Fort Apache, the Bronx - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Fort Apache, the Bronx Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ October 17, 2009
Cynical but entertaining police drama where the real villain is 70's New York.
½ September 30, 2009
An interesting, if basically forgettable addition to Paul Newman's filmography.

It's clear that the makers were trying to get to a point of "gritty realism" in this tale of Cops working the beat in the Bronx of the late 70's. Yet, as the disclaimer at the beginning of the film reminds us, there are good people who live in the Bronx, even if this movie focuses on the criminal element.

That's kind of the whole problem. Newman is clearly game for whatever. The film also has an interesting structure, with events that seem crucially important never being resolved. I can see that they were trying for a "real world" aspect, with horrible crimes just becoming one more unsolved mystery.

The tone shifts to be more about the cops, and the violence that such a stressful situation breeds. However, there's an air of Hollywood unreality that sorta permeates the film. Everything's a little too simple, the criminals a little too much like they walked off the set of "Starskey and Hutch."

The team wanted to do something interesting here, but the pieces don't quite fit.
September 15, 2009
Paul Newman's best role to date I rank this film at #2. # 1 is Slap Shot. It was a little slow but it picked up when the action came on. I'm not that big on long dialogue scenes, but I let this one slip by.
½ July 11, 2009
In the late 1970's New York City had reached the lowest point in its history. But then so had most major American cities in the late 1970's. The movie is based on the experiences of two New York City policemen who worked the streets of the Bronx in the late 1970's. It's set in 1980 but many of the events in the movie would have been more likely to have happened in the late 1960's than the late 1970's. Most of the movie is shot on location in New York so it has a more authentic look than a film shot in Hollywood. Pam Grier plays a killer prostitute who starts a killing spree by shooting two cops. This is the best acting in the movie. Most of the movie is routine cop stories with back stories of the social life the the two main characters. Paul Newman and Ed Asner are the stars of the movie. They both try to talk with New York accents but they can only hold it for a couple of words before their natural accents come through. The actors from New York do a better job with the accents. The events of the movie were before the AIDS epidemic and the crack cocaine epidemic. The drug of choice in the movie was heroin. Heroin had been a big problem in New York in the 1960's but starting in 1970 the Federal Government began to crack down on the heroin smugglers. By 1980 heroin was hard to find on the streets but cocaine had replaced it. There was no cocaine users shown in the movie. The characters in the movie implied that the Pam Grier character has started using "angel dust"(PCP) that caused her to flake out. I think I first saw this movie in the old Penn Square mall in Oklahoma City. Penn Square mall has been totally remodeled since then and I'm sure the south Bronx in New York has been rebuilt since 1980 too. The crime rate in New York is dramatically lower today than it was in the 1970's. In the movie you can see the wrecking crews tearing down the old buildings. America is becoming a trailer park nation. It's cheaper to tear down old buildings and build new than to maintain old buildings. The movie shows the social effects of housing people in old run down buildings in crowded over populated cities when the economic base of the city is gone. New York was a city built as a sea port and was America's front door to the world. In the age of air travel New York has been trying to reinvent itself and find a new economic base. New York in the 21st century won't have the population level it had in the 20th century. This movie is a good record of the shrinking of New York.
June 10, 2009
Erik Estrada is not in this movie, Flixster dumb.
This is an empty cop film driven only by Newman's performance, which does indeed actually drive the film pretty well. Overall, whatever, there are better movies out there to waste your time on.
June 4, 2009
Gritty cop film set in a tough New York neighbourhood that was sort of like watching a special two hour season finale of Hill Street Blues with better acting from Paul Newman.
May 20, 2009
excellent! sexy pam, and of course boss newman hit it out the park!
May 12, 2009
a pretty good movie. for me though this movie just couldn't strike the right tone. i has the elements to be a good cop drama but they seem to want to put "buddy cop" elements that sabotage the drama. and some characters show a lot of potential but we never get past the surface. overall: uneven.
there are obvious parallels to the 1948 john ford western "fort apache" which is cool if you're a film buff. sociologically/historically it's interesting for this snapshot of the south bronx circa 1981.
March 3, 2009
Good flick, great shots of the bronx looking like a warzone, Pam Grier is grand as the Angel Dusted Hooker, Newman as the independent rough old cop, and Asner as the by the books oldtime cop, trying to bring the law back to the wilderness, lots of Homages to High Noon
February 22, 2009
½ January 15, 2009
A little disjointed at times and some odd 80s movie quirks, but a nice little movie about the difficulty of dealing with rampant crime and apathy and the effect that has the police who try to stop it. Newman is excellent as always as a cop with a code who masks his pain through tough-guy humor. Great interplay between him and Rachel Ticotin. Plus, Ed Asner as a gruff by-the-book captain and Pam Grier as a strung-out hooker don't hurt either.
December 28, 2008
Well-crafted, twisty cop tale.
½ December 6, 2008
This is a good movie

Paul Newman stars in this harsh portrait of a police station in a crumbling neighborhood. Newman plays John Murphy, a veteran policeman who's been on the force long enough to be tired, but not so lo...( read more read more... )ng that he's lost his idealism. The plot is loosely tied to the arrival of Connolly, the new precinct captain (Edward Asner). Is he a crusader who's going to finally whip a corrupt, apathetic force into shape, or an interloping by-the-book bureaucrat who can't possibly understand the neighborhood and will do more harm than good? The movie is gratifyingly ambiguous on this point and many others. While Newman's character is almost by default the hero, he is far from perfect--most all the major characters get complex personalities, just like real people. The Bronx itself is given complex, thoughtful treatment as well, full of both overwhelming problems and hope for the future. Fort Apache, the Bronx also has action sequences, but doesn't make the mistake of reveling in violence. Here, black and white are far less defined and, consequently, far more satisfying. --Ali Davis
Super Reviewer
November 15, 2008
Paul Newman stars as a burned out cop in the neighborhood from hell in this police film that is an over the top look at typical patrol officers. Fort Apache, The Bronx is about the worst precinct in New York. Cops are killed with civilians on a regular basis and riots are a constant sore. This is where a cop goes when they go screw up and Newman plays the cynical, bitter beat cop with perfection. This isn't Serpico. It's the guys in the blue uniforms.

Even though it sports a good cast, the film slips on some of its plot points (Pam Grier as a psychotic hooker) and the way it was shot, which reminds the viewer of a '80's TV movie. It does go above and beyond at times, but Fort Apache is a good flick if you want to see more Paul Newman.
November 12, 2008
As a movie, it's very average, but I really like the setting.
November 6, 2008
Saw it whenit came out...don't remember much about it. Do have favorable memorie about it. I was in the Air Force at the time...must have been drunk during the film.
October 21, 2008
I can't believe danny Aiello threw that kid off the roof!
October 15, 2008
paul was a great man. he will be missed
½ October 15, 2008
Daniel Petrie gives a cynical portrait of a police precint in the Bronx in the film. The city looks as though it was carpet-bombed. We are guided through the rough, early 80's streets of New York by Murphy (Paul Newman), an aging cop on the beat and his young partner Corelli (Ken Wahl).

The city is a jungle and we discover this through several, disconnected scenes that have little correlation with the plot. There's a scene where Newman delivers a baby for a young impoverished Puerto Rican woman that virtually goes nowhere. Pam Grier in a walk on role plays a murdering prostitute whom we follow for several scenes until she is killed off again leading nowhere and contributing little to the exposition. Ed Asner plays the new Captain at Fort Apache. He was affective but seldomly seen on screen.

The most intriguing aspect of the picture is Paul Newman who clearly is the star of the show here. His choice to play this character was exempliary of the roles he took during this time period. Absence of Malice and the Veridct being obvious connectives.

The idea was good but it was executed in a formulaic style which takes away from the picture which ultimately is held up by Newman's performance, the meditative view on New York and clever dialogue.
October 15, 2008
"Fort Apache, The Bronx" is a crazy good title, and that's because it's also a crazy good movie. It's easy to find movies that raise difficult questions about morality and ethics but rare I think to find one that does so without relying on tired formulas or simplistic answers. Also Paul Newman perfectly treads the line of hardcore and dapper and never goes cliche with a character that is, for all its genreficationary stereotypicality, pretty complex. It is a sad but awesome movie, which is the most realistic type.
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