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The Glass Shield (The Johnny Johnson Trial) Reviews

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

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

Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Original Score: B-

March 15, 2013
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: D

July 6, 2010
Todd McCarthy
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.

Full Review Source: Variety

March 26, 2009
Emanuel Levy

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.

Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Original Score: B-

August 17, 2006

Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: Time Out

June 24, 2006
Eric Henderson
Slant Magazine

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.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 3/4

August 29, 2005
Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews

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

| Original Score: 3/4

August 16, 2005
John J. Puccio
Movie Metropolis

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.

Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis | Original Score: 5/10

August 13, 2005
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

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

Full Review | Original Score: B

August 9, 2005
Greg Muskewitz

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

| Original Score: 1/5

July 11, 2003
Scott Weinberg

A surprisingly compelling look at racism amongst police officers.

| Original Score: 3/5

July 25, 2002
Christopher Null

Definitely not the work of a genius

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 2.5/5

February 12, 2002
Peter Rainer
Los Angeles Times
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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.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3/5

February 13, 2001
Peter Stack
San Francisco Chronicle
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An implausible, wearisome clunker trying to ring true but making only dull thuds.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

January 1, 2000
Hal Hinson
Washington Post
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It has both ideas and a point of view. But the ideas are far from new, and the point of view is blatantly knee-jerk.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

January 1, 2000
James Berardinelli
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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...

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 2.5/4

January 1, 2000
Mike Clark
USA Today
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Though no masterpiece, the film is an interesting sidebar for moviegoers who try to keep up; it's like a '50s film noir oddity you catch on 3 a.m. TV, only to find that it's become a more scintillating view than Ben-Hur.

| Original Score: 3/4

January 1, 2000
Barbara Shulgasser
San Francisco Examiner

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.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner

January 1, 2000
Marjorie Baumgarten
Austin Chronicle

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

Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle | Original Score: 3/5

January 1, 2000
Daniel M. Kimmel
Worcester Telegram & Gazette

| Original Score: 3/5

May 14, 2004
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