[Screen It]


(2003) (Kurt Russell, Scott Speedman) (R)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
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Smoking Tense Family
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Drama: A young detective sees how prevalent and deep the corruption is within the Los Angeles police department as the city awaits the results of the Rodney King beating trial.
It's March 1991 and the city of Los Angeles is awaiting the results of the Rodney King beating trial. Sgt. Eldon Perry (KURT RUSSELL) of the SIS division of the L.A.P.D isn't one of them. A hard-nosed cop who comes from a long line of officers, Perry can't believe his colleagues are on trial.

He has other pressing matters, however, in the form of an unhappy wife, Sally (LOLITA DAVIDOVICH) as well as his green partner, Detective Bobby Keough (SCOTT SPEEDMAN), being investigated for the fatal shooting of a suspect.

Due to the good old boy network with the department - that includes Bobby's uncle, Jack Van Meter (BRENDAN GLEESON) - Bobby gets off, much to the chagrin of black Assistant Chief Arthur Holland (VING RHAMES) who sees the racism and can smell the corruption, but can't prove it. His assistant, Beth Williamson (MICHAEL MICHELE), wants to assist him, but is likewise limited in what she can do.

Things get more complicated when Eldon and Bobby are assigned to investigate a convenience store murder spree committed by thugs Orchard (KURUPT) and Sidwell (DASH MIHOK). Little do the cops realize that the murderers were working for a corrupt superior who's now asked them to frame the acts on other known criminals who fit the profile. As various other revelations occur, and the outcome of the beating trial is revealed, it's only a matter of time before the city and its police department erupt.

If they're fans of anyone in the cast or gritty cop dramas, they just might.
For violence, language and brief sexuality.
To avoid giving away any character and/or plot developments, only the main and non-revelatory characteristics are noted below.
  • KURT RUSSELL plays a racist and corrupt cop who's known for killing unarmed suspects. He drinks (and admits to being an alcoholic), uses strong profanity and is part of the department's good old boy network that looks after its own and sweeps illegal activity under the rug.
  • SCOTT SPEEDMAN plays a young detective who's partnered with Perry and sees firsthand the corruption that soon engulfs him. He also uses profanity, is coerced into shooting an unarmed suspect and has casual sex with Beth.
  • BRENDAN GLEESON plays his corrupt and racist cop uncle who also uses strong profanity.
  • VING RHAMES plays the Assistant Chief of the department who aspires to be the first black chief, and wants to uncover and put an end to the corruption that surrounds him. He uses some profanity and had an affair in the past.
  • MICHAEL MICHELE plays Holland's assistant who formerly had an affair with him years ago and is now having casual sex with Bobby. She also uses some strong profanity.
  • LOLITA DAVIDOVICH plays Perry's wife who drinks due to be unhappy with their marriage.
  • KURUPT and DASH MIHOK play two criminal thugs who are hired by a corrupt cop to do his dirty work, including robbing a convenience store (where they kill various people) and attempting to kill another cop.


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

    The following is a quick look at the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 122 "f" words, while many other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Explicit, sexually related dialogue is present, while an unmarried couple fools around under the sheets (casual sex). A bare-breasted exotic dancer (in a tiny thong) is seen doing her thing in a strip club, while some brief, nonsexual nudity is also present.

    Violence consists of several murders (via guns by criminals and cops, and some of the acts have bloody results) as well as various beatings during a large-scale riot and some cops roughing up various people. Some of those scenes and others may be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers.

    All sorts of bad attitudes (racism and corruption within the police department, murders, affairs, etc.) are present from most of the characters within the film. Various characters smoke and/or drink, with one being noted as an alcoholic and a criminal briefly does some drugs.

    Some imitative behavior is present, as are some tense family moments regarding affairs and unhappy marriages. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to motion sickness, some parts of the film feature shaky, hand-held camera work.

  • We see a bottle of liquor next to Eldon's bed (we later see this scene again).
  • A criminal drinks from a bottle.
  • Perry, Jack and various other cops have drinks in celebration.
  • A woman talks about some drunken guy trying to "ball" her. Eldon then tells his wife that she's a "f*cking alcoholic" as she has a drink. She then hands it to him and he pours her some more. Later, Sally says, "And you wonder why I drink."
  • Two cops drink in a bar where Eldon downs a shot of liquor. He later refers to them as the "Bourbon brothers."
  • A man drinks, as does Eldon.
  • A guy drinks from a brown paper bag.
  • Eldon orders some scotch in a strip club.
  • Eldon and Bobby have beer.
  • Eldon and Bobby have drinks.
  • A judge has a martini.
  • Bobby drinks as do Eldon and Jack.
  • Eldon walks down the street drinking from a brown paper bag.
  • A thug does some drugs.
  • Eldon drinks some liquor in the morning.
  • A cop publicly accuses Eldon of being an alcoholic (and Eldon admits he is).
  • A thug drags dead bodies across a floor, leaving a trail of blood smearing on the floor behind them.
  • We see black and white photos of those murder victims.
  • We see a dead and partially discolored body that's been folded and stuffed inside a refrigerator.
  • We see some blood on a man's back as he's shot.
  • There's blood all over a man's shirt after he's been shot (and a little bit from his mouth).
  • Two thugs work for a corrupt cop and carry out his dirty work, including killing others.
  • Eldon is a corrupt and racist cop who's killed various people and coerces Bobby into killing a defenseless criminal. He and others also cover up such police shootings in what amounts to a good old boy network that looks out for itself.
  • Various other cops also have racist attitudes.
  • Eldon jokes that at least his son (or stepson) isn't a "fag" and later refers to a black man as "Mandingo." Later, the term "spook" is used.
  • Eldon and Bobby accost some thugs, one of which resists arrest and they rough him up (including spraying pepper spray into his face).
  • Eldon is told to find some bad guys who fit the profile of a murder scene, get a search warrant and then peg the crime on them. Eldon later puts the pressure on a clerk to write out the warrant and a judge later signs it without reading it (since he knows Eldon).
  • We learn that Holland had an affair with Beth years ago and Eldon has photographs of it that he plans to use against Holland.
  • Eldon pressures Bobby into shooting and killing the defenseless criminal, saying he'll take the heat. After the shooting, Eldon plants a gun in the dead man's hand. Later, two cops who are questioning Bobby about the shooting correct him about what occurred (meaning the lie) and then allow him to rerecord his testimony.
  • A corrupt cop puts out a hit on another cop.
  • All sorts of people loot businesses and beat white people after the unsatisfactory results of a trial.
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" might also be unsettling, tense or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • Some concussion grenades are thrown into a house and cops chase after one man who flees. Eldon then pressures Bobby into shooting and killing the defenseless criminal (which happens after a few tense moments).
  • As Eldon approaches a rundown house while carrying a shotgun, the two thugs he's after are waiting for him up on the roof. Bobby and Beth then show up, also carrying weapons, and the three cops separately slowly make their way through the close quarters of the neighborhood while the two thugs prepare to shoot them.
  • Handguns/shotguns/automatic weapons/machine gun/concussion grenades: Carried and/or used to threaten or kill people. See "Violence" for details.
  • Phrases: "F*cker," "You can't f*ck with that," "F*ck you too," "It's about f*cking time," "That's a scary f*cking thought," "F*ck it," "Dumb f*cks," "I don't give a f*ck," "You f*cking idiot," "Turn the f*ck around," "Calm the f*ck down," "Who the f*ck are you?" "F*ck him," "Shut the f*ck up," "Speak f*cking English," "Holy f*ck," "No f*cking way," "Get your f*cking head out of my ass," "Get the f*ck out of here," "What the f*ck /are we going to do/are you doing?" "F*cked me up," "F*ck head," "F*ck me," "You evil m*therf*cker," "Bullsh*t," "Holy sh*t," "Ape sh*t," "No sh*t?" "Dog sh*t," "This is dangerous sh*t," "Evil little sh*ts," "You look like sh*t," "Sh*t-birds," "Worthless piece of sh*t," "Sh*tload of misery," "Nobody saw sh*t," "Sh*t bags," "We're not pulling your d*ck," "Cheese d*ck," "Nigger" (said by black and white people), "Ho" (whore), "Bad ass Puerto Rican bitch," "Black ass," "Mister smart ass," "Fag," "Freak," "Whore," "Dumb ass(es)," "Hard ass," "Bastards," "Freaking," "Bitch" (man), "Bitch ass nigger," "Damn sure" and "Sure as hell."
  • Some thugs have gold-capped teeth.
  • All sorts of people loot businesses and beat white people after the unsatisfactory results of a trial.
  • A sudden gunshot might startle some viewers.
  • A moderate amount of such music plays in the film.
  • Various songs had lyrics that could not be understood, thus offering the potential of potentially objectionable lyrics being in them. That said, we did hear at least 1 use of the "f" word, along with several uses of "nigger" and a reference to narcotics.
  • At least 122 "f" words (18 used with "mother," 1 used sexually as is the term "ball"), 60 "s" words, 6 slang terms using male genitals ("d*ck," "c*cks*cker" and "pr*ck"), 3 slang terms for female genitals ("p*ssy"), 37 asses (6 used with "hole"), 13 hells, 7 damns, 3 S.O.B.s, 8 uses of "G-damn," 3 of "For Christ's sakes," 2 each of "Jesus" and "Jesus Christ" and 1 use each of "God" and "My God" as exclamations.
  • We see Eldon in his boxers.
  • A guy tells another guy that if the cops go down in the Rodney King trial, he'll buy another guy some "good old-fashioned black p*ssy."
  • A woman talks about some drunken guy trying to "ball" her.
  • An answering machine states, "Welcome to sorority slut hotline" when Eldon calls it to see what number his son (or stepson) has called. He then jokes that at least the boy's not a "fag" and that he's found his "d*ck." He then playfully unbuttons part of his wife's shirt while saying, "What's this?" and that he's seen them before.
  • We hear some sexual sounds and giggling and then see movement beneath the covers. We then see that it's Bobby and Beth (both out of breath) and she jokingly asks, "Is that all you got?" After a moment of rest, she asks if he's ready to go again and then crawls on top of him under the covers and they passionately kiss.
  • A person jokingly comments on a woman not "dropping her drawers" when Bobby flashed his badge.
  • We hear that a man runs a strip club and a comment is made about "booty." Eldon and Bobby then visit that club to look for information and we see several pole dancers, one in a tiny thong bottom that shows most of her bare butt. There, Eldon says he doesn't want to hear any black jokes since the girl he's seeing is black. Eldon then comments about the "sweet thing you're rolling around with" and that when he (Bobby) is thinking about "p*ssy" he's thinking about a suspect. The dancer then removes her top and we see her bare breasts. When a suspicious owner/employee asks what Eldon wants, he says that he wants to "f*ck" that girl. That man says she can't and Eldon sarcastically questions whether there are any women there who can.
  • We see the side of a dead man's bare butt.
  • We see a photograph of a woman's bare butt.
  • Eldon comments on a woman who was with the whole football team and that being on videotape.
  • Eldon comments on "doggie style," "girl on top" and "missionary" while looking at some photos (that we don't see) of Beth and Holland.
  • We see Holland's wife in her bra and slip.
  • Orchard smokes several times, while Eldon and a few others smoke cigars and some miscellaneous characters smoke.
  • We briefly see an angry convenience store owner whose wife or daughter was recently murdered.
  • We learn that Holland had an affair with Beth years ago and Eldon has photographs of it that he plans to use against Holland. There are later scenes between Holland and his wife who isn't happy to receive those photos in the mail (although she knew about the affair before them) and she states she wants a divorce.
  • Eldon comes home to find his wife moving out (and he makes her read her going away letter).
  • Police corruption.
  • The Rodney King incident, related trial and subsequent rioting.
  • Racism.
  • There's some brief talk about a criminal who sodomized a woman, and another who raped a young girl.
  • We see some blurry archival footage of police striking Rodney King with their nightsticks.
  • Two thugs rob a convenience store and shoot and kill several people who are either inside or later come inside (some seen "in person," others via a surveillance camera). One of them also finds a wall safe and proceeds to tear it out, including shooting at it with a shotgun. As they leave, they shoot the dead bodies several more times (we don't see the impact) and then shoot a homeless man that they encounter on the sidewalk (severely wounding him in the neck).
  • Eldon and Bobby accost some thugs, one of which resists arrest and they rough him up (including spraying pepper spray into his face).
  • Eldon breaks a bottle and holds it on a bartender before pulling him over the bar counter. He then repeatedly bangs the guy into a wall outside and then throws him down into some trash in the alley.
  • We see a dead and partially discolored body that's been folded and stuffed inside a refrigerator (and we hear talk that he was tortured).
  • Some concussion grenades are thrown into a house and cops chase after one man who flees. Eldon then pressures Bobby into shooting and killing the defenseless criminal (which happens after a few tense moments).
  • We see archival footage of a motorist being hit and kicked during the L.A. riots.
  • A thug shoots a cop with a machine gun, mortally wounding him, and another cop shoots up through the ceiling/roof at the assailants with many shotgun blasts. He then shoots at a car as it races away.
  • We see all sorts of looting on the streets and people throw things at and attack Eldon's car as he drives through a riot. Several people then grab a white man, pull him from his car and proceed to kick him repeatedly. One then picks up a large block of concrete and slams it down on his head (we don't see the impact or results).
  • Eldon slams a thug into a car. He then holds a gun to his head as they drive away.

  • Reviewed February 5, 2003 / Posted February 21, 2003

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