Bad Lieutenant
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If police lieutenant Harvey Keitel's life could get any more sordid, he could probably sell tickets. The least of his vices is gambling, which has gotten him in Dutch with the mob. He abuses his body with drugs and his soul with hookers, and now he's turned to exploiting teenage girls for sex. Keitel is forced to reassess his life while investigating the rape of a nun. Director Abel Ferrara co-wrote the screenplay with Zoe Lund, who as Zoe Tamerlis starred in Ferrara's cult classic Ms. 45. A soundtrack tune by rapper Schoolly D, which was included in the initial release of Bad… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 77%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Members of the gutter-al elite will be the sole survivors."
‑ Duane Byrge, Hollywood Reporter
"There's an undeniable formal elegance in the way Ferrara, who coauthored the script with Zoe Lund, frames and holds certain shots, and Keitel certainly gives his all."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Alongside "Reservoir Dogs" Able Ferrara's 1992 tour-de-force crime drama provides the epic showcase for Harvey Keitel's impressive acting abilities."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Keitel's performance is perhaps the needed counterpoint to Christopher Walken's ice-cold overlord in Ferrara's visionary crime opus King of New York"
‑ Chris Cabin,
"Quite possibly Ferrara's finest hour, with an almost unbearably sincere performance from Keitel."
‑ Ian Nathan, Empire Magazine
"Bad Lieutenant is finally a pulp parable of sin, addiction, and redemption, a movie that, like its subversive hero, revels in the pleasure -- and danger -- of going too far."
‑ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"Ferrara allows his star to dictate the pace, and is rewarded with a performance of extraordinary, terrifying honesty."
‑ , Time Out
"The combination of Keitel, New York City, and the Catholic Church reminds of Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets. Yet Bad Lieutenant is much more disturbing and in your face, and successfully portrays the destruction of the soul."
‑ Matthew Pejkovic, Matt's Movie Reviews
"The work of a warped wizard."
‑ , Film4
"Though hardly a film for all sensibilities, Bad Lieutenant has the courage of its own convictions, and follows them to the bitter end."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Abel Ferrara's uncompromising Bad Lieutenant is a harrowing journey with a corrupt N.Y. cop sinking into the lower depths."
‑ Lawrence Cohn, Variety
"When Abel Ferrara calls something bad, better believe it: he means business."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Ferrara was in the right place at the right time to make Bad Lieutenant."
‑ Jeremiah Kipp, Slant Magazine
"Keitel is onscreen for pretty much the entire movie and clearly relishes the opportunity of playing someone not so much teetering on the abyss as leaping off with a grand piano manacled to each ankle."
‑ Clark Collis, Empire Magazine
"The highlight of Ferrara's career--sublime."
‑ Cole Smithey,
More reviews for Bad Lieutenant on Rotten Tomatoes