The Glass Shield (1994) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Glass Shield (1994)

The Glass Shield (1994)

The Glass Shield



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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 who is truly hospitable to him is Deborah (Lori Petty), the only female cop at Edgemar and the target of as much abuse as J.J. Hoping to somehow fit in, J.J. digs into his work and tries to be "just one of the guys," ignoring the racism and corruption around him. However, one night J.J.'s fellow officer Bono (Don Harvey) pulls over Teddy Woods (Ice Cube), an arrogant and uncommunicative young black man, and in the midst of an illegal search of his car, he finds a gun; even though he knows that Bono acted improperly, J.J. put his loyalty behind the force and lies to support Bono's story. The gun's serial number matches that of a weapon used to murder the wife of Mr. Greenspan (Elliott Gould), a prominent Jewish businessman, and Woods is charged with the killing. However, J.J. discovers that the number of the gun had been altered, and he has to decide what to do when he realizes that Teddy could be sentenced to death without having committed a serious crime. The Glass Shield also features Bernie Casey, Sy Richardson, and M. Emmet Walsh.more
Rating: PG-13 (for intense dramatic material)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: Charles Burnett
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 5, 2002


Michael Boatman
as J.J. Johnson
Lori Petty
as Deborah Fields
Ice Cube
as Teddy Woods
Elliott Gould
as Greenspan
Richard Anderson
as Clarence Massey
Don Harvey
as Deputy Jack Bono
Michael Gregory
as Deputy Roy Bush
Sy Richardson
as Mr. Taylor
Natalia Nogulich
as Judge Helen Lewis
Natalija Nogulich
as Judge Helen Lewis
Erich Anderson
as District Attorney Ir...
Wanda De Jesus
as Carmen Munoz
Victoria Dillard
as Barbara Simms
Tommy Redmond Hicks
as Reverend Banks
Gary Wood
as Sergeant Chuck Gilmo...
Linden Chiles
as Sergeant Berry Foste...
Corbin Timbrook
as Deputy Kurt Smith
James Fitzpatrick
as Deputy Jim Ryan
David McKnight
as Mr. Harold Johnson
Thomas W. Babson
as U.S. Marshall
Monty Bane
as Coroner
Ernie Banks
as Mr. Woods
Jim Boyce
as Paramedic No. 1
Marcia del Mar
as Mrs. Cruz
Mkeba W. Dunn
as Teddy Woods' Girlfri...
Leigh Dupree
as Court Clerk
Eric Fleeks
as Bailiff
Patricia Forte
as Mrs. Marshall
Jim Hardie
as Insurance Investigat...
James Ingersoll
as Jury Foreman
Kyle-Scott Jackson
as Mr. Marshall
Kimble Jemison
as Buddy Johnson
Richard Kuss
as Judge Speck
Michael R. Larson
as Arraignment Lawyer
David Lodge
as Reporter No. 2
Rod McFall
as Cyclist
Christine McGraw
as Reporter No. 1
Julio Oscar Mechoso
as Assistant D.A.
Dino Parks
as Deputy
Al Rodrigo
as Richard Rodrigo
Jose Rosario
as Interpreter Castro
Ed Ruffalo
as Sheriff Sergeant
Lee Ryan
as Insurance Investigat...
Jason Saffran
as The Punk
Drew Snyder
as Sheriff Sergeant
Joseph Walsh
as Councilman Ross
Donnice Wilson
as Mrs. Johnson
Biff Yeager
as Investigating Office...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Glass Shield

Critic Reviews for The Glass Shield

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (8)

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… | July 6, 2010
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top 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.

Full Review… | February 13, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

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… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Glass Shield

A pretty good Police Drama about how once again the white man has done the black man wrong. Still Story line worth 4 stars

Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

the worst ending in movie history

danny d

Super Reviewer


Not sparkling. Very run of the mill.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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