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4.4 out of 5 stars20
4.4 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 30 March 2013
Romeo Is Bleeding is directed by Peter Medak and written by Hilary Henkin. It stars Gary Oldman, Lena Olin, Annabella Sciorra, Juliette Lewis and Roy Scheider. Music is by Mark Isham and Gary Alper and cinematography by Dariusz Wolski.

Oldman plays corrupt cop Jack Grimaldi who does favours for The Mob in exchange for considerable payments. He has a loving wife and a mistress, but even that can't satiate his lust leanings. So when he is assigned to babysit Russian hit-woman Mona Demarkov (Olin), he is soon up to his neck in sexual yearnings. Something which spells trouble for everyone...

A box office flop and savaged by some pro critics, Romeo Is Bleeding is clearly not a film for everyone! Yet for those who like their neo-noir sprinkled with satire and Grindhouse flavours, it's definitely the film for you. It's possible that some folk just didn't get it, that it has its tongue firmly in its bloody cheek? While some of the charges of misogyny and it being a macho fantasy are kind of moot given it's written by a woman! Undeniably it is guilty of going too far over the top, where as it cheekily laughs at itself it forgets to rein itself in, a problem since the finale is surprisingly touching but difficult to accept given the carnage previously.

Sleaze and Greed.

The trajectory of story is classic noir. Hapless corrupt copper Jack Grimaldi loves his wife but finds it easy to cheat with other women. Once the incredibly sexy Mona Demarkov slinks into his view, he's in big trouble. Add in The Mob after him due to not carrying out a "hit" and you get a noir protagonist spinning towards misery. Grimaldi narrates in snatches to keep the mood simmering on desperation, while visual smarts like a triplicate mirror image - or a scene at a amusement park - further enhance the noir atmosphere. While Olin's Demarko has to rank as one of the most potent femme fatales to steam up the screen.

Superbly performed by the principal actors and backed up with solid support, film doesn't lack for quality in that department. And with Wolski's photography and Isham's music also leaving indelible marks on the sleaze and greed mood, tech credits are impressive. If only Medak had not tried to take too bigger a slice of cake then this would be talked about as a neo-noir classic. As it is, as appendages are lost and the pulses raised, this still plays out as a disgustingly sexy, weirdly off-kilter and bloody fun piece of film. 7.5/10
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on 3 August 2001
Saw this cleverly constructed bit of film grit once on the big screen and had to see it again soon after. For sheer gut affect, mad plot twists and insane character portrayals, this ranks up there (though perhaps not SO high) with Pulp Fiction except without the hype.
Madman Gary Oldman is at his best here as a policeman and husband who just doesn't know how to behave, and Lena Olin is in one of her favorite, and most provocative, roles (a cop-killing assassin).
Be forewarned, there is violence enough and a strong aura of sexuality (though no crude sex scenes). And the witty dialogue is now and again punctuated with a wee bit of "colour". If Tarantino, Peckinpah, and Guy Richie are not your cup of tea, don't even try to take a sip of this stuff. It will not be to your tastes!
It's a film that is rough tough and half in the buff that you don't have to be ashamed of watching with your brain functioning.
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on 27 January 2006
I can´t understand at all how people can compare this classic to a cheap TV-production. In my opinion, "Romeo is bleeding" can play on one level with "Pulp Fiction", "Jackie Brown", "Scarface" etc. In this film, we get a top leading actor (Oldman), a great counterpart (a real "femme fatale"), as well as a enthusiastic group of supporting actors (featuring Roy Scheider and other well known faces)and a great director who keeps the movie on a breathtaking pace. The conflict between the corrupt police-man and the female killer is amazingly well illustrated by Oldman and Olin and the end of the story is cruel and hard. That´s the way I like it. Honestly, the story maybe isn´t very original, but is that really important ?
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on 6 October 2003
A masterpiece!!!
I have seen this film a hundred times and it just seems to get better each time.
The cast is perfect.
A crazy tale that leaves a tear in your eye.
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on 21 February 2011
An amazing performance from Gary Oldman as a crooked cop, cheating the police, cheating on the mob and cheating on his wife. This film tracks the unravelling of his life. It's like watching a car crash in slow motion - horrible, tragic and utterly fascinating.....except this has moments of outrageous comedy, too. The plot becomes far-fetched but never predictable. Very strong performances from all the supporting cast, but Oldman steals the film (as usual). Thoroughly entertaining and worth watching more than once.
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on 30 August 2010
It's an unusual film with very strong performances and to be honest much better than most of the rubbish that is hitting the cinema's at the moment. The dialogue is strong and it rattles along at a decent pace so if you like a good thriller, and haven't seen it then you really should do yourself a favour.
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on 13 June 2016
I've been dying to watch this again
Video was perfect
quick DELIVERY too
Thanks on both ends for making a perfect watch come true
I love my films..
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on 20 June 2015
Brilliant film. I love Gary Oldman and he didn't disappoint in this rather violent film. There were some good twists and turns. Excellent stuff.
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on 26 June 2015
Quite dated now, but still a great film. Will be in my "Classics" collection. Arrived swiftly, in near perfect condition.
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on 23 October 2015
Bought as present for Actor son-- I think he liked it
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