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3.5 out of 5 stars73
3.5 out of 5 stars
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on 29 November 2015
Imagine Dirty Harry with a bad coke habit, played by Nicolas Cage in New Orleans. Cage gives us an outstanding performance as someone who goes though those violent coke induced mood swings. The iguana which appears in the movie from time to time is symbolic of the metaphor "monkey on the back." Cage is investigating a brutal family execution and interweaves his personal failings into the process. His girlfriend is a prostitute who he protects and supplies drugs. He has a gambling habit, and owes money (bets too much on LSU) and of course steals from the evidence locker.

He also shakes down people for information, even grandmothers. Makes Dirty Harry look like a sissy. Lots of drug use, bad language, sexual situations, and some violence.

Good story. Plot fairly simple to follow. The movie, at time, has the feel of a dark comedy.
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One one level, this is a fairly standard cop flick, but on the other it's as if you're seeing it through the drug-addled mind of the lead character.

At first, it reminded me a little of The Shield, which can only be a good thing, but fairly quickly it degenerated into the drug phase, which to me was over the top.

Whilst there was a certain amount of black humour, I just got fed up with Cage being high on whatever most of the time. It reminded me a bit of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which I gave up on after 20 minutes because of the tripping sequences.

I stuck with this to the end, but kind of wish I had these two hours of my life back again. Maybe worth a rental if you've seen pretty much everything else that interests you, or if you get off on druggy films.
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VINE VOICEon 24 February 2011
Spoilers!

Check out all the reviews on here that miss the point: Bad Lieutenant (a title Herzog was forced to adopt) is a twisted comedy and nothing to do with the 1992 film of the same name. Want to know something else? This Bad Lieutenant is - in a lot of ways - better than the Keitel version. And this coming from somebody who was convinced this film would stink. Badly.

And the recipe for disaster is all here: a loose interpretation (oh, heck, let's use 're-imagining') of the classic '92 version (intended to be a modern day gospel for the director to explore sin, guilt and Catholic redemption), an almost unheard of screenwriter and Nic Cage. Who hasn't made a decent film, or given a credible performance since 'Bringing out the Dead.' And yet, the film is brilliant.

As Herzog says, it's all about the 'bliss of sin' and how a bad man, loves doing bad, and actually prospers from doing it. Come on, hands up, who honestly thought he'd make the end credits in one piece? Nah, me neither, and yet he does and the punchline is staggering. A bleak dose of such incredible perversity that I had a huge smile across my face. 'Bliss of sin' indeed.

Herzog's direction is solid. Bill Finklestein's screenplay is a fantastic tangle of plot threads, black humour and 'game raising' madness, setting up the only possible outcome before pulling the rug from under you with delicious plot twisting relish that a) takes the mickey with bare faced cheek and b) gets clean away with it, because it actually fits right in with the manic, spiralling out of control chaos raging about Cage's character.

And what about Nicholas Cage? His accent wanders slightly, but his performance holds the film together. I can't imagine anybody else playing this role. It's a beautiful, insane performance. He IS the Bad Lieutenant.

So why is this better than the '92 version? Well, despite it's gritty look and blazing performance by Keitel, it is an incredibly naive film about a man who, for no real reason, has a vision of Christ (because he's Catholic? So what?) and attempts to redeem himself before his own crucifixion. Cage's character is flat out BAD - not evil - just utterly amoral and immoral by nature. And in being this way, he solves crimes, gets the girl, the house, the promotions and the power to do, pretty much, whatever he wants. For him, it works. He's seduced and will never change.

I mean, did you honestly think he'd take the waiter's offer at the end?
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on 29 April 2016
Watched on holiday - so glad I did waste money on this rubbish! I usually enjoy Nicholas Cage films but I hated him in this. Dreadful storyline (if you can call it that), horrid characters and generally depressing. I gave up 75% into it as I jus couldn't hack it anymore.
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on 15 January 2011
A lot of people seem to have a low tolerance for good movie making these day, whilst the media is peppered with good reviews for rubbish like Twilight and such,good film making like Bad Lieutenant go under appreciated by the masses.

Although it is called Bad lieutenant it isn't really a remake of the 1992 film starring Harvey Kietel, though just uses the same basic premise and character study from the original.

Werner Herzog gets the best performance out of Nic Cage in years, Cage can be a frustrating actor to watch, his early work showed great promise but in recent years drivel like the National Treasure movies and a particular low point in the remake of The Wicker man had most people write him off! Bad Lieutenant shows what an outstanding actor Cage is given the right director to push him. Cage gives a completely mesmerising performance as the drug addled cop who is slowly destroying himself in one way in a city that has already been destroyed by another! By moving the setting from New York to New Orleans was a nice move and juxtaposes the madness of Cage's character and the aftermath of a destroyed city very well.

This is a much better movie than the 1992 original, that film had some good things going for it but apart from Kietels performance it didn't really quite gel. This version though works very well and Herzog continues to impress as a director. There are 1 or 2 scenes that are a bit pretentious and don't work quite as well as they should ( you'll know them when you see them..lol) but overall cage and Eva Mendes ( an actress usually quite bland) impress no end.

if your expecting a very commercial Nic Cage movie then this won't be for you but if you like some of Cage's darker work like Leaving Las Vegas, Wild at Heart etc then you'll probably enjoy this.

No surprise this got 5 star reviews when released. A stunning piece of film making.
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Really not very good at all. It just lacked any decent editing to keep the scene's flowing. The dialogue was poor, the story was poor. All in all just very much a second rate movie and not one I'd buy and I'm glad this was a rental. Nicholas Cage seems to be very hit and miss with what he does nowadays. The only tiny bit of joy in the whole film was a great line when gangsters shoot another gangster leader with a drugged Nicholas Cage watching them. As the smoke clears Cage motions to the gangster leader lying dead on the ground and says "Shoot him again" the other gangsters look at the dead body and reply with "Why?" Cage retorts "Because his soul is still dancing..." Great line then ruined by the camera panning back to see the body break dancing and then come to a halt when they shoot the body again. Poor editing again.
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on 17 November 2010
I had read some rave comments/reviews about this film and Herzog is a great director.However this film didn't strike me as more than enjoyable.It has some good moments but overall I was underwhelmed.The curious thing is the quote on the box that say's 'disgracefully funny',I didn't find it much of a laugh fest.Another film with the same situation was Cold Souls,which although billed as a comedy I saw as more of a surreal drama although I really liked that.
Good for cage fans,better than Ghost Rider.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 28 April 2012
This is certainly the best performance Nicolas cage has given in quite some time! Hes one messed up individual in this movie and a very bad man indeed with a serious drug addiction! Its great the way Cage portrays his badass uncaring character making it very believable the acting is superb! The story is quite simple and deals with murder and mainly drugs but keeps you engrossed for the full two hours! Its certainly one cop movie you will never see again and worth checking out if you like this type of genre! There are some good features too.
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on 7 December 2012
This is a strange and brilliant bit of filmmaking. I love it. It's over the top, superbly done and none of the cast have ever been better. It's a grand and highly recommended movie. Great one.
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on 9 January 2012
Instead of pulling a ship up a mountain or fighting a no-win battle with God, Nicholas Cage was fighting his backpain, uncontrollable drug and gambling habits, local drug kinpin, loan shark, unsympathetic attorney general, out-of-town thugs, a dysfunctional family, ... in the post-Katrina New Orleans. As in many Herzog's movie, the final climax left the audience another metaphysical question: Was the final blowup a consequence of FATE, or the result of Cage's intelligent calculations admidst his painful and drug-induced high state?
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