Cop Land - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cop Land Reviews

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December 8, 2015
this movie's greatest sin is being so far ahead of its time. Were this released in the culture of 2007 rather than the days of 1997 when it was, it would be considered a cutting edge, innovative film in the vein of Crash (of which this film, to me, far outshines by comparison). A sneaky good film that's a great watch and certainly makes you think in light of current day events. watch it.
½ November 30, 2015
Would have enjoyed more if they didn't make Stallone the equivalent of Dewey from Scary Movie, most of the film.
½ November 27, 2015
One of the most criminally underrated movies of all time. Sly gives probably his performance next to the new rocky performance and is really subdued. Everyone else including the great de Niro is on their A game. Mangold directs a perfect looking but slightly overlong crime drama with gripping tension.
November 21, 2015
I like this film a lot and I've seen it many times. At least five times. This movie grows on you. You have to be patient because it builds slowly. Stallone proves he can act -- he definitely proves it here. An exceptional cast all around. I'm surprised that more people don't appreciate this movie.
November 3, 2015
It Was A Reasonable a Good Crime Flick.
Super Reviewer
½ September 29, 2015
"Being right is not a bullet proof vest, Freddy"

The problem with Cop Land, is that it's full of cops. Well there is that, but in all seriousness, for any fan of the crime genre they will find there are two things that are unavoidable when looking over the cast of the film. One, is legendary director Martin Scorsese and the regulars that feature in his work: There is, of course, DeNiro and Keitel (who need no introduction) but there's also Liotta (Goodfellas), Cathy Moriarty (Raging Bull) and Frank Vincent who appears in both the latter two (as well as Casino). Vincent also brings me to the other unavoidable thing... the finest television series on the subject; The Sopranos. By my count, there's no less than ten cast members that are recognisable throughout six seasons and those well versed will notice; Carmela, Paulie, Arty Buco and Vincent's Phil Leotardo, among others.

The New Jersey town of Garrison is populated by cops from the NYPD who have set up their own community to live in peace. As intended, it's a community that doesn't need policing but still employs local Sheriff, Freddy Heflin (Sylvester Stallone) to oversee things. Freddy always wanted to join the police force but was prevented from doing so because of a childhood accident that left him partially deaf. However, when Ray Donlan (Harvey Keitel) and his corrupt activities begin to surface it brings it to the attention of Internal Affairs Agent Moe Tilden (Robert DeNiro) who may just have the policeman's job opportunity that Freddy has coveted.

Narratively, the film starts very strongly and draws you into the murky depths of police corruption and cops ruling cops. Director James Mangold also seems to know what he's doing; he builds the tension slowly and assuredly and introduces his characters at precise moments. It's not long before we realise Keitel is one of the shady one's and firmly in control of his environment. Stallone also happens to establish himself quickly by playing firmly against type. The whole premise of the film is built around Sly and the, seeming inability, to do the job he's been denominated for. It's quite a distance from most of his action-hero work but it's the supporting roles of a strung out Liotta and doggedly determined DeNiro that really bring shape to the whole corrupt debacle.

All of the supporting players are brilliantly placed but it's, unsurprisingly, the aforementioned four actors that drive the film. Liotta, Keitel and DeNiro deliver the high calibre expected from them but the biggest surprise is Stallone. He's wise enough to sit back and let the heavyweights chew the scenery while he subtly underplays it and brings a touching vulnerability to his afflicted Sheriff.

With an abundance of talent on display you might ask why Cop Land doesn't entirely work? Quite simply, it's a generic and formulaic story. The leads do what they can - and they all get their moment to shine - but the lack of three dimensional characterisation and some redundant plot strands only allow them to go so far. However, despite Mangold's inability to come up with a solid script, his handling of events and a who's-who cast are very diligently attuned. It's also worth noting that the denouement is impressively intense in a High-Noon homage with Mangold, very skilfully, utilising Freddie's hearing impairment to the utmost effect and manages to turn, what would normally be considered a Hollywood hokum get-out, into a refreshing and satisfying showdown.

Alas, Cop Land is not the sum of it's parts. It had the potential to be a classic but ends up just another attempt at a genre that so many have covered to better results. That said, it's hard to argue with the cast and the solid performances but because it's easy to see the potential this film had, it makes it all the more frustrating that it doesn't quite achieve it. It's good, but it could've been great. As it goes, the problem with Cop Land is that it's not full of cops, the problem with Cop Land is that's it's full of quality actors working under restrained and clich├ęd material.

Mark Walker
September 21, 2015
Despite a bland story-line, the cast turns makes it worth watching. Stallone really impresses outside of his usual tough guy role. The pace is decent and there is some suspense.

The talent in this film is ridiculous, it's the who's who of gangster/cop dramas. The story isn't anything new.
August 27, 2015
This is a pretty good cop drama and shows the corruption inside the NYPD in many different ways. Freddy Heflin (Sylvester Stallone) is the exception as he wants an old case reopened but in the process makes many enemies trying to get what he wants. This is a very character driven piece and shows Freddy's struggles first hand. Great cast overall which allows the good writing and directing really take hold of the screen
July 29, 2015
A mountain of wasted talent. A mishmash of 90's tropes that never really works.
½ July 16, 2015
I really enjoyed this on repeat viewing. Apparently this was written and directed by Mangold which for me is pretty impressive as it feels like the story has been taken from the sort of novel I would happily engross myself in. The performances are across the board really, really good. Stallone is somewhat of a revelation here.
July 13, 2015
This movie has everything! Coke-head cops, Jersey T-1000, mustached De Niro, Simple Sly! Loses a star for not being over the top ridiculous violence.
½ July 13, 2015
Although a little predictable this is an interesting watch for a talented cast of established and (at the time) up and coming actors. Many of the established names playing taking on roles against type. Much of the cast made their way into the Soprano's not long after.
May 19, 2015
Stallone at his finest and in a great movie.
½ May 6, 2015
Who could have figured Sly would upstage De Niro but he does here and the movies better for it.
Super Reviewer
½ April 12, 2015
Not the typical Stallone film but he is still very effective. great casting with Ray Liotta, Harvey Keitel, Robert Patrick, Robert De Niro, Michael Rapaport, and Noah Emmerich also doing a great job.
½ March 20, 2015
One of Sylvester Stallone's better cinematic moments. He plays n underdog here which suits him.
March 19, 2015
Stallone...the 90s, you can't go too wrong. Nice to see Liotta play the role of a good guy for a change.
½ January 28, 2015
Grade:High 7/10

Copland is a slowly paced story that although may lack the massive
thrills some other films promise, you still get a smartly written story
intertwined with some vicious characters and a small town Cop that just
want's some justice and respect in his community.

The story as I say is smartly done and can be very much enjoyed(I mean
that in the way that it is interesting more than fun). Stallone's
character seems composed and I felt he knew what he was doing even when
the cards are against him it seemed, but yes all round the story is
good and I think this film is underrated as I have seen some say it is
just Stallone walking around a lot, it it much more than that.

The Director James Mangold well to say this his first punt at directing
it goes down very well and expectant things were thought of him, now
whether not he ever did do better it doesn't matter because this film
is a solid kind of good film. I particularly liked the script as
without it the film would have crashed, thoroughly written well and
seemed to match each character perfectly which I guess goes to who ever
cast such actors.

Stallone and Keitel are the stars in truth of this and they perform
well throughout the entire film, now with Keitel it is maybe known for
him to do such things but Stallone is playing in a slightly subdued
role from some of his others and we really see the range of which he
can act and that he doesn't require violence in every film he's in. A
mention to one of the best that is Robert De Niro who plays his
character with mystery and intrigue who knows something is wrong before
we seem to know.

It is not without it's criticisms as it can seem to lack revelations,
you know what the deal of the film is and who is bad and good within
the first quarter of the film, but we don't get shocks and I felt there
was space for such things. I also will say that although it is
thrilling, the thrill side is more Drama than action and well I say
this to anyone who wants' to see it, don't expect loads of action from

The most memorable thing about this film to be fair is Stallone's
performance in a light role but also I thought a lot about the mystery
surrounding it not finding out who is bad but the mystery of saying to
yourself "how will it all end", you won't predict it all because just
as you think the film is ending it throws a curveball and put's you off
course, just watch it and you will definitely see what I mean by that.

So overall a good film and moving upwards towards being very good
rather than falling to being just pretty good, I recommended this for
any person who enjoys a good police drama with just a little action
dabbled in. People expect too much of Stallone action wise well don't I
mean as I say he is subdued and is basically in invisible chains in
this from breaking free and killing Keitel's character right where he

I give this a high 7/10, that overall give's it a Solidly Good film rating and
moving towards being very good indeed as well, I suggest renting it or
whatever you can do to see this, but have a look and see and I feel you
will enjoy it, well maybe.
Super Reviewer
January 5, 2015
One of James Mangold's earlier films, Cop Land displays a highly watchable raggedness (call it kitchen-sink realism, or call it spotty) that seems rather realistic but incorporates every "bad cop" movie cliche you can think of; tells a compelling story but paces it strangely; often over-explains but sometimes leaves you filling in blanks yourself, too; stands the test of time but still looks SO 90s; shows a plausible slice of life in which you root for the little guy, but anchors it to a lead character (Stallone) almost implausibly inert, rendering him hard to truly get behind. The camera work is bad, and the dialogue is by times worse, but there's a feeling to this movie that can't be discounted--a pain in Stallone's character that somehow shines through. It's not a great movie, but it's not awful either. Interesting early work from the director of Walk the Line and Girl, Interrupted--but also of Knight and Day--and one that I liked just a little bit more than I disliked.
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