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Cop Land

Cop Land (1997)



Average Rating: 5.9/10
Critic Reviews: 19
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 6

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 50,142

My Rating

Movie Info

The second film from writer/director James Mangold, the corruption drama Cop Land stars Sylvester Stallone as Freddy Heflin, the much-denigrated sheriff of tiny Garrison, NJ, a community which -- thanks to a technicality -- is populated almost entirely by members of the New York City Police Department. When young cop Murray "Superboy" Babitch (Michael Rapaport) becomes embroiled in a controversial shoot-out which leaves two black youths dead, he apparently commits suicide rather than face the


Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense

James Mangold

Jul 3, 2001


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All Critics (62) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (45) | Rotten (17) | DVD (16)

Mangold certainly knew what he was doing when he cast Keitel and De Niro.

April 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Cop Land shares its leading man's slow-wittedness, but also his likability.

April 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Slate
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mangold is something of a pseudo-Scorsese.

April 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Newsweek
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's pretty funny, actually, that Stallone gained 40 pounds to play this role, and what the movie needs more than anything else is to eat a salad and do some sit-ups.

April 9, 2008 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Although too simplistic in its good-guys/bad-guys approach to morally and emotionally ambiguous material, Cop Land emerges as an absorbing and dramatic yarn about exposing the evil doings of some of New York's finest.

April 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A solidly entertaining drama that stays true to the independent spirit of its filmmakers

April 9, 2008
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A hugely underrated crime drama that deserves - nay, demands - serious revaluation, with Stallone impressing in what is arguably the performance of his career.

August 3, 2013 Full Review Source: Flix Capacitor
Flix Capacitor

Top acting honors go to Ray Liotta as Gary Figgis, a cokehead cop who just might be Freddy's only friend.

September 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

not your traditional action flick, nor your traditional cop flick. It has elements of each, all wrapped up in a new type of story that drips in realism and gray characters.

August 15, 2012 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

A good effort, but the star power on show throws the proceedings off kilter somewhat, hiking up an expectation that the film ultimately cannot live up to.

April 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Comment (1)
Empire Magazine

A low-key tale of corrupt cops that recalls the gritty police procedurals of the 70s.

April 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

It sizzles toward an explosive and satisfying climax in which everything -- Stallone included -- fully bursts into life.

April 9, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

At times, it's like three episodes of NYPD Blue jammed together and whittled down to feature length.

July 30, 2007 Full Review Source:

Mangold went to so much trouble to give Stallone a good role, but he forgot to write good parts for Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, Annabella Sciorra and Cathy Moriarity.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid | Comment (1)
Combustible Celluloid

It's an interesting parable/western and, perhaps, a start for Stallone's new career.

April 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

In the early '70s, people made movies like Cop Land all the time; Stallone is a reason they don't make them so often anymore. Maybethis is his way of making it up to us.

January 2, 2005 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Rocky Balboa meets Donnie Brasco.

June 29, 2004 Full Review Source: Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

Audience Reviews for Cop Land

Impressive action drama that has gotten an unfair reputation, Cop Land features an ensemble cast lead by Sylvester Stallone in one of his finest roles since the 80's. This a highly entertaining cop movie, and I must admit, I was skeptical about seeing it at first, but I was surprised at how good it turned out. There are parts in the film that good have been reworked, just make it a bit more fleshed out in terms of story. As it is, it's a good story, but it could have been done a bit better as well. Now, that doesn't make Cop Land a movie, but it does leave you wanting a highly memorable picture. Cop Land has an ambitious scope for a storyline, and it does work for the most part, but at times it doesn't unleash its full potential of what it could have been. Luckily the great cast of varied talent more than makes up for the films shortcomings and there is enough intrigue to keep you involved from start to finish. Director James Mangold directs this action drama, and he manages to pull something quite good here, and Cop Land is a film that though could have been better, isn't as bad as you might think. Overall, this is an entertaining thrill ride with a great cast, but like I said, at times it could have been better. Nonetheless, this is worth watching, and this film features of Sly's best performances. If you're looking for a well layered and engaging picture, Cop Land is a worthy film to watch. With a cast like this, it more than makes up for its few weak moments, and you can easily enjoy a feature film that has enough action, thrills and entertainment to keep you on the edge of seat till the very end.
February 13, 2014
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Sheriff Freddy Heflin: I look at this town, and I don't like what I see.

"No One Is Above The Law"

Cop Land is a solid, suspenseful, and thrilling cop/crime drama. It has a large and great cast, including Sylvester Stallone(in one of his best roles ever), Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, and Michael Rapaport. This is also one of the first films from director James Mangold, and his writing, while slightly messy at times, is what manages to make the movie more than just a star driven vehicle and into a truly good film.

Cop Land is about a city in New Jersey, where most of the residents and NYPD officers that live there despite working in New York City. The reason they live there, they say, is to get away from a city that calls them the filth. Early on, a young officer nicknamed Superboy is driving home when a car sideswipes him and rushes off. He gives chase and mistakes something in the passengers hand for a gun, after his tire blows. He ends up shooting at the vehicle and killing both black passengers. His uncle is a big name cop in New York, who started the cop movement into Garrison, New Jersey. When no gun is found in the car of the deceased, Superboy is claimed to have jumped from the bridge to his death to avoid the investigation that was to come. But there's a lot more at work here than that. Soon a internal affairs officer shows up in Garrison to talk to the sheriff, and tells him he believes Superboy is still alive and that there's a lot more going on Garrison then meets the eye.

When I see movies that have such a large and great cast, I expect them to be character driven all the way. But characters don't drive this film, Mangold's story does. The story is well thought out and executed, and I enjoyed all the elements of it. It was as satisfying of a film of this genre type that I've seen.

I can't recommend this one enough, especially if you are into crime, cop, or mob films. It's a film that is extremely underrated and never really talked about, but one that definitely packs a punch and is engrossing and entertaining throughout. Do yourself a favor and give this one a look.
December 31, 2013
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

A pure exhilarating knockout. A utterly powerful and white knuckled thriller. A gritty, tense, scorching, explosive, remarkable and electrifying movie. The all-star cast is outstanding, every one of them deliver such force and dedication to their roles. It's safe to say the film is as good as it's cast. Sylvester Stallone is riveting, he turns in one of his best performances since Rocky. Stallone does something new and extremely compelling here, it should be seen. He`s just not in this one to fight, he`s in it to win, and win he does. Harvey Kietel is terrific. Robert De Niro is brilliant. Ray Liotta is explosive. A film that cant be beat, its unforgettable and and truly incredible to watch. A thrilling and relentlessly exciting film lots of action, suspense and drama. An edge of your seat film from beginning to end that just roars across the screen with its dramatic intensity.
January 1, 2013

Super Reviewer

Stallone's best performance. Hands down. In fact, the entire supporting cast(Harvey Keitel, Rober DeNiro, Ray Liotta, Cathy Moriarty, Robert Patrick, Janeane Garofalo, Annabella Sciorra, and Michael Rapaport) all give excellent performances in this gritty, tight, well written and superbly directed crime drama from James Mangold.
July 8, 2012
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

    1. Freddy Heflin: I'm stone deaf son.
    – Submitted by Jesse K (18 months ago)
View all quotes (1)

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Foreign Titles

  • Copland (UK)
  • Copland (FR)
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