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Rampart Reviews

Tom Long
Detroit News
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Where's it all go? Nowhere, really, just down a dirty, disappointing hole. Harrelson deserved better.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: C

March 9, 2012

Miami Herald
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Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 2/4

March 2, 2012
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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It's a remarkably compelling film.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 1, 2012
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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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).

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 4/5

March 1, 2012
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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"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.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 2/4

February 23, 2012
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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This isn't your average out-of-control character, and Harrelson has to work against a narrowly defined screenplay that is short on specifics.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3/4

February 23, 2012
Tom Huddleston
Time Out
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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.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 5/5

February 21, 2012
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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Director Oren Moverman understands that Woody Harrelson is a real actor and makes movies to prove it.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

February 16, 2012
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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Something to see and little to remember, an acrid character study undone by narrative implausibilities and its own lack of purpose.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2/4

February 16, 2012
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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"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.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3.5/4

February 16, 2012
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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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.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 4/4

February 16, 2012
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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He insists on "keeping the family together" with the same irrational devotion he applies to his job.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

February 16, 2012
Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail
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Hallucinatory, elliptical, with dialogue as rich as chocolate cake, this is the self-proclaimed Demon Dog of American crime fiction at his fevered best.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3.5/4

February 10, 2012
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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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.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3/4

February 9, 2012
John Anderson
Wall Street Journal
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With Mr. Harrelson, Mr. Moverman has created an antihero of epic proportions and indiscretions.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

February 9, 2012
Andrew O'Hehir
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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.

Full Review Source:

February 9, 2012
Noel Murray
AV Club
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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.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B

February 9, 2012
Jake Coyle
Associated Press
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Instead of leading toward understanding, "Rampart" remains a dirty cop caricature, more a complaint than a story.

Full Review Source: Associated Press | Original Score: 1.5/4

February 8, 2012
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
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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.

Full Review Source: MSN Movies | Original Score: 3/5

February 6, 2012
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
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Bad Lieutenant made by a tediously finger-wagging Jew instead of a tediously desecrating Catholic.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

February 6, 2012
Ian Buckwalter
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Moverman gets away with a protagonist who it's impossible to root for by making sure we care about the fallout of his meltdown.

Full Review Source: NPR | Original Score: 8/10

December 8, 2011
Richard Roeper
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It's either one of the last great movies of 2011 or one of the first great movies of 2012.

Full Review Source: Richard | Original Score: 4.5/5

December 2, 2011
James Berardinelli
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It's a downbeat character study and, for the most part, it executes that aspect adequately.

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

December 1, 2011
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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An unnerving warts-and-all portrait of a man staggering around in circles of arrogant self-deception.

Full Review Source: New York Observer | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 30, 2011
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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Rampart won't be for everyone, but it's the work of a major directorial voice. It's a thriller on fire.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A

November 23, 2011
Kyle Smith
New York Post
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It takes on a throbbing, sick monotone. This isn't a concert, it's a bass guitar solo, all thumping blackness.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 2/4

November 23, 2011
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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"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.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 23, 2011
William Goss
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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.

Full Review Source:

November 22, 2011
David Fear
Time Out New York
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Harrelson's portrayal ... is perilously close to perfect; it's the finest, most harrowing thing he's ever done.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 4/5

November 22, 2011
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
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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."

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3.5/5

November 22, 2011
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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"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.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 3.5/5

November 22, 2011
Karina Longworth
Village Voice
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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.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

November 22, 2011
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
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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.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/5

November 22, 2011
Justin Chang
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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.

Full Review Source: Variety

November 21, 2011
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
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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.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

November 21, 2011
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
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Harrelson rewards watching; he's no less potent at rest than when he explodes in calculated rage.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

September 15, 2011
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