Flawless

1999

Flawless

Critics Consensus

Uneven performances, formulaic.

43%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 56

53%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,692
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Flawless Photos

Movie Info

Walt Koontz is a retired security guard, ultraconservative and proud of it, living in New York City's Lower East Side. Late one night, while trying to help neighbor in trouble, Walt suffers a stroke which leaves him with partial paralysis. Refusing to leave his apartment for therapy, Walt very reluctantly agrees to a rehabilitative program that includes singing lessons with a performer who lives upstairs -- a street-tough drag queen named Rusty.

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Cast

Robert De Niro
as Walt Koontz
Philip Seymour Hoffman
as Rusty Zimmerman
Barry Miller
as Leonard Wilcox
Nashom Benjamin
as Amazing Grace
Vincent Laresca
as Raymond Camacho
Jude Ciccolella
as Det. Noonan
Mina Bern
as Mrs. Spivak
Madhur Jaffrey
as Dr. Nirmala
Kyle Rivers
as LeShaun
Sammy Rhee
as Mr. Pim
Hyunsoo Lee
as Mrs. Pin
Raven O
as Notorious F.A.G.
Joey Arias
as Stormy
John Doumanian
as Mr. Terzola
Hamilton De Oliveira
as Hotel Janitor
John Polce
as Walt Stand-In
Logan McCall
as EMS Technician
John E. Mack
as EMS Technician
John R. Corcoran
as Physical Therapist
Matt Merchant
as Man in Crowd
Al Marz
as Cristal's Boyfriend
Larry Marx
as Bar Patron
Mitchell Lichtenstein
as Gay Republican Spokesperson
John Fink
as Gay Republican Lawyer
Bret Kropp
as Drag Queen
Cooley
as Cop
Al Thompson
as Paramedic
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Critic Reviews for Flawless

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (12)

Audience Reviews for Flawless

  • Dec 31, 2011
    I cannot believe that this film is so underrated... I found the story of Walter Koontz (Robert De Niro) - highly decorated "local hero" police officer - amazing! Well developed and done with warmness - warmness missing from most of the movies today! The real story starts when one night, Walter hears gunshots upstairs, and while ascending to help he suffers a stroke. Awakening with the right side of his body paralysed is something he is not used to, and his poor speech and posture gives a massive blow to his ego... so much that Walter becomes ashamed to be seen in public. Rusty (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is one of Walter's drag queen neighbours and the two are at-odds constantly due to their differing lifestyles. Rusty has a desire to undergo a transsexual operation, but lacks the money to do so. When Walter comes to Rusty to use his musical talents for voice lessons to overcome his impediment, the pair while at first argumentative and uncomfortable with the other begin to become friends. Good acting from two real stars, but nothing spectacular. The screenplay is sometimes very rough around the edges... but it is real as it can be... Joel Schumacher did well in that part, but the directing was too formulaic, and that is the reason for the lower rating! This film could be so much better if he was a little bit braver!
    Panta O Super Reviewer
  • Sep 27, 2011
    Flawless is a 1999 crime comedy-drama film that stars Robert De Niro, Austin Womack, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Flawless was directed by Joel Schumacher, who also wrote the screenplay. Other cast members includes Daphne Rubin-Vega and Wilson Jermaine Heredia, both of whom starred (as Mimi and Angel, respectively) in the original production of the Broadway Musical Rent. Walter Koontz (Robert De Niro) is a highly decorated "local hero" officer of the New York police department who lives in a downtown apartment complex. Despite his locale and rampant run of drag queens in his building he tends to keep to himself and still live a life lavished in lovely women, dancing and dining. One night, he hears gunshots upstairs, and while ascending to help suffers a stroke. He awakens with the right side of his body paralyzed resulting in poor speech and posture, giving him an unrecoverable limp requiring him to use a cane to get around. He suffers a massive blow to his ego, and Walter becomes ashamed to be seen in public in such a fashion. Rusty (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is one of Walter's drag queen neighbors and the two are at-odds constantly due to their differing lifestyles. Rusty has a desire to undergo a transexual operation, but lacks the money to do so. When Walter comes to Rusty to use his musical talents for voice lessons to overcome his impediment, the pair while at first argumentative and uncomfortable with the other begin to become friends. Walter begins to gain confidence and make strides to return to a normal life. However their friendship is marred when Rusty shows Walter a stash of money, hidden in the body of his dress making manequin, which is enough to pay for his operation. When Walter inquires how Rusty got the money, Rusty says he stole it from a drug pusher, who was also responsible for the attack the night Walter had his stroke. Outraged by this, Walter and Rusty part ways angrily. One night, after returning from a drag beauty contest called "Flawless" Rusty is accosted by the criminals who had crept into his apartment to find the stolen money. Walter hears the commotion and runs up to save Rusty's life. Rusty locks himself in the bedroom, and when Walter comes in on them, the criminals turn their attention on him, prompting Rusty to return the favor. In the fight, Walter is shot by the criminals, but the pair are able to subdue them. While boarding an amublance with Walter, Rusty gives the paramedics the stolen cash to ensure that Walter is okay. The pair again rekindle their friendship, setting their personal differences aside.
    Martin D Super Reviewer
  • Sep 10, 2010
    I enjoyed this movie far more than the rating implies. The problem I have with the movie is that it never really seems to stick to one form of storytelling. Sometimes it wants to be a comedy, sometimes it wants to be a drama, sometimes it wants to be a suspense (the Mr. Z part of the story, more specifically), but it never really manages to combine all three convincingly. There are plenty of movies that have gotten away with this because they know how to combine all the elements. It's an uneven movie in a lot of ways. It definitely could have been better, but I'm not complaining because I still really liked this movie. All of it has to do with the acting. Robert and Philip overcome the movie's unevenness and their performances are really good (though it's mostly Philip's performance). I liked the relationship between their characters and their interactions, however bare-bones they actually are. It doesn't go as deep (pun NOT intended...perverts) into the characters as I'd have liked, but they do just enough I guess. I also liked the characters of Rusty's friend. They were funny, especially at the end of the movie. Also, the movie near the end almost falls apart. It didn't, but it was not looking good at all. I could also tell, that if I was watching this movie alone I may not have liked it as much. Case in point, I watched Bad Company again (don't ask) and I enjoyed it more because I wasn't alone. Anyway, this is a good movie. If you have Starz On Demand then watching this movie isn't the worst thing you can do, especially with Did You hear about the Morgans? in there.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Dec 12, 2009
    Philip Seymour Hoffman's master-class performance as troubled drag queen Rusty sadly goes to waste in this laughable film. "Rusty" stands as the lone well-written character in this pathetic "drama". FLAWLESS's terrible directing, editing and writing, as well as its inappropriate soundtrack (a peppy samba for chase scenes/gunfights, really?) and a forgettable turn by Robert De Niro are no match for Hoffman's insane talent as a character actor.
    Fernando Rafael Q Super Reviewer

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