Dark Blue - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Dark Blue Reviews

Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
February 25, 2003
Russell is the reason to go to the theater. He will continue to hold your attention when things around him -- like the storyline -- lose steam and credibility.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
February 24, 2003
Well worth recommending.
Top Critic
Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
February 24, 2003
Fails to make the grade as either a gritty crime drama or an intriguing piece of historical relevance.
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
February 21, 2003
Harrowing and compulsively watchable morality play.
Top Critic
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
February 21, 2003
The movie ends not with a bang but a wimp.
Top Critic
Mike Clark
USA Today
February 21, 2003
Until it dissolves into conventional melodrama during a climactic fracas, this fast-paced story is never less than watchable.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
February 21, 2003
A flawed and melodramatic affair with echoes of Training Day and L.A. Confidential that nevertheless has the whiff of truth.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
February 21, 2003
A flawed film, but occasionally a haunting one.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
February 21, 2003
While Dark Blue may not be easy to watch, it's exceptionally well made.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
February 21, 2003
Dark Blue is a film of wounding power. It stays with you.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
February 21, 2003
While much of the action rings true in Dark Blue, and the events leading up to the riots make for a tense, eerie framework, the movie heads in a disastrous direction ...
| Original Score: .5/4
Top Critic
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
February 21, 2003
Dark Blue is a bit of a mess, but like the Rodney King mess, it makes you think. Any film that accomplishes that can never be out-of-date.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
February 21, 2003
Gritty, gripping, a bit uneven, but Kurt Russell hits all the right notes.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
February 21, 2003
Too many elements of David Ayers' screenplay fall flat, from individual lines to Bobby's sudden change of heart.
| Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
February 21, 2003
The script throws enough curveballs to raise Dark Blue slightly above the genre average.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
February 21, 2003
Dark Blue is not a great movie, but it has moments that go off the meter and find visceral impact.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
February 21, 2003
Like Los Angeles in the spring of 1992, Dark Blue generates tension but eventually goes up in smoke.
| Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
February 21, 2003
Those who criticized Training Day for its lack of credibility will be rolling their eyes at the nonchalance with which Dark Blue plays the race card.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
February 21, 2003
Its intelligence is undermined by a hyperbolic, overwrought noir style that wavers awkwardly between NYPD Blue jitters and grand opera.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
February 20, 2003
Speedman doesn't show much in his first big movie role, while Russell shows too much.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Charles Taylor
Salon.com
February 20, 2003
Despite the battered grandeur of Kurt Russell, this fable of rotten cops in Rodney King's L.A. is mostly macho posturing.
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
February 20, 2003
The script is overloaded with exposition and incident, and for long passages it shows all the verve and imagination of an episode of Hunter.
| Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
February 20, 2003
A crackling and solidly acted -- if somewhat familiar -- police-corruption thriller.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
February 20, 2003
Dark Blue is as interesting and successful as it can be within its limits, but those limits make this a more generic film than its makers intended.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
February 20, 2003
Dark Blue proclaims itself a character drama and a voyage of self-discovery for the flawed cop -- which proves to be its fatal weakness.
Top Critic
Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
February 20, 2003
Dark Blue is down and dirty, with a fading star and dialogue that's awful, but its directness works in its favor.
| Original Score: C
Top Critic
Gary Dowell
Dallas Morning News
February 20, 2003
A fair-to-middling cop drama whose intentions are unfortunately rendered murky and submerged by a predictable story and limp characterization.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
February 20, 2003
In the wake of TV's powerhouse The Shield, Dark Blue comes off as something of a retread, with little of The Shield's electric fury, edgy camera work or deft characterizations.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Robert K. Elder
Chicago Tribune
February 20, 2003
Director Ron Shelton wants Dark Blue to be L.A. Confidential so badly that it's palpable.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
February 20, 2003
Russell is the reason to see the movie. Like Dennis Quaid, he's creating an entire second act for his career.
| Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
February 20, 2003
It's about something bigger than itself, and everything -- performance, photography, a heart-of-L.A. score by Terence Blanchard -- rises to meet higher expectations.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
February 19, 2003
One of the best and most furiously paced films about the controversial LAPD since L. A. Confidential.
Top Critic
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
February 19, 2003
The movie has a distinctly dated vibe.
Top Critic
David Rooney
Variety
February 6, 2003
Refreshingly devoid of flashiness or artificially pumped-up action, this gripping, well-constructed police thriller ... showcases a tightly controlled performance from Kurt Russell.