Above the Law (1988) - Rotten Tomatoes

Above the Law (1988)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Directed by future Fugitive helmsman Andrew Davis, Above the Law is one of a handful of Steven Seagal films with an appeal extending beyond Seagal's hardcore fans. Making his feature film debut, the star plays a Vietnam vet-turned-Chicago cop (what a parlay!) who uncovers an insidious conspiracy when he plans a major drug bust. The FBI tells him to forget the bust-on direct orders from the CIA. The plot is essentially an excuse for Seagal to smash heads and kick butt at the slightest provocation; still, it is not so much the violence content as the film's depiction of drug users that earned Above the Law an R rating. All this, and Pam Grier and Sharon Stone too!
Rating:
R (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Warner Home Video

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Cast

Steven Seagal
as Nico Toscani
Henry Silva
as Zagon
Pam Grier
as Delores Jackson
Sharon Stone
as Sara Toscani
Ron Dean
as Lukich
Daniel Faraldo
as Salvano
Miguel Nino
as Chi Chi
Nicholas Kusenko
as Agent Neeley
Chelcie Ross
as Nelson Fox
Gregory Alan Williams
as Agent Halloran
Thalmus Rasulala
as Deputy Superintendent Crowder
Jack Wallace
as Uncle Branca
Joseph Kosala
as Lt. Strozah
John Drummond
as TV Reporter
Ronnie Barron
as CIA Bartender
Metta Davis
as Rosa Toscani
Gene Barge
as Detective Henderson
Danny Goldring
as Zagon's Aide
Mike James
as Officer O'Hara
India Cooper
as Sanctuary Nun
Henry Godinez
as Father Tomasino
Joe D. Lauck
as Senator Harrison
Rafael Gonzalez
as Abandano
Cheryl Hamada
as Watanabe
Ralph Foody
as Federal Clerk
Rom Milanovich
as Man in Bar
Toni Fleming
as Grandma Zingaro
Le Tuan
as Interpreter
Chantara Nop
as Cambodian Irregular
Al Rasho
as Grocery Owner
Mike Coglianese
as Branca's Bodyguard
Sandy Holt
as Hostess
Mike Nakayama
as NEC Show Rep
Zaid Farid
as Street Dude
Juan Ramírez
as Machete Man
Mario Nieves
as Man with Gun
Terry Stewart
as Machete Man's Buddy
Lisa Tejero
as Refugee Woman
Chris Karchmar
as Refugee Man
Clare Peck
as Judge Alspaugh
April Tran
as Asian Prisoner
Dennis Phun
as Asian Prisoner
Gary Goldman
as CIA Interrogator
Anthony Cannata
as Wiseguy Hitman
Lee de Broux
as CIA Interrogator
Patrick Gorman
as CIA Interrogator
Michael Rooker
as Man in Bar
Dan Janecek
as Man in Bar
Tom Muzila
as Aikido Fighter
Tom Milanovich
as Man in Bar
Gene Hartline
as Man in Bar
Craig Dunn
as Aikido Fighter
Joe V. Greco
as Father Joseph Gennaro
Nick Kusenko
as FBI Agent Neeley
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Critic Reviews for Above the Law

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (2)

Woefully short on originality, intelligibility and anything resembling taste.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

It contains 50 percent more plot than it needs, but that allows it room to grow in areas not ordinarily covered in action thrillers.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

...the overstuffed narrative contributes heavily to the movie's eventual downfall...

Full Review… | January 20, 2016
Reel Film Reviews

A jejune actioner that has pretensions of making a political statement about such things as drugs, smuggling and illegals.

Full Review… | April 9, 2015
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

...old-fashioned, nonstop violence from beginning to end, with subtlety out the window.

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Movie Metropolis

Seagal's best.

April 26, 2004
Reno Gazette-Journal

Audience Reviews for Above the Law

sets the stage for what every other seagal film would be for me - entertaining and fun to watch, a guilty pleasure, although the same as every other film he has ever made in most regards. overall, i love this movie.

danny d
danny d

Super Reviewer

½

After watching it again, I realised that there was more to this film than a typical Seagal flick. For starters, its his first major hit and it also set the standard for the 90's cop thriller drama. Dont expect this to be an action movie, its a cold hard thriller with Seagal for the first time showing his red hot temper and devestating his opponents as he battles a shadowy CIA group dealing drugs and weapons from South America and into the US. Framed, harrassed and finally marked for assassination, Seagal plays Nico, a diamond hard cop and special ops veteran who crosses the path of his old enemies from Vietnam and the black group who believe themselves to be untouchable. With a good cast and helmed by Andrew Davis (Under Seige and The Fugitive) it is a plot worth thinking about as you dont know how the pieces fit together until the latter part of the movie, so its not a typical dmub story, its got meaning and a moral, which is expressed through Seagal's script and narrative. Very modern and slicker than your average movie, this one is worth watching, dont dismiss it as a cheap Seagal flick, its probably one of his best.

Khris N
Khris N

Super Reviewer

Seagal's first starring role with a very impressive cast led by Blaxploitation-veteran Pam Grier as his long-suffering partner, Sharon Stone as his wife and Rat Pack hangaround Henry de Silva as the bad guy. A good movie and a sign of things to come for Aikido-legend Seagal - at least until he did Under Seige 2.

Derek Daniels
Derek Daniels

Super Reviewer

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