Bad Lieutenant

1992

Bad Lieutenant

Critics Consensus

Bad Lieutenant will challenge less desensitized viewers with its depiction of police corruption, but Harvey Keitel's committed performance makes it hard to turn away.

77%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 47

73%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 16,121
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Movie Info

If police lieutenant Harvey Keitel's life could get any more sordid, he could probably sell tickets. The least of his vices is gambling, which has gotten him in Dutch with the mob. He abuses his body with drugs and his soul with hookers, and now he's turned to exploiting teenage girls for sex. Keitel is forced to reassess his life while investigating the rape of a nun. Director Abel Ferrara co-wrote the screenplay with Zoe Lund, who as Zoe Tamerlis starred in Ferrara's cult classic Ms. 45. A soundtrack tune by rapper Schoolly D, which was included in the initial release of Bad Lieutenant, featured a sample from Led Zeppelin which was used without permission; the song has since been excised from the soundtrack. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast

Harvey Keitel
as The Lieutenant
Victor Argo
as Beat Cop
Paul Hipp
as Jesus
Brian McElroy
as Lieutenant's Son Number 1
Frankie Acciario
as Lieutenant's Son Number 2
Peggy Gormley
as Lieutenant's Wife
Stella Keitel
as Lieutenant's Daughter
John Steven Jones
as Kid Number 2
Shawn McLean
as Kid Number 1
Stephen Chen
as Korean Store Owner
Frank Acciarto
as Lt.'s Son Number 2
Lambert Moss
as Veronica
Nicholas Decegli
as Limelight Guide
Larry Mullane
as Detective Larry
Bo Dietl
as Detective Bo
Nicholas de Cegli
as Limelight Guide
Gene Canfield
as Irish Cop
John Clohessy
as Radio Announcer
Eddie Daniels
as Jersey Girl Driver
Bob Murphy
as Play by Play Announcer
Bianca Bakiia
as Jersey Girl Passenger
Ed Kovens
as Monsignor
Minnie Gentry
as Elderly Woman
Mike Fella
as Detective Mike
Mike Ciravolo
as Detective Michael
John Cloghessy
as Radio Announcer Number 2
Chris 'Mad Dog' Russo
as Radio Announcer Number 1
Warner Fusselle
as Play-by-Play Announcer
View All

News & Interviews for Bad Lieutenant

Critic Reviews for Bad Lieutenant

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (36) | Rotten (11)

Audience Reviews for Bad Lieutenant

  • Jan 04, 2017
    A film designed to make you sick. It's part moral tale, part neo-noir. Ferrara crafted an extremely unlikeable film with obnoxious characters, but realistic enough to make you think about the consequences of your each action if you don't learn to repent.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Apr 13, 2014
    Bad Lieutenant is an intense drama directed by Abel Ferara and starring Harvey Keitel in an intense performance that is one of his darkest roles of his career. He plays a corrupt cop, and he searches for salvation after years of drug abuse and gambling. Atmospheric and dark, Bad Lieutenant is one of Ferara's finest directorial efforts along with King of New York. What makes this a truly compelling picture is the way that Keitel delivers a powerful performance that is truly disturbing. Ferara's direction here is much more focused than his previous work, and he has matured as a director that truly knows how to create an effective and memorable drama. The story is very good and is an intense portrayal of corruption. Keitel dominates the screen with his presence and he is perfect for the part. Add to that Ferara's raw, gritty direction and you have a stellar picture that resonates with the viewer. Abel Ferara is a master at crafting exploitation films, and with Bad Lieutenant he delivers a film that has genre elements, but added flair to make a somewhat more mainstream picture. The result is a drama that feels real, in your face and above all memorable. Ferara manages to make you feel that you're in the chaos and in turn makes you feel uncomfortable. The film is not perfect, but it is a film that is entertaining, thrilling and is a roller coaster ride in the lead characters life. Brilliantly acted, directed and shot, Bad Lieutenant is a gritty picture that is constantly riveting and thrilling. Abel Ferara has crafted a strong film, and quite possible the strongest film of his career, and he manages to take the elements of his early work, and revamp it to make a much more serious picture, and like King of New York, Bad Lieutenant is Ferara's strongest work.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Nov 16, 2013
    A series of long, and often uncomfortable scenes, weather it's a rape of a nun or an ignored daughter, the dark film brings a certain jazz to pessimistic situations. This is due to a combination of Kietels electric yet grimly performance and director Ferrara adding his love for style in. The film is perverted and graphic earning its NC-17 rating to the fullest, teaches you to snort coke and get a fake blow job. Many scenes were pointless, and to long, but an equal amount of other scenes were stunning. The oddly symbolic church scenes brought surrealism to the screen, with the slum scenes bringing a strong sense of neo-realism. My favorite of the three Ferrara films I've seen.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Jan 30, 2013
    Although the "sequel" Port of Call New Orleans features the very goofy and funny iguana scene, it pales in comparison to the original that defined Harvey Keitel and has kept him in these types of roles. Keitel just sizzles in this depiction of the cop gone wrong.
    John B Super Reviewer

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