Slow Burn


Slow Burn

Critics Consensus

With wooden acting and hammy, overheated dialogue, Slow Burn isn't so much a noir as it is a mediocre parody of one.



Total Count: 34


Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,273
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Slow Burn Photos

Movie Info

A cop trying to clear the name of a woman he loves falls deep into a morass of corruption in this crime thriller. Ford Cole (Ray Liotta) is the district attorney in a crime-ridden town where he's contemplating a run for mayor in a bid for greater power. Cole is also having an affair with one of his assistants, Nora Timmer (Jolene Blalock), though he tries to keep that a secret. One evening, while Cole is chatting with journalist Trippin (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Timmer arrives with startling news -- she claims to have been sexually assaulted by Isaac Duparde (Mekhi Phifer), a clerk at a nearby music store who broke into her apartment. Making matters more complicated is the fact that Duparde is currently dead in her flat, leaving Cole to find a way to protect Timmer while not staining his own reputation. Cole realizes this may be harder than he imagined when Luther Pinks (LL Cool J) arrives on the scene to tell him that Timmer actually lured Duparde back to her apartment on purpose, in an effort to get information on a well-connected organized crime figure. Slow Burn was the first directorial effort from screenwriter Wayne Beach.

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Ray Liotta
as Ford Cole
LL Cool J
as Luther Pinks
Jolene Blalock
as Nora Timmer
Mekhi Phifer
as Isaac Duparde
Bruce McGill
as Police Chief
Taye Diggs
as Jeffrey Sykes
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Critic Reviews for Slow Burn

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (4) | Rotten (30)

Audience Reviews for Slow Burn

  • Jul 05, 2012
    Slow Burn is a clever and stylized crime drama. The story follows district attorney Ford Cole as he investigates an assault on his assistant Nora Timmer, but the investigation takes a strange turn when an informant tells him that Timmer is working for a local crime lord. The cast includes Ray Liotta, Jolene Blalock, Mekhi Phifer, and LL Cool J; all of whom give good performances. Additionally, the story is well crafted, and is able to effectively build suspense and dramatic tension. Full of intrigue and mystery, Slow Burn is a provocative film that's quite compelling.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 10, 2010
    A fascinating failure, this stylish and noirish Rashomon meets The Usual Suspects ultimately proves to be gunpowder in a thimble, more Who-Done-What? than Who-Done-It? Too dense for its running time, Slow Burn feels like it could have been expanded into an intense pay-cable series a la The Wire and The Shield. In the R-rated Slow Burn, Liotta plays a mayoral election-seeking D.A. who finds himself entangled in controversy after his beautiful assistant D.A. (Jolene Blalock) confesses to a race-related killing. Not for lack of trying, the B-list ensemble gives it their all. Such a loaded hot potato reminds this reviewer of programs like Crash where an issue-driven movie premise got blown up into a 12-episode season of televised drama. Unfortunately, Slow Burn puts a cap on such potential and the under-developed drama just plain burns out. Without the proper time and attention, the short-fused plot comes across more far-fetched than fetching. Bottom line: Too big for its britches.
    Jeff B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 25, 2008
    A pretty decent crime thriller with a strong cast. Not a lot of action but I thought it was a good story with some decent plot twists. In some elements it is like the usual suspects in the way the story unfolds with quite a few red herrings along the way. An enjoyable film that seemed to slip under the radar.
    Dean K Super Reviewer
  • May 30, 2008
    [font=Century Gothic]In "Slow Burn," district attorney Ford Cole(Ray Liotta) is running for mayor on a record of being tough on organized crime with the help of his forceful assistant district attorney Nora Timmer(Jolene Blalock). But this has also earned him his share of enemies, including the legendary gangster Danny Ludin who runs the Omen gang.(Ludin is so twisted that he has taped every episode of "Friends.") One night while riding with reporter Ty Trippin(Chiwetel Ejiofor), Ford receives word that Nora killed Isaac Duperde(Mekhi Phifer), a music store worker who met her a week before and raped her. But a friend and coworker of Isaac's, Luther Pinks(LL Cool J), contradicts her by saying that Isaac and Nora have been acquainted for months.(This does not mean that she was not raped...) As proof, he mentions a tattoo on Nora's backside that Ford is familiar with from their lovemaking...[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]"Slow Burn" is a stylish attempt to do a modern noir with an erotic edge(shown perfectly in Jolene Blalock's barefoot stride across the music store) that starts promisingly, but eventually ties itself into so many knots that it just becomes one huge mess. Still, despite the obvious cinematic references("The Usual Suspects" and "Rashomon" to name a couple), there are some interesting thoughts on the subject of race, especially with how differently Ford and Luther view Nora who has light brown skin. What would have helped is if the movie's timeframe had been extended from one night, so as to properly develop a potentially vibrant milieu.[/font]
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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