[Screen It]


(1997) (Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro) (R)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
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Mild Minor Mild None Extreme
Smoking Tense Family
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Drama: A Jersey sheriff uncovers corruption among the N.Y.P.D. cops who live in his town.
Garrison, New Jersey is a good place to live. With little crime and lots of families, the town is populated with cops who work across the river in New York City. Freddy Heflin (SYLVESTER STALLONE) has been the sheriff of Garrison for the past ten years, and he's always admired the men in blue, although he could never become one. After saving the life of Liz Randone (ANNABELLA SCIORRA) many years ago when her car plunged into a river, Freddy went deaf in one ear and never could qualify for the force. The many cops who know him, including senior cop Ray Donlan (HARVEY KEITEL), are friendly, but see him as a lower class officer. Nonetheless, everything seems hunky dory until a young officer, Murray Babitch (MICHAEL RAPAPORT), takes a leap into the Hudson River after shooting two unarmed motorists. Everyone thinks Murray is dead, but in reality Donlan, his uncle, has him hidden away. Internal affairs agent Moe Tilden (ROBERT DE NIRO), who's been investigating Donlan and others, knows something's up. So he goes to Freddy looking for answers and asks him to watch Donlan. Of course he could just ask Gary Figgis (RAY LIOTTA), an officer who still blames Donlan for the death of his partner who was set to expose the corruption in the department. As Freddy starts to question his friendship with the allegedly crooked cops, Donlan knows he must come up with a body from the bridge jump or their whole corrupt world might unravel. Thus he, and cops Jack Rucker (ROBERT PATRICK) and Joey Randone (PETER BERG), Liz's husband, set out to kill Murray who comes to Freddy for help. From then on, the sheriff must figure out the right course to take in his ever increasingly dangerous world.
If they're fans of anyone in the cast they might, but younger kids will probably have no interest in this film.
The reason was not available, but we'd guess it was for violence and profanity.
  • SYLVESTER STALLONE plays a decent, but not great role model. Smoking and drinking some, he also takes a lot of grief from others for not being a "real" cop, and not until the very end, when he has no other choice, does he turn to violence.
  • ROBERT De NIRO plays a cop who occasionally loses his cool, but is a good role model for wanting to expose corruption.
  • The rest of the major cast members play characters who are corrupt in one way or another.


    OUR TAKE: 7 out of 10
    "Cop Land" is a typical tale of police corruption, cover ups and finally exposure that's presented in non-typical fashion. Boasting what has to be the most impressive casting coupe of the year, the film perfectly balances the massive cast and never feels like an all-star outing or disaster flick (that traditionally always had big casts). For the most part Stallone, who gained some forty pounds for his role, does a good job at playing his humble character. Harkening back to his early roles where he wasn't chiseled and testosterone filled, it's nice to see Stallone play this varied role. It's reminiscent of the first "Rocky" film, and even "First Blood" (the first "Rambo" movie) where he played a character who didn't want to bother anyone until shoved into action. It's a nice step in the right direction for him and he does a decent job playing this character who lost his shot at his dream and can only look back at his one past glory. Of course Stallone has to play against some masterful actors, including De Niro and Keitel, both of whom make acting seem like second nature, but Stallone holds his own. It helps that he's the passive good guy, the one we root for to not only expose the corruption in the story, but also to "clean house" in the process. While there is a tremendous build up of pressure in his character, and there is retribution, it's quite not the butt kicking, adrenaline pumping scene that many will expect it to be. The before mentioned actors, and others like Liotta, Berg, and Patrick are also excellent in their roles. Our biggest complaint -- which isn't that big -- is with the script that essentially just retreads this genre. We've seen police corruption stories many times before where the lone cop has to turn snitch and stop the bad guys. Here, you pretty much have the same story. The nice feature is that Stallone plays a sheriff on the outside looking in, and the men he's admired so long turn out to be scum. Watching Keitel say, "Oh, a felony" after Stallone tells him of a trash dumping problem, not only shows what he thinks of the sheriff, but it also allows us to watch Stallone's pained, but still smiling reaction. The fact that he's torn between supporting them and doing what he knows is right creates a compelling character dilemma. We only hope that Sly takes more of these roles and less of the "Judge Dredd" ones. Feeling a great deal like those 1970's police dramas, "Cop Land" is sure to please those looking for that type of story performed by an incredible cast. Tense, compelling, and always interesting, we liked this film and give it a 7 out of 10.
    Profanity, violence, and copious amounts of blood, along with general corruption are the worst of the objectionable material. Nearly 80 "f" words are heard and several people are killed in a bloody gun battle that ends the movie. There are many cops who are involved with the corruption, and threats and several deaths are directly related to their "family" beliefs. There's a great deal of smoking, some drinking, and a bare-breasted striptease dancer is briefly seen in one shot. Although younger kids will have no interest in this film, teens just might. Thus, we suggest that you examine the content to determine how appropriate this film is for them, or for you.

  • Freddy is somewhat drunk and Gary lets him drive home (and he later gets into a car accident while avoiding a deer).
  • It's reported that several vials of crack (cocaine) and a pipe are found in a car.
  • Freddy finds what appears to be traces of cocaine on a mirror used by Gary.
  • Many of the cops drink in bars, as do others.
  • People drink at a post-funeral party.
  • Gary and Freddy drink beer.
  • We see a man throwing up.
  • Two teens are very bloody after being shot and getting into a car accident.
  • Murray has a bloody nose after a car wreck.
  • Freddy has a slightly bloody cut across his nose throughout the movie.
  • The side of Joey's head is bloody after Liz has hit him with a bottle (not seen).
  • A charred, burn victim is seen lying on the ground (with gross looking burns over her entire body).
  • A pool of blood is around Joey's head after he's fallen to his death.
  • Freddy's ear and the side of his head are a little bloody after a shot is fired next to him.
  • Freddy and the cops get into a gun battle. Freddy is shot in the shoulder and blood squirts out. The cops he shoots have tremendous amounts of blood squirting and flowing from their bodies.
  • Obviously Donlan and the other cops have extreme cases of both. Not only are they corrupt and think they're above the law so much so that they'll kill anyone in their way, but they also constantly belittle Freddy for not being a "real" cop.
  • Freddy takes quarters from a parking meter to play pinball (while somewhat drunk).
  • Some teens sideswipe Murray's car and then don't pull over when he flashes his police badge.
  • A cop plants a machine gun in the suspects' car since the cops couldn't find the weapon that Murray says was fired at him.
  • Ray drives 71 mph through a 25 mph zone and once pulled over, wants Freddy to call off his new deputy. Another cop then calls the female officer "Honey" and "Cupcake."
  • Despite being married, Joey and Roy's wife are having an affair (not seen).
  • Ray allows Joey to fall from a roof top without trying to help him.
  • A man burns down his own home for the insurance money to buy himself a new life.
  • Some scenes listed under "Violence" will also be tense to some viewers.
  • We see a flashback of Freddy saving Liz after her car plummets into a river. He dives down to the car, gets inside to save her, but the car then rolls and they're both trapped underwater.
  • Gary smashes Jack against a wall and then holds a throwing dart up inside the guy's nose, threatening him (many people in the audience squirmed over this).
  • Murray walks out into a backyard and meets Ray and the other cops. We know what's coming (and Murray has an idea) and the wait and finally the action where they try to drown him in a pool are very tense.
  • Joey hangs from an antenna dangling from a rooftop.
  • Freddy gets into a gun battle with several cops and many are killed.
  • Handguns: Used to threaten, injure, or kill people. See "Violence" for details.
  • Machine gun: Planted in the suspects' car by the police.
  • Phrases: "Kiss my ass," "Shut up," "Balls" (testicles), "Turd," "Hard on" (not sexual), and "Scumbag."
  • Joey gives Gary "the finger."
  • Gary smashes Jack against a wall and then holds a throwing dart up inside the guy's nose, threatening him.
  • A man burns down his own home for the insurance money to buy himself a new life.
  • Freddy is suddenly shot in the shoulder (with a burst of blood) that may startle some viewers.
  • There is a mild amount of suspenseful music in this movie.
  • None.
  • At least 76 "f" words (5 used with "mother" and 2 used sexually), 38 "s" words, 2 slang terms involving male genitals ("c*cksucker"), 1 slang term for breasts (the "t" word),12 asses (3 used with "hole"), 3 hells, 1 damn, and 5 uses of "Oh my God," 3 uses each of "G-damn" and "Jesus," 2 uses of "Jesus Christ" and "Christ," and 1 use each of "Swear to God" and "God" as exclamations.
  • A bare-breasted dancer is briefly seen in the background of a strip joint where the cops go to drink.
  • After Freddy finds that Roy' wife has been dumping her garbage outside of Joey's home, she tells Freddy, "If he doesn't like my garbage, he can stop soiling my sheets," implying an affair between them.
  • Joey tells Gary, "Come over here, unzip me. Pull out my inner child and take a bite."
  • Though never seen with a butt in his mouth, Freddy does smoke in several scenes as indicated by the smoke coming from nearby ashtrays.
  • Many other characters smoke here and there, with the most coming from Gary, while others smoke in the backgrounds of shots.
  • Joey and Liz have some sort of domestic dispute where she's locked him outside the house after hitting him with a bottle.
  • We see Liz and her daughter at Joey's funeral, but not too much is made of this.
  • Corruption and what to do when it's discovered.
  • Freddy, somewhat drunk, wrecks his car while driving home (avoiding a deer).
  • Some teens sideswipe Murray's car and then don't pull over when he flashes his police badge. Instead one of them pulls out what appears to be a gun and Murray's tire blows out. He pulls out his gun and fires at their car, hitting it and them, causing their car to come to a stop. He then plows into their car. He's injured and they're dead.
  • A cop holds a gun on a paramedic who swears that no weapon was inside the suspects' car and then punches this man.
  • Gary smashes Jack against a wall and then holds a throwing dart up inside the guy's nose, threatening him.
  • Joey kicks in his own front door after Liz has locked him out.
  • Gary's house if burned down and a woman inside is burned and dies.
  • Ray and other cops try to drown Murray.
  • A man fights with Joey on a roof top. Many punches are thrown, Joey hits the man with a board and then Joey ends up hanging over the edge of the building. Later, we see Joey's body on the street below, dead.
  • A man holds a gun on Freddy inside his car, threatening his life then and for the future.
  • Some cops abduct Murray and another shoots a gun next to Freddy's ear, nicking it, and causing temporary near deafness.
  • Freddy gets into a gun battle with several of the cops. He's hit, and many of the cops are hit and killed.

  • Reviewed August 11, 1997

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