Where's it all go? Nowhere, really, just down a dirty, disappointing hole. Harrelson deserved better.
| Original Score: C
| Original Score: 2/4
It's a remarkably compelling film.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Brown is a sick man, but Harrelson makes him so interesting, so charismatic, so ... watchable, that you can't look away, even if his actions make you want to (and they will).
| Original Score: 4/5
"Rampart" doesn't tell a coherent story as much as swirl the drain with Dave, as his increasingly desperate efforts to save himself simply result in a cascade of self-inflicted wounds.
This isn't your average out-of-control character, and Harrelson has to work against a narrowly defined screenplay that is short on specifics.
| Original Score: 3/4
Sure to provoke furious reactions in those unwilling to succumb to its mood of reckless abandon. But for those who can, this feverish slice of LA noir is set to be one of the purest cinematic pleasures of 2012.
| Original Score: 5/5
Director Oren Moverman understands that Woody Harrelson is a real actor and makes movies to prove it.
Something to see and little to remember, an acrid character study undone by narrative implausibilities and its own lack of purpose.
"Rampart" patrols some familiar streets, but this jarringly intimate study of a dirty Los Angeles cop sliding, crazily, down the drain has a distinctive new-cliche smell, pungent and alive.
Harrelson is an ideal actor for the role. Especially in tensely wound-up movies like this, he implies that he's looking at everything and then watching himself looking.
| Original Score: 4/4
He insists on "keeping the family together" with the same irrational devotion he applies to his job.
Hallucinatory, elliptical, with dialogue as rich as chocolate cake, this is the self-proclaimed Demon Dog of American crime fiction at his fevered best.
It's a testament to the direction of Oren Moverman and the script he co-wrote with James Ellroy that we care what happens to such a despicable character.
With Mr. Harrelson, Mr. Moverman has created an antihero of epic proportions and indiscretions.
This movie's too small and too dark to have gotten Harrelson into the overcrowded best-actor race, but it's without question one of the year's great performances.
The movie zooms from incident to incident, piling up examples of the anti-hero's misdeeds, primarily so it can ponder how one man could be so stubbornly wicked.
| Original Score: B
Instead of leading toward understanding, "Rampart" remains a dirty cop caricature, more a complaint than a story.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
The movie's got some strong moments, and Harrelson's work here is so committed that many might feel his character's journey is worth sitting through for that alone.
| Original Score: 3/5
Bad Lieutenant made by a tediously finger-wagging Jew instead of a tediously desecrating Catholic.
Moverman gets away with a protagonist who it's impossible to root for by making sure we care about the fallout of his meltdown.
| Original Score: 8/10
It's either one of the last great movies of 2011 or one of the first great movies of 2012.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
It's a downbeat character study and, for the most part, it executes that aspect adequately.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
An unnerving warts-and-all portrait of a man staggering around in circles of arrogant self-deception.
Rampart won't be for everyone, but it's the work of a major directorial voice. It's a thriller on fire.
| Original Score: A
It takes on a throbbing, sick monotone. This isn't a concert, it's a bass guitar solo, all thumping blackness.
"Rampart" has nothing but great performances - particularly Harrelson's brutally vulgar, violent one as Dave Brown. And it gets more of Ellroy's world on screen than any other adaptation.
Harrelson both relishes the conviction with which Dave continually acts out and sells the tumult that follows when he has no one left to hate but himself.
Harrelson's portrayal ... is perilously close to perfect; it's the finest, most harrowing thing he's ever done.
Playing a cop at his worst, his hands never dirtier, the stakes never higher, Woody Harrelson has perhaps never been better than he is in the seamy, scandalous jumbled rumble of "Rampart."
| Original Score: 3.5/5
"Rampart" tells a familiar story with such visual punch and hustling energy that it comes close to feeling like a new kind of movie, though it's more just a tough gloss on American crime stories past.
Much like Ellroy's noir classics The Black Dahlia and American Tabloid, Rampart is an imaginative work of historical crime fiction using invented characters to reanimate a specific time and place.
Harrelson makes Dave Brown fascinating even as writer-director Oren Moverman - who also made "The Messenger" - allows the film, from a James Ellroy screenplay, to become a sprawl.
While the film is drenched in atmosphere and packs a verbal and visceral punch, its relentless downward spiral makes for an overdetermined, not entirely satisfying character study.
In trying to create the worst cop ever in a realistic milieu, director Oren Moveerman comes up with a creature that is neither credible nor interesting.
Harrelson rewards watching; he's no less potent at rest than when he explodes in calculated rage.