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: 33 out of 186 found boring (17.74%)

One-line Reviews (108)

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

With so much time devoted to setup and not much in the way of plot development, it soon gets boring.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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

No real plot.

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).

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

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

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?

A pointless waste of good electrons.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

Worth watching!

It's disturbing yet fascinating.

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.

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.

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

Things do develop, but even then it is done badly: after just drifting aimlessly along, there is suddenly a massive plot development, so random and unexpected you wonder if this is really a development.

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

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

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.

otherwise, a pointless and ugly fulmination .

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

But, it was mildly entertaining.

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.

"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.

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.

It's a hair better than 'unwatchable'.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Waste of Time .

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

incredibly boring .

Don't waste your time.

This movie manages to have all three and be boring.

But ho hum.

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 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.

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

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

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.

Undeniably grim and compelling.

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

With no real plot, "Bad...

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

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

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.

But besides that, the movie was a bore.

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

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

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

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

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

He carries this picture, and is simply stunning throughout.

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

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

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


One of the worst movies I have ever seen.

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

The second is even more gripping.

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.

Just a series of pointless disturbing images.

It was hard to keep up with 96 minutes of pure boredom.

One of the most boring films ever.

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.

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

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.

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.