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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars underrated but totally awesome
starring keanu reeves and forest whitaker primarily, this is a tale very much in the style of the tv show "the shield", though perhaps not quite as good. also similar to a film called "dark blue" a few years ago starring kurt russell. keanu reeves plays it in his usual understated method, allowing for the showier actors to steal the stage - notably forest whitaker who is,...
Published on 4 Feb 2009 by Daniel Ware

versus
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Corruption, Lies, and Killings
Corruption is really a big problem for the police, it undermines their work and makes god cops look bad. You might think their vigilante manoeuvres will cause more impact than if a judge had handed down a sentence, but where does it end? When does the police stop? This film by Training Day director David Ayer looks closely at the problems of when a barrage of cops...
Published on 11 Jan 2009 by DL Productions UK


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4.0 out of 5 stars Really great, 27 Mar 2011
Luv watching reeves in action and this must be one of his best films. Training day directer knows exactly what he's doing!!! Great film
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4.0 out of 5 stars Tense, Gritty Saturday night in watching., 19 Feb 2011
By 
A. S. Edwards (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Street Kings [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
I've had a run on buying mediocre DVDs but this is where it stopped. Never heard of this film but it's from the same director as TRAINING DAY which was good but not this good. The plot is on an obvious theme but still leaves you guessing and second guessing right up to the end. The acting is right on the nose (literally!) Mr Reeves is every bit as confused and convicting as he was in POINT BREAK, Mr Whitaker is in his best role I've seen - as sinister and menacing as any mobster and Mr Laurie is (as the British public always knew) smart and clinical in his supporting but ever so slightly important role. It's got the same balance of mystery, suspense and action as THE DEPARTED and the acting is equally up to scratch. This film is what Saturday nights in need.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good all rounder, 21 July 2010
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This review is from: Street Kings [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
This film is very gritty and violent like Training day before it although not quite in that league. There are some good twists and Keanu Reeves plays a really good washed up cop supported by an impressive cast. Not a classic but a good film all the same.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not Extraordinary, 17 Jun 2009
By 
Debjyoti Guha "DJ" (India) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Street Kings [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
'Street Kings' is a typical story of Cops using alternate methods to fight the crime. Result... some of the schemes does not look ethical. We are introduced to our main cast Tom Ludlow (played by Keanu Reeves) an old hand LAPD, who is haunted by his past, is questioned when one of his mate Washington (enacted by Terry Crews) gets massacred which seems to be a regular shoot out case. Circumstantial evidences leads Ludlow as the suspect. Though initially this case looked usual, further inquiry takes us deep into the world of corruption and manipulation of evidences to hide some grimy truth. This movie portrays how Ludlow questions his loyalty towards his unit who seemed to be behind the murder of his friend & how he ultimately deals with it.

Reeves' role as Ludlow was believable but not great. Though the movie initially starts with a pace, in between it seemed a little bit exhausted. I will not grumble that I got jaded with the movie but on the other hand this movie could have been more exhilarating, if we had the chance to see some character development. None of the characters were well explored. This is no 'L.A. Confidential' which had if truth be told had given us a hell of ride.

'Street Kings' is stand alone in its own way, but fails to give an everlasting impact.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Street Kings - average Keanu fare, 5 Jun 2009
The film started off pretty fast paced despite deliberate racist dialogue which was there to shock, but was not too effective. A good shoot out scene was good in drawing the viewer in at an early stage and made it clear that the "all cops are bent" theme was to run throughout the film.

Certain parts of the film remained suspenseful giving the viewer a sense of intrigue and desire to satisfy the "whodunit?" popping up here and there. Though, the predictable nature of the film was a bit disappointing and did not ultimately leave you on a "cliff hanger". Instead, it wobbled up to a pretty foreseeable ledge before hobbling off on what seemed to be a slightly unfulfilling end.

Reeves' acting seemed more wooden that ever and, I think, failed at times to convey the role he was playing. Overall, he managed to pull off the "tough guy bad cop wanting to repent to good cop" role but was unconvincing at times which spoiled the authenticity of his character. For example, after about 20 minutes you forgot he was an alcoholic as his performance failed to remind you other than the more apparent swigs of miniature vodkas.

Whittaker was his usual excellent self and though being obvious from the start that he was lying about Washington (Reeves' ex-partner cop) and just about everything else, he was enjoyable to watch and played his part convincingly. Not exactly an Edi Amin performance or role but a worthy effort as usual.

Cameo performances by The Game and Common were nice additions though Common's performance far outweighed that of cliched gang-banger Game. "We are walking talking nightmares, exigents of circumstance" - nice quote.

Chris Evans (not to be confused with the former TFI Fridays presenter who abducted a slightly pubescent Billie Piper) was surprisingly good at being "rookie nave cop who will ultimately die from lack of experience". Unfortunately, throughout the film I expected him to shout "flame on!" as a reminder of his previous terrible role choices. Not to take away from him a decent performance on this occastion of course.

Overall, the film was above average and did maintain the viewer's interest despite the wooden lead of Reeves "you're the coroner who refused to carry out v*ginal swabs" - what??! Did I hear that correctly?? "I am not here to investigate adultery" - oh, ok then...

Though predictable it didn't lose its edginess and was definitely watchable. What it lacked in comparison to its counterparts like Training Day (a comparison which, in truth, I think is undeserved) is two pretty solid and consistent performances from the lead actors (Washington and Hawke), which far eclipses those of Reeves and even Whittaker in this case. Remember Denzel's maniacal propensity with convincing swagger and awesome one liners "are you a wolf or a sheep?"? Even Snoop Dogg's role of wheelchair-bound gang banger who has a biro stuck down his throat was superior to his SK equivalent Game who was beaten with a yellow pages (!). In addition, TD felt much more convincing and was more surprising and effective in its conclusion, whereas SK limped to an end failing to give it much re-watch value.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Street Kings = middle of the road, 5 Jun 2009
The film started off pretty fast paced despite deliberate racist dialogue which was there to shock, but was not too effective. A good shoot out scene was good in drawing the viewer in at an early stage and made it clear that the "all cops are bent" theme was to run throughout the film.

Certain parts of the film remained suspenseful giving the viewer a sense of intrigue and desire to satisfy the "whodunit?" popping up here and there. Though, the predictable nature of the film was a bit disappointing and did not ultimately leave you on a "cliff hanger". Instead, it wobbled up to a pretty foreseeable ledge before hobbling off on what seemed to be a slightly unfulfilling end.

Reeves' acting seemed more wooden that ever and, I think, failed at times to convey the role he was playing. Overall, he managed to pull off the "tough guy bad cop wanting to repent to good cop" role but was unconvincing at times which spoiled the authenticity of his character. For example, after about 20 minutes you forgot he was an alcoholic as his performance failed to remind you other than the more apparent swigs of miniature vodkas.

Whittaker was his usual excellent self and though being obvious from the start that he was lying about Washington (Reeves' ex-partner cop) and just about everything else, he was enjoyable to watch and played his part convincingly. Not exactly an Edi Amin performance or role but a worthy effort as usual.

Cameo performances by The Game and Common were nice additions though Common's performance far outweighed that of cliched gang-banger Game. "We are walking talking nightmares, exigents of circumstance" - nice quote.

Chris Evans (not to be confused with the former TFI Fridays presenter who abducted a slightly pubescent Billie Piper) was surprisingly good at being "rookie nave cop who will ultimately die from lack of experience". Unfortunately, throughout the film I expected him to shout "flame on!" as a reminder of his previous terrible role choices. Not to take away from him a decent performance on this occastion of course.

Overall, the film was above average and did maintain the viewer's interest despite the wooden lead of Reeves "you're the coroner who refused to carry out v*ginal swabs" - what??! Did I hear that correctly?? "I am not here to investigate adultery" - oh, ok then...

Though predictable it didn't lose its edginess and was definitely watchable. What it lacked in comparison to its counterparts like Training Day (a comparison which, in truth, I think is undeserved) is two pretty solid and consistent performances from the lead actors (Washington and Hawke), which far eclipses those of Reeves and even Whittaker in this case. Remember Denzel's maniacal propensity with convincing swagger and awesome one liners "are you a wolf or a sheep?"? Even Snoop Dogg's role of wheelchair-bound gang banger who has a biro stuck down his throat was superior to his SK equivalent Game who was beaten with a yellow pages (!). In addition, TD felt much more convincing and was more surprising and effective in its conclusion, whereas SK limped to an end failing to give it much re-watch value.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top film, 19 Aug 2008
By 
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This review is from: Street Kings [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Ok so you've read the Amazon review and synopsis which is quite comprehensive the only thing left to do is compress it and add opinion.

What's it about?
LA police officers who are stealing from the bad guys to create a large pot of money for their retirement, this theme runs in the back ground while you are shown quarrels between police officers and a the way of the "gun slinger" a police assassin who goes in and kills all the bad guys (a Dexter kind of character) and racism from all sides. The film shows some interesting interrogation techniques involving razor wire and phone book.
The film is self starts slow but goes straight into a gun deal where Reeves gets his ass kicked after insulting the Korean baddies this is then followed by his secret police job as the gun slinger and he gets his own back while saving some girls, the film then shows the discontent between him and his first partner who is now becoming a problem for the police mafia who employ some assassins "living nightmare" who kill his ex partner from there it's the usual revenge story line where after being suspended reeves goes onto confront and kill the "living nightmares" and finds out the police mafia his employers are trying to hang him out to dry and kill him.

Actors.
Keanu Reeves plays the roll of the alcoholic gun slinger quite well with tale of woe behind it.
Forrest Whittaker has clearly got the taste for playing police man after his stint in the shield and plays the king pin.
Hugh Laurie has in my opinion a very short roll in this film. A good move as he does not really fit in and has possibly been cast in the same way the movie makers used to insert Americans into films to sell movies to the Americans (A bridge too far, American saves the bridge not real version of events).

Over all impression.
This is an excellent action movie that plays out like an extended episode of the shield only with a bigger budget, it is also one for the DVD collection especially if you liked Training Day.

I am hoping that the Blu Ray version will be offering a lot more than the standard DVD version as they are charging more for it, but I am doubtful.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Run of the mill 'gritty cop drama that plays out like a mediocre, forgettable episode of a TV cop show, 31 Oct 2008
This review is from: Street Kings [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
The main star Reeves is pretty wooden, definately lacking in any emotional conviction in his acting - how can I care about a character that has probably only three facial expressions? He's got a blank look in his eyes most of the time. Whittaker is good but not his usual best. Chris Evans was the best for me, who seemed alot more natural than the other actors playing cops. The rappers (The Game and Common) in this are surprisingly good too, but it's a shame the main actor isn't Laurie is good too, if underused.

It's a quite alright running time and doesn't go on for too long but the story doesn't live up to expectations. On and the twist? I didn't buy that and there's better twists in TV cop dramas to be honest. The story is mildly interesting but not as action packed as you might think, or at least not in an original or amazing way.

Alot of oranges and blacks so it's pretty standard. The action parts, in particular during a foot chase scene lacks the energy and real heart-pumping, edge-of-the-seat feeling to it that I've enjoyed in other thrillers.

The score isn't memorable and the hip hops songs heard alot desperately try to add street 'atmosphere'. It all gives an air that it's trying to be tough and gritty but just isn't cause it's rying too hard and isn't inventive.

Overall: The script doesn't have anything new to say about crime in L.A., the dialogue is mostly contrived (witness the scene near the beginning with Reeves and the Korean men) and seems to use alot of f-words for the sake of it.
The twist was badly execited and predictable, the acting from the lead was flat and unconvincing and just doesn't have enough grit or moving scenes ro truly show the extent of how dangerous life on the 'mean' streets probably is. Quite forgettable really and there's no flair or spark that sets it apart from what I've seen hundreds of times before.

No extras as well! Am I glad that I only rented this.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Street Kings - middle of the road, 5 Jun 2009
This review is from: Street Kings [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
The film started off pretty fast paced despite deliberate racist dialogue which was there to shock, but was not too effective. A good shoot out scene was good in drawing the viewer in at an early stage and made it clear that the "all cops are bent" theme was to run throughout the film.

Certain parts of the film remained suspenseful giving the viewer a sense of intrigue and desire to satisfy the "whodunit?" popping up here and there. Though, the predictable nature of the film was a bit disappointing and did not ultimately leave you on a "cliff hanger". Instead, it wobbled up to a pretty foreseeable ledge before hobbling off on what seemed to be a slightly unfulfilling end.

Reeves' acting seemed more wooden that ever and, I think, failed at times to convey the role he was playing. Overall, he managed to pull off the "tough guy bad cop wanting to repent to good cop" role but was unconvincing at times which spoiled the authenticity of his character. For example, after about 20 minutes you forgot he was an alcoholic as his performance failed to remind you other than the more apparent swigs of miniature vodkas.

Whittaker was his usual excellent self and though being obvious from the start that he was lying about Washington (Reeves' ex-partner cop) and just about everything else, he was enjoyable to watch and played his part convincingly. Not exactly an Edi Amin performance or role but a worthy effort as usual.

Cameo performances by The Game and Common were nice additions though Common's performance far outweighed that of cliched gang-banger Game. "We are walking talking nightmares, exigents of circumstance" - nice quote.

Chris Evans (not to be confused with the former TFI Fridays presenter who abducted a slightly pubescent Billie Piper) was surprisingly good at being "rookie nave cop who will ultimately die from lack of experience". Unfortunately, throughout the film I expected him to shout "flame on!" as a reminder of his previous terrible role choices. Not to take away from him a decent performance on this occastion of course.

Overall, the film was above average and did maintain the viewer's interest despite the wooden lead of Reeves "you're the coroner who refused to carry out v*ginal swabs" - what??! Did I hear that correctly?? "I am not here to investigate adultery" - oh, ok then...

Though predictable it didn't lose its edginess and was definitely watchable. What it lacked in comparison to its counterparts like Training Day (a comparison which, in truth, I think is undeserved) is two pretty solid and consistent performances from the lead actors (Washington and Hawke), which far eclipses those of Reeves and even Whittaker in this case. Remember Denzel's maniacal propensity with convincing swagger and awesome one liners "are you a wolf or a sheep?"? Even Snoop Dogg's role of wheelchair-bound gang banger who has a biro stuck down his throat was superior to his SK equivalent Game who was beaten with a yellow pages (!). In addition, TD felt much more convincing and was more surprising and effective in its conclusion, whereas SK limped to an end failing to give it much re-watch value.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Intense But Intensely Ludicrous, 8 Mar 2009
By 
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This review is from: Street Kings [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Rogue detective Tom Ludlow(the as usual miscast Keanu Reeves)undertakes the dirty work for his unit boss(Forrest Whitaker)only to find that the unsanctioned missions are the tip of the iceberg in terms of corruption and a I.A Captain Biggs(Hugh Laurie)is out to break it open.
Over baked with really ripe dialogue(co written by James Ellroy) that shows Street Kings up to be what it really is - a bad b movie with money thrown at it.So far fetched as body after body piles up with no sense of a plausible narrative running through the film.Chris Evans is okay as the only honest cop in town with everyone else just plain hammy - Jon Corbett,Jay Mohr,Whitaker and Reeves who is so unbelieveable in the role.
Ayer over-reaches here like he did with Training Day and the best thing that can be said about Street Kings are the action sequences and Reeves' character at least being consistent in the tough finale.
However the modern cop thriller needs more than just well executed shoot-outs to convince.Street Kings has nothing else to recommmend it.
For the less discerning only.
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Street Kings [DVD] [2008]
Street Kings [DVD] [2008] by David Ayer (DVD - 2008)
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