Sharky's Machine - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sharky's Machine Reviews

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½ February 26, 2017
Am I missing something here? This was so ridiculous and over the top. Why are people praising this so much...? There was some hilarious stuff in it though.
Super Reviewer
July 31, 2015
Burt Reynolds stars and superbly directs this atmospheric, volatile cop thriller which is one of most engrossing and stylish of the early 80s, concerning a Atlanta cop named Sharky, played with a solid conviction by Burt Reynolds, who is at his charismatic best here. His gung-ho tactics on a narcotics case gets a civilian shot which gets him demoted to the Vice Squad, there he forms a colorful crew into a machine aimed at bringing down a powerful cimelord named Victor D'Anton, played with a silky elegance by the late Vittorio Gassman, who has his hooks into a gubernatorial candidate named Hotchkins, nicely played by Earl Holliman. The beautiful and super sexy Rachel Ward wonderfully plays Dominoe, a $1000 a night hooker that has enough dirt on both the crimelord Victor and his puppet Hotckins to put them away for good, which has put her life in danger. Sharky is staking out her penthouse apartment with his crew, he is protecting her but also slowly falling for her. The superlative supporting cast all deliver outstanding characterizations they include Brian Keith, the late great Charles Durning, Bernie Casey, Darryl Hickman, Richard Libertini, John Fiedler and Val Avery. Special kudos must be given to Henry Silva, for his truly creepy performance as Victor's psychotic, drug-addicted hit-man brother. Astute direction by Reynolds, with dazzling cinematography by the late William A. Fraker. There is a great amount humor along with some brutal and superbly-staged action sequences including shoot-outs, an all out fight with a pair of ninja assassins on a houseboat, and a hair-raising torture scene. The film also features a superb urban jazz soundtrack that includes songs and music by Sarah Vaughan, The Crusaders, Doc Severinson, Chet Baker, The Manhattan Transfer and Julie London. A gritty and riveting rollercoaster of a crime drama. . Highly Recommended.
½ June 17, 2015
I was very impressed with Reynolds as an actor and a director. there are some very well choreographed fight scenes, a terrific soundtrack and a solid performance by the mustached man himself.
March 7, 2015
This was Bert Reynolds attempt to make a serious movie. He directs it himself. It's a good cop story. It's got some intense parts. They setting is in Atlanta Georgia but the only character to speak with a Georgia accent was a little girl playing the daughter of cop who plants electronic bugs and taps telephone lines. A lot of the electronic eaves dropping depicted in the movie would be illegal today. It may have been illegal when the movie was made too. There is no real nudity in the movie but there is enough crude language that the movie is rated R. The Sharky character is transferred to the vice squad after a drug buy goes bad and a civilian and the drug dealer are shot. They depict the vice squad as working out of the basement and manned by cops on the verge of retirement or were being punished. In the old days corrupt cops wanted to work the vice squads because it was relatively safe and there were lots of bribes floating around. The last part of the movie was a long setup for the final stunt of the movie. It was a fall from a high rise building that is still the record for a stunt fall. The DVD for this movie is in Standard TV format.
January 19, 2015
I have always loved this movie. I have always thought that Burt Reynolds never truly got the accolades he deserved. The whole cast was just amazing, and they had the best male chemistry going. This is a movie that I often buy for the younger generation to show them that Burt Reynolds was so much more than "Smokey and The Bandit". If your out there Burt I just want to thank you for an amazing movie. You deserved so much credit for this film! This movie also set a record for the fall stunt at the end.
September 30, 2014
The start of the action cop movies starts with a bang and teaches what followed the right way to do it.
December 3, 2013
Oddly sluggish cop thriller with some interesting elements--It's not as good as some say!!
November 21, 2013
probably one of the most memorable movie with Burt Reynolds one of his best and favorite of mines
April 28, 2013
Burt Reynolds at his "highest" point.
April 9, 2013
February 8, 2013
Entertaining, and almost a cult classic. It only fell apart once the horrible writing ruined them coming finally meeting after his staking out her apt. Then at the end it got weird with the brother's relationship and Reynolds' fascination with children, and funnily Domino dresses like one and plays on the playground with him in the closing credits.

I finally got that it was based in Atlanta, at least that's where the governor was running for office. Does it really get that cold there, and what was the odd Italian and Chinese mafia bits? These gaps in the plot are what weaken its legacy.
½ October 27, 2012
Burt's return to action movies is just mediocre other than great stunt work by Dar Robinson. He plays a demoted narcotics cop doing surveillence on a high priced call girl in the vice squad who he, naturally, falls for.
October 17, 2012
Burt tries Dirty Harry in this just as Clint did for Bandit and the results are surprising.

Despite corny dialogue in the slower scenes (and in one or two of the macho tough scenes particularly Burt's "pulling the chain" monologue) and a love interest with Rachel Ward (who is clearly not an actress whatsoever and doesn't even try despite her natural beauty) and the annoying and out of place mainstream jazz score (Burt never came close to the chops Clint did) if this was all cut from the film and focused on Burt being the true bad ass he is and just protecting a witness instead of falling for her, the film would almost be up in the running for the great action/crime thrillers.

The interaction with the "machine" is downright hilarious, tough and even moving sometimes all at once, and with Bernie Casey, Charles Durning, Richard Libertini and Bryan Keith all lending a hand it makes the film special.

Vittorio Gassman doesn't have the chops to be a meancing villian, and his motives aren't clear except just to have power but Henry Silva proves his lifelong mettle as the man who played villians to end all of villains in any role and gives his all as the frightening and downright sadistic Billy Score.

Add to these highpoints the opening chase sequence will bullets flying (in the gritty 70's-early 80's style for true toughness) through the streets of Atlanta, a nightmare of a botche attempted hit from Score, the most disturbing interrogation scene in an action film to date and still of all-time (yes the fingers are shown) and one of the most amazing stunts of all-time ever caught on film of a leap of 200 feet from a high rise, and Sharky's Machine is worth it, albeit dated, but still enjoyable. And the balletic violence and halestorm of bullets and suspense in the last 1/2 hour does give Clint a run for his money. Too bad the film wasn't tighter.
October 16, 2012
Its easy now to see Burt Reynolds as a faded Clint Eastwood wannabe who ended up starring in commercials for glasses.
But when he was at his peak during the 70s and early 80s amid all the good old boy comedies he made and sometimes directed some moderatley interesting films.
Sharkys Machine is a fine example of one of those movies and its up there with other gritty cop movies from that period such as 48 hours and of course Tightrope.

Reynolds plays Sharky a homicide cop transfered to vice after a botched drugs bust.
During a routine surrveillance of high class call girl Dominoe played by Rachel Ward ,Sharky and his misfit band of cops become involved in a political scandal which could see them all wind up dead.

Despite a little bit of sagging in the middle the film itself is pretty darn good with Brian Keith ,Charles Durning ,Bernie Casey and Richard Libertini all on good form as Sharkys fellow cops.
Also kudos to Reynolds for reigning in his schtick and even allowing himself to have some of his fingers cut off in a very painful scene.

Extra special mention for Henry Silva as an untterly demented and drug crazed hitman his performance is one of a kind.

I have to say i throughly enjoyed this film and it still baffles me as to why its never made it onto DVD in the UK as its one of Reynolds very best efforts.
October 7, 2012
Reynolds directed this cool cop noir thriller. Definitely one of his best, if not his best film. Hopefully it will be released on blu ray someday. It's an underrated and under-seen gem. It also features a cringe worthy torture scene.
August 5, 2012
Entertaining Burt Reynolds film
½ June 2, 2012
I have always loved this movie, and went online looking for a dvd of it to add to my collection. personally i think it's reynold's best movie and great supporting performances by the entire cast. the "bunny eyes" quote and high rise scene are classics!
April 24, 2012
This movie is all about leaning on Sharky's machine. It's about tryin' to break that machine..fine film
April 3, 2012
½ February 16, 2012
a gritty crime drama that has some moments but on the whole left me flat. reynolds delivers some good deadpan humor but there are just too many holes in the plot for me and the film is too long. could've told the same story in a 90 or 100 minute film.
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