Cop Land Reviews

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Super Reviewer
November 6, 2011
One of James Mangold's earlier films, Cop Land displays a highly watchable raggedness (call it kitchen-sink realism, or call it spotty) that seems rather realistic but incorporates every "bad cop" movie cliche you can think of; tells a compelling story but paces it strangely; often over-explains but sometimes leaves you filling in blanks yourself, too; stands the test of time but still looks SO 90s; shows a plausible slice of life in which you root for the little guy, but anchors it to a lead character (Stallone) almost implausibly inert, rendering him hard to truly get behind. The camera work is bad, and the dialogue is by times worse, but there's a feeling to this movie that can't be discounted--a pain in Stallone's character that somehow shines through. It's not a great movie, but it's not awful either. Interesting early work from the director of Walk the Line and Girl, Interrupted--but also of Knight and Day--and one that I liked just a little bit more than I disliked.
Super Reviewer
½ February 12, 2014
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.
Super Reviewer
February 13, 2013
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.
Super Reviewer
November 6, 2006
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.
Super Reviewer
½ July 21, 2006
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.
Super Reviewer
June 14, 2006
A fantastic cast gathered for James Mangold's cop thriller about a New Jersey town where police is acting as if above the law. While the local sheriff is used to not asking too many questions and getting underestimated by the New York cops a dramatic turn of events may finally force him to step up and not look away anymore. This is definitely Stallone's strongest performance of his career. His Freddy Heflin is a kind-hearted man, brave but also without any self-confidence. As things get more and more dire, he knows what's right, even if that means he is fighting a war on his own. The rest of the cast is just as excellent, the direction flawless and even though the movie has almost no action, the tension rises with every minute. An exciting, realistic and ultimately just thriller that shows it's never too late to do the right thing.
Super Reviewer
½ March 14, 2007
Cop Land is the result of James Mangold placing Sylvester Stallone as a lead in a crime drama. That may not sound fun, but it turns out for the best.Clocking in at around 105 minutes, the film's plot trudges along at a snail's pace. While this should point to inactivity and boredom, it is the combination of story and characters that actually keep this picture afloat. Cops, the mob, and Sylvester Stallone. Believe it or not, but this film has very little in the way of action, and what little there is isn't exploding off the screen in anyway. Not to worry because the concept of corrupt cops running a town turns into a successful screenplay.With the story containing a variety of characters, the cast is made up of recognizable faces to fill those shoes. Sylvester Stallone goes out of shape for his role, while Ray Liotta swears it up all over the place. Robert De Niro contributes with his piece as well.The success of Cop Land lies with its cast members and its calm and subtle storytelling; a good viewing for a crime drama.
Super Reviewer
½ January 26, 2010
Pretty good bad cops good cops movie! I thought the story was sufficient enough to carry this movie till the end. As we can see noone is above the law specially cops, you pay for what you do!!!

Sometime in the 1970's, police officers from New York wanted a safe haven to live, away from the dangers of the streets of New York, this is when they established a "Cop Land" in the small New Jersey town of Garrison. Freddy Heflin who was always admired by the New York cops wanted to become one, but because he was deaf in one ear this prevents him from achieving his goal, but has become sheriff of Garrison. Recently there have been a dark omen surrounding the New York cops, and Freddy is now investigating on this case, then Internal Affairs officer Mo Tilden is also on the case and asks Freddy for help, but Freddy could not. Now Freddy suspects that a New York cop named Ray Donlan might be one of the many cops who is corrupted by the mob and other criminals. Now, Freddy must find a cop who is nicknamed "Superboy" who can testify against Donlan and protect him, before Donlan finds super boy and kills him.
Super Reviewer
November 19, 2009
For me, Cop Land has always been an under-appreciated classic. In many ways it pulls together a cast and plot that rivals Scorsese, but also knows how to be a great action movie inside the Crime genre. Mentioning every cast member and singing their praises individually would be pointless, they're all amazing in this. Everyone was on top form and it really shows. The characters make sense and the corruption of the NYPD is done in a believable way, not like some outlandish gimmick. If you're looking for a powerhouse movie, there is nothing as fun as this.
Super Reviewer
October 1, 2007
I'd like to see a movie where Robert Patrick ISN'T a bad guy. I like that Stallone was a slobby bum for most of the movie. And that Ray Liotta screamed a lot. All the good stuff you need for a crooked cop movie.
Super Reviewer
½ August 10, 2006
Good to see Stallone doing a more believable role. Wasn?t this the film, where they had to cut a scene, because it showed Stallone?s belly and they thought audiences would be too appalled by it? Due to his putting on weight for the role.

Quite a huge star cast, good cops, bad cops, corruption, internal affairs, The Mob ? probably not as exciting as this cast should be able to bring to the table, but none the less an interesting tale and certainly worthy of watching.
Super Reviewer
½ January 31, 2007
James Mangold's moody direction is better than his plot, but this remains a noteworthy stretch for an actor trying to leave Rocky and Rambo behind.
Super Reviewer
½ May 28, 2009
Super Reviewer
½ March 17, 2008
Who would have thought that a film that has the likes of Ray Liotta, Harvey Keitel, and Robert DeNiro would have a true break out performance from...

Sylvester Stallone.

I remember first hearing about this film and the cast and thinking why in the hell Stallone was in this. He was going to ruin this film. I have to honestly say that Stallone's performance as Freddy Heflin, the small town sheriff of Garrison is Sylvester Stallone's greatest performance of his career. And yes, I am counting Rocky.

Cop Land is about a small town called Garrison, New Jersey that is right at the bottom of the George Washington bridge and faces New York City. It's a town built by cops from the city in an attempt to get out. The problem is that many of Garrison's cops are crooked and the recent shooting incident involving one of the officers drags internal affairs into the town and investigating what goes in in the precinct and the town of garrison itself. This leaves Sheriff Heflin (Stallone) right in the middle.

With a cast like this the acting is going to be excellent. Keitel and Robert Patrick as rogue cops. Liotta as the coke head undercover cop. Frank Vincent commits a real stretch as a union president. Writer/director James Mangold creates a story that is a compelling piece that is really a woe-is-me story from the point of view of Heflin. The sheriff is a disabled (lose of hearing in one ear from saving the local beauty queen in a submerged car) NYPD wannabe that most of the community sees as a Barney Fife. This is why the film isn't typical Stallone. This character is overweight, and almost wishy-washy. This isn't Rambo or Cobra, but a guy in a rut that he knows he'll never be able to get out of and at times he's too afraid to do anything about it otherwise he'll upset the status quo.

Cop Land is a cop movie like no other and is certainly under rated as hell. I never realized it buy it has come to my attention that this is almost like a modern day western, ala Shane or The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, where a reluctant protector has to go above and beyond to save his town. A man's gotta do...
Super Reviewer
½ August 31, 2008
This is another great Sly film. Sly is great as a cop with a bad ear. Sly's just a awesome actor! Rocky proved that fact!!! and his other films as well.
Super Reviewer
December 28, 2007
I consider this to be one of the most underrated films in the last decade or so. A very strong cast with several good performances, especially Sylvester Stallone. We are used to see him as a buffed up action hero but here he does a very strong and touching portrayal of a sheriff who has to deal with crocked cops and live with the fact that his true love is married to one.

There are so many talented actors in Cop Land that most of 'em just have few scenes, like Mr De Niro. The only minor problem is Michael Rapaport. Never liked him that much...

The story is interesting, pretty typical cop story but the way Mr Mangold has directed it, makes it different from other similar movies. Here he shows us of what is to come (Girl, Interrupted, Walk the line...).

I will always remember this one as Sly's most memorable and best effort as of today. Recommended!
Super Reviewer
December 24, 2007
Spectacular western-style mob/cop movie. Stallone proves he's got the goods.
Super Reviewer
½ July 1, 2008
This movie is not near as bad as some people say. I thought Stallone was great and it also features good performances from the Big 3: DeNiro, Kietel, and Liotta. There are a lot of things that fall apart script wise, but, all in all, I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Super Reviewer
½ May 9, 2008
About the only problem with a film featuring an ensemble cast is finding one of the actors who stand out among the others. Cop Land doesn't have one because all the acting is great. This is a who's-who of incredible acting, with Stallone, De Niro, Keitel, Liotta, Michael Rappaport, Robert Patrick, John Spencer and even Janeane Garofalo taking this movie beyond the straight-to-video territory it would've otherwise landed in if the cast hadn't been so jaw-dropping. Just an incredible ride.
Super Reviewer
May 10, 2008
What's refreshing here, is Stallone's performance rivals Keitel, De Niro and Liotta's performance. I was really looking forward to Stallone's later chapter of films he might get into upon viewing this. I suppose he just couldn't let down being an action star and the lame sequels just kept a'comin. Shame.
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