The Glass Shield (The Johnny Johnson Trial)
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The Glass Shield (The Johnny Johnson Trial)
In this crime drama, an honest lawman has to decide where his loyalties lie in a corrupt system. All his life, J.J. (Michael Boatman) has dreamed of being a cop, and after graduating from the Police Academy, he gets his wish, becoming the first African-American policeman based out of Los Angeles' Edgemar station. However, J.J. discovers that his race makes him an outsider among his fellow officers. His presence is not welcomed by his superior, Massey (Richard Anderson), and the only colleague who is truly hospitable to him is Deborah (Lori Petty), the only female cop at Edgemar and the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 64%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Ambition is something to respect in an artist, but Charles Burnett's police-corruption drama The Glass Shield is such a maladroit piece of filmmaking that its weighty themes and sclerotic tangle of a plot end up making it a trial to sit through."
‑ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"It's a rigorous, angry piece of work, but it misses out on the psychological depths that have made Burnett's previous films among the glories of recent American independent moviemaking."
‑ Peter Rainer, Los Angeles Times
"An angry anti-cop message flick directed and written to be subversive by angry LA based indie filmmaker Charles Burnett."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"The film's ambition makes Burnett's occasional overstatement easy to forgive."
‑ Peter Canavese, Groucho Reviews
"Generic racial drama, hindered by a clubfooted direction and lumbering performances."
‑ Greg Muskewitz,
"A powerful moral drama that tries to deal with the racism at the root of many problems in contempo American society."
‑ Todd McCarthy, Variety
"An implausible, wearisome clunker trying to ring true but making only dull thuds."
‑ Peter Stack, San Francisco Chronicle
"Despite studio interference, it's still a decent film, and the association of a black man and a Jewish woman (as two outcasts) is a welcome addition to the genre."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Credit writer/director Burnett for having the courage of his convictions, even if the outcome is a film that a lot of people will see as clichéd and stereotyped."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
"A surprisingly compelling look at racism amongst police officers."
‑ Scott Weinberg,
"The movie feels sketchy, as if Burnett chopped the flesh off his screenplay and left us only the bare bones."
‑ , Time Out
"Burnett's screenplay has a tendency to be a little too preachy, especially during the unsatisfying final scene. There's a fine line between getting the message across through subtlety and becoming didactic..."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"Burnett uses a socially discomforting scenario that has only vague implications of deeper malice to initiate a brave portrayal of a Caucasian-centric sort of martial law."
‑ Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine
"an entirely honorable - if inevitably doomed - attempt to reconcile Burnett's political and social concerns with the requisites of mass entertainment."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"Definitely not the work of a genius"
‑ Christopher Null,
More reviews for The Glass Shield (The Johnny Johnson Trial) on Rotten Tomatoes