Colors - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Colors Reviews

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Chiefilms
Super Reviewer
½ March 6, 2008
Good cop film, nothing special about the film if you watch it now, back then it had more of an impact. Good acting and screenplay.
Super Reviewer
October 19, 2006
A film with issues, still very relevant today, yet dated by the music and clothing. I particularly like the relationship between Penn and Duval, a great rookie film.
Super Reviewer
½ August 15, 2006
A explosive, shocking, unsettling and heart-pounding drama. Thrilling, frequently exciting and all the way exhilerating. Gritty and realistic. Robert Duvall and Sean Penn are excellent. Their performances are truly brilliant and satisfying.
Super Reviewer
½ August 26, 2007
Oldshool...This is what started that Gangster Gangster ^_^
garyX
Super Reviewer
May 21, 2007
Predating the rash of hip hop inspired gangster films of the early 90s, this gritty story about two cops policing the streets of LA's gang neighbourhoods is intelligent, well written and well acted with a nicely balanced non-judgmental viewpoint.
deano
Super Reviewer
½ March 13, 2007
Brave, but ultimately rather disappointing story of mismatched cop Robert Duvall and Sean Penn assigned to gang duty in L.A. Although it has its moments, it's not so different from every other movie of its kind, unless you count the extraordinary amount of swearing.
sanjurosamurai
Super Reviewer
January 25, 2007
ghetto
Super Reviewer
March 13, 2006
I dare Robert Duvall to not play the role of a guy who understands minoritys and crazy people.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ July 21, 2014
"You can lose your sight of it all, and the darkness inside you can make you feel small, but I see your true colors shining through!" Man, forget Cyndi Lauper, especially here, because we're talking about a cop movie, and it's that good, old-fashioned, generic kind of man's man's cop movie, with Robert Duvall, and Sean Penn with aviator sunglasses. You've got to love that one, cheap-looking DVD cover for this film which features that, in front of hood rats and explosions, because it shows you just how desperate Dennis Hopper is to look cool as a filmmaker. Interesting how before he was the bad guy in "Speed", Hopper, as a director, was actually guiding the cops to save the day, yet apparently still cause a lot of explosions along the way. That DVD cover must have got most of this film's money towards explosives, because I don't know how much this film can spend on hardcore action, what with its being an independent film that was likely already out a good bit of money when it got Sean Penn and Robert Duvall on board. That investment must have paid off, because people put almost $50 million into the box office and over $20 million in rentals to see Duvall and Penn take on the Bloods, Crips and Mexican gangs. Man, this movie sounds cool, but no, it's not quite that exciting, even though it doesn't put a great deal of attention into certain depths.

The film opens up telling you not much of anything about the leads beyond their mission, then proceeds to meander along the goings-on of East L.A., as seen by both the cops and the gangs, and does so emptily, doing little to truly flesh out its characters, and not even having enough action to compensate for the lack of depth, like other police dramas of this type. Of course, outside of that, this is more of the same as a police drama, putting in just enough twists for you to better notice the tropes that ultimately make this a predictable, almost manufactured-feeling effort, despite an ambition which might not even be just. There is a fair deal of intrigue to this story on paper, and in execution, it is done plenty of justice, but at the end of the day, this isn't an especially meaty story concept, and it grows harder and harder to deny this the more the film drags along. Clocking in at two hours, this film outstays its welcome, and more so than you might guess, even with all of my complaints about this narrative's natural shortcomings, as it goes packed with so many layers and shifts in focus that storytelling gets to be seriously uneven, - if not episodic in feel - when it's not packed with so much do-little material that the storytelling gets to be borderline monotonous. Before too long, the film gets to be just plain aimless, meandering along with pacing and structuring so disjointed that it has to be seen in order to be believed as a blow to entertainment value and sense of momentum almost as serious as cold spells in direction which range from bland to dull. The final product left me a little cold, and although it is more inspired than I expected in a number of ways, it's also flimsier than I expected, ultimately falling flat as yet another somewhat forgettable police thriller. With that said, the final product entertains enough to get you by, or at least Dennis Hopper does.

There are plenty of areas in which Dennis Hopper, as director, doesn't seem to have much of an idea as to what he's doing, what with the meandering, unfocused storytelling, but that directorial thoughtfulness can be commended for its being somewhat unique in the context of a film of this type, and for hitting moments of effectiveness which provide glimpses into what could have been. If nothing else, the subtle engagement value holds you over until Hopper delivers on some surprisingly thrilling action sequences to offer heights in a liveliness which rarely falls so considerably that you can't get some sort of a grip of the value of this story concept. This may be somewhat thin subject matter which has been done time and again, but through all of the conventions and natural shortcomings, in addition to all of the convoluted bloatings, there stands a promising portrait on gang violence, and police actions against it. Michael Schiffer's writing more-or-less obscures the potential of this film, it gets to be so flimsy, with conventions and issues in focus and pacing, as well as other issues to meet some undeniable strengths, which range from occasions of memorable wit, to moments of convincing effectiveness in a gutsy portrayal of police procedural and gang affairs. There are some surprises of uniqueness and interesting thoroughness in this drama, yet outside of that, there's not much to compliment in this still-adequately engaging affair, carried about as much as anything by the performances. It is ultimately the underwritten performances which keep most consistent in this film, and even then, there are some weak supporting players, but only a few, who can be forgotten next to the charisma of and chemistry between Sean Penn and Robert Duvall which never fail to hold your attention. The engaging efforts of the leads may be challenged by the many shortcomings of the film, yet they most recurrently represent the inspiration that goes into making the film reasonably engaging, with some solid highlights to accompany more than a few lowlights.

Bottom line, little is said about the characters, and about a little uniqueness is placed into the aimlessly overdrawn, uneven and often blandly cold handling of a story of limited consequence, but not such little consequence that highlights in action, direction, writing and acting don't secure Dennis Hopper's "Colors" as a serviceable, if often limp study on the police's and L.A. gangs' brutal interactions amongst themselves and with each other.

2.5/5 - Fair
Super Reviewer
November 25, 2007
An okay "cop in the hood" movie that is missing more than just the "u" in its title. Yes, we all know Duvall and Penn are great but would we really consider this film to be a part of their personal canon?
Super Reviewer
December 27, 2009
A compelling and vivid look into the hard-core gang life of East Los Angeles and the efforts of the L.A.P.D and the anti-gang police unit known as C.R.A.S.H in trying to keep the gang violence under control. A seasoned street cop played brilliantly by Robert Duvall and his young hot-head rookie partner Sean Penn in a superb performance are forced to work together with anti-gang unit to stop a upcoming turf war between to rival gangs. A gritty powerful film directed very skillfully by Dennis Hopper with a outstanding supporting cast that includes Don Cheadle, Maria Conchita Alonso, Damond Wayans and Tony Todd. Recommened.
Super Reviewer
½ May 7, 2009
A good cop film with, as expected, great performances.
Super Reviewer
½ December 9, 2012
As good of an actor as Dennis Hopper is, his talent as a director is questionable. "Colors" should have been grittier and shorter, which would have made it a much more involving and realistic experience, but it isn't. Hopper's direction is uneven and unfocused, making the film feel strangely unconvincing, and just when things start to get good, there's only five minutes left. "Colors" isn't a bad film, but it could have been a great film under different direction. It's just mediocre.
Super Reviewer
March 10, 2008
great penn flick, booming ice t soundtrack and another reason why south central aint no place to be
February 7, 2015
More of a story about the stressful relationship between 2 cops with gang life as a backdrop than an actual gangsploitation, but has good several plots all while the main story develops. Also a good period piece of 1980s street gangsterism.
April 29, 2014
I've seen a few of these 'LAPD vs. the gangstas' movies and this one is about on par with the good ones. Robert Duvall is one of my favorite actors and Sean Penn is pretty convincing in his role too. Decent but not great is how I'd rate this.
½ August 11, 2013
a little formulaic. A few scenes where it seemed guys from different gangs were hanging out which was confusing. The story is more about the 2 cops then it is about LA gangs.
½ April 24, 2013
4/21/13 I couldn't get into this film. It just felt so old. Some parts were fake too and I think that prevented me from really getting into the story. For example, the car chase scene near the beginning has Sean Penn driving and it looks SO fake the way he throws around the wheel. The "colors" theme song by Ice T is rap at its worst too. Erika like this film, and I could see how people could enjoy the story, but I never "bought in".
½ March 12, 2013
More of a story about the stressful relationship between 2 cops with gang life as a backdrop than an actual gangsploitation, but has good several plots all while the main story develops. Also a good period piece of 1980s street gangsterism.
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