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The Glass Shield (The Johnny Johnson Trial)

The Glass Shield (The Johnny Johnson Trial) (1994)

tomatometer

38

Average Rating: 4.9/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 5

No consensus yet.

audience

41

liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 1,176

My Rating

Movie Info

In this crime drama, an honest lawman has to decide where his loyalties lie in a corrupt system. All his life, J.J. (Michael Boatman) has dreamed of being a cop, and after graduating from the Police Academy, he gets his wish, becoming the first African-American policeman based out of Los Angeles' Edgemar station. However, J.J. discovers that his race makes him an outsider among his fellow officers. His presence is not welcomed by his superior, Massey (Richard Anderson), and the only colleague

PG-13,

Drama, Action & Adventure

Charles Burnett

Feb 5, 2002

Miramax

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All Critics (22) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (8) | DVD (9)

Ambition is something to respect in an artist, but Charles Burnett's police-corruption drama The Glass Shield is such a maladroit piece of filmmaking that its weighty themes and sclerotic tangle of a plot end up making it a trial to sit through.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A powerful moral drama that tries to deal with the racism at the root of many problems in contempo American society.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie feels sketchy, as if Burnett chopped the flesh off his screenplay and left us only the bare bones.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a rigorous, angry piece of work, but it misses out on the psychological depths that have made Burnett's previous films among the glories of recent American independent moviemaking.

February 13, 2001 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An implausible, wearisome clunker trying to ring true but making only dull thuds.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Burnett's screenplay has a tendency to be a little too preachy, especially during the unsatisfying final scene. There's a fine line between getting the message across through subtlety and becoming didactic...

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An angry anti-cop message flick directed and written to be subversive by angry LA based indie filmmaker Charles Burnett.

March 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Despite studio interference, it's still a decent film, and the association of a black man and a Jewish woman (as two outcasts) is a welcome addition to the genre.

August 17, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Burnett uses a socially discomforting scenario that has only vague implications of deeper malice to initiate a brave portrayal of a Caucasian-centric sort of martial law.

August 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

The film's ambition makes Burnett's occasional overstatement easy to forgive.

August 16, 2005
Groucho Reviews

Credit writer/director Burnett for having the courage of his convictions, even if the outcome is a film that a lot of people will see as clichéd and stereotyped.

August 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

an entirely honorable - if inevitably doomed - attempt to reconcile Burnett's political and social concerns with the requisites of mass entertainment.

August 9, 2005 Full Review
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Generic racial drama, hindered by a clubfooted direction and lumbering performances.

July 11, 2003
eFilmCritic.com

A surprisingly compelling look at racism amongst police officers.

July 25, 2002
eFilmCritic.com

Definitely not the work of a genius

February 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Boatman has the open-faced earnestness of someone who believes in his own goodness. As he begins to register the burden of unpleasant knowledge, we see J.J. grow up in front of our eyes.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Examiner

Though The Glass Shield gets bogged down in some of its narrative byways, the journey, nonetheless, is rich and rewarding.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Audience Reviews for The Glass Shield (The Johnny Johnson Trial)

A pretty good Police Drama about how once again the white man has done the black man wrong. Still Story line worth 4 stars
June 1, 2011
bbcfloridabound
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

the worst ending in movie history
January 3, 2007
sanjurosamurai
danny d

Super Reviewer

Not sparkling. Very run of the mill.
January 20, 2010
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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Foreign Titles

  • The Glass Shield (DE)
  • The Glass Shield (UK)
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