dirtbags who drink on the job and gamble illegally as well.

This movie manages to have all three and be boring.

The brutality portrayed keeps you glued to the screen and on the edge of your seat throughout the entire movie.

He's quite an intense actor and always seems to be cast in these kind of roles that show the underbelly of human beings, usually in stories of the kind that Martin Scorsese likes to tell about corrupt cops.

Don't waste your time.

He carries this picture, and is simply stunning throughout.

In one impressively graphic scene, two women lusciously make love while he stares at them before engaging his totally naked muscled body in a sort of desperate trance; with Keitel's distinctive groaning (that might remind some fans of "Reservoir Dogs") we understand he's a man incapable of pleasure since sex isn't even enough to exorcise his inner demons.

In this daring and absorbing masterpiece called "Bad Lieutenant", Keitel lets all his talents exude in a virtuoso performance that oscillates between despair and ferocity with a level of pathos rarely matched by other actors.

But ho hum.

Then the wailing he does over and over again - I mean, it is pointless.

This leads into the third act of the film, and this is where the work propels itself into a higher ground, mature, spiritual, and ultimately fascinating in every aspect.

Harvey Keitel turns in the best performance of his life as an uncompromising cop who lives on the edge.

One of the worst movies I have ever seen.

To be fair Bad Lieutenant is the sort of film which would put most people to sleep, there's no story to speak of, just a few almost seemingly random & unconnected incidents that Keitel becomes involved in between getting high on drugs & alcohol.

This movie was boring to watch and it was very sad to see that what seemed could be an okay kind of guy struggling by doing exactly everything he shouldn't be doing.

Harvey Keitel is the perfect actor for a role this intense.

A pointless waste of good electrons.

I swear, I really didn't see any action or any interesting scenes from it, it was just completely dull and not interesting at all.

Just a series of pointless disturbing images.

Bad Lieutenant is not a fun film but then it was never meant to be, it's a hard to watch drama (hard to watch because it's boring) that I honestly don't understand how anyone could truly enjoy.

Co-writer and director Abel Ferrara's "Bad Lieutenant" is a fascinating depiction of one of the dregs of humanity; the "bad lieutenant" of the title is a detective played by Harvey Keitel in one of his best ever performances.

The scene in the church where he begs for forgiveness is intense.

otherwise, a pointless and ugly fulmination .

But besides that, the movie was a bore.

His nude scene is pasted in and pointless, and the rape scenes are over the top.

There are endless "dream sequences" where he injects freebase cocaine into his eyeballs in the company of a bevy of Nebraskan hookers whilst betting the life of his dead grandmother with the Albanian mafia on the Yankees' winning the world series, which unfortunately in itself is totally boring and unshocking to watch.

His performance is one of the best in recent movie history and this film is worth watching just to see how far Keitel will go for his art.

When the case of a raped nun comes up, he takes special glee driving home to co-workers how the corporate church is just another racket, just another user, all with a compelling gleam in his eye.

I found it a revolting, excessively drawn-out spectacle of human degradation, which would lead one to conclude that the inhabitants of New York are living in hell.

Absolutely boring, didn't feel it was worth watching it....

Whether sobbing, howling or clenching his jaws in anguish, or else hanging his head and sipping liquor in silence, his acting here is always raw, convincing and utterly compelling; the kind of portrayal you'd be hard-pressed to take your eyes off.

Gritty,very disturbing in parts,but ultimately rather pointless .

The film has a slow pace, not that much happens, scenes of Keitel shooting up & drinking get old very quickly & the story is very weak as the film solely focuses on Keitel's character much to the detriment of the other's.

This boring and uneventful film is so bad after I heard the 'great' reviews, how many times is one suckered into believing that independent films can all be good?

He's provided the context against which our centrepiece man must function - a world so run-down, sombre and nihilistic that trying to find redemption round here seems not only impossible, but practically pointless.

The pacing is a little slow and the runtime is overlong.

Scorsese's pretentiousness reached its apotheosis in the extremely overrated 'art' film, "Raging Bull", a slow-moving, virtually plot less 'biography' of the boxer Jake LaMotta.

But, it was mildly entertaining.

This is one of the worst movies I've ever seen.

A nun's rape is supposed to awaken his conscience in some way and affect him so deeply that he almost gets to be a decent citizen, but for the bleak and empty ending.

Watch this movie, and look at the protagonist as someone who can, potentially, become the most unlikely Christ figure and it will be one of the most unpredictable and ironic movies you have ever seen.

There is also a scene where the lieutenant stops two young girls in a car that is so intense and unexpected it's truly one of the most memorable scenes I have ever witnessed on film.

The most confusing and maybe the weakest part of the movie is the lieutenant's idea of redemption.

There is no protagonist, no antagonist, no suspense, no plot, no development.

Keitel's character blunders pointlessly from ghastly encounter to ghastly encounter, going nowhere, developing nothing.

Worth watching!

Pros: A great character study film, amazing acting by Harvey Keitel, and a good endingCons: Slow pacing, an overlong runtime, too much time spent on the drugs, and the ending was telegraphedOverall Rating: 7.0

No real plot.

I don`t really recall to have previously seen such a stunning Keitel performance,maybe only later(see Reservoir Dogs,Pulp Fiction).

If you're entertaining any notions that 'Bad Lieutenant' is a crime drama in the vein of 'Reservoir Dogs' or Martin Scorsese's works, or even the more recent remake starring Nicolas Cage, leave those notions behind.

career best) meticulous,emotionally nuanced performance is effectively faciliated by deceptively simple,naturalistic direction(long takes,low-key lighting and editing etc..).This brave,frightingly intense execution almost compensates for director Abel Ferrara's occassionaly heavy-handed catholic symbolism.

From the rape sequence in the church (involving the unusually attractive nun and set to Led Zepplin's "Kashmir" in music video fashion), to the aggressively committed Keitel (to what is anyone's guess) flapping his outstretched arms and squealing for the camera in the nude, "The Bad Lieutenant" is a random, pretentious affair that confuses camp with real art.

I find this film compelling because it goes all the way and never compromises its integrity in the process.

Each time Keitel's character enters the church, it's empty - except the time that there are the cops and the priest who just happened to be discussing the rape with the victim nun (who seems crazy, as well).

Miraculously, the perp identities are given to him; he groggily shows mercy rather than collect the reward; and he gets gunned down in the predictable end to the film.

Its made more intense if you know she influenced the movie.

Still a strong, effectively gritty experience with one genius stroke that adds an unexpected, looming pitch of suspense: Having Keitel's character following the world series of baseball playing in the background, on which he keeps playing a high-stake money betting battle.

Every once in a while there are unnecessary scenes of nudity and violence that serve only to dope the audience up enough (much like our main character does to himself) to tolerate the dragging, uneventful scenes that follow.

Which shouldn't necessarily be taken as a shortcoming - an engrossing lead is the one key thing that any one-man character study like this needs in order to flourish, after all.

This gets terribly boring after a while because we pretty much understand the character enough and don't need to witness everything he does short of take a crap.

Watching an irresponsible cop destroy himself with ingestibles (and smokables, snortables and shootables) while he ignores the crime all around him has a morbid appeal, for a while, but I got bored.

The one area where Bad Lieutenant scores good points is in the acting department, Keitel is very good in this & puts in a memorable & intense performance while Stella Keitel his real life daughter actually plays his daughter here.

It's a hair better than 'unwatchable'.

Still, the gutter-entrenched accouterments (with coke-sniffing and heroin injections) are finally pointless in this portrait of a soulless man.

I was bored out of my mind for most of the movie.

Harvey Kietel snorts and boozes his way through the titular role in this corrupt cop drama and thanks to the power of the star, watching him makes for compelling viewing.