Loosely based on the autobiography of NYPD detective Bo Dietl (who since his 1985 retirement has played bit parts in such films as The Bad Lieutenant, Carlito's Way and Goodfellas and made a million as a private detective), this gritty police story has the texture and attitude of 1970s cop dramas. Bo Dietl (Stephen Baldwin) is the man in the middle: He's dedicated his adult life to the NYPD without renouncing his childhood friends, some of who have grown up to be made men and mobsters. While flamboyant rule-breaker Dietl and his partner Duke (Chris Penn) investigate the rape and brutalization of an East Harlem nun, a pair of aggressive FBI agents (Amy Irving, Victor Slezak) try to blackmail Dietl into ratting out the family (in both the personal and the professional sense of that word) of his old friend Richie La Cassa (Mike McGlone). They also try to pressure Duke into turning on Dietl, using his $11,000 in unpaid parking tickets and illegal gambling debts as leverage. Complicating matters further is Dietl's affair with Richie's restless mistress Joey (Gina Gershon), who's tired of being the other woman. With its supporting cast of familiar character faces -- including Luiz Guzman, Paul Guilfoyle, Michael Rispoli and Paul Calderon -- and almost total lack of high-tech car chases and gunfights, this low-key crime thriller is a throwback to a style of moviemaking that peaked in the mid-'70s with films like Dog Day Afternoon and Serpico, both produced by Martin Bregman, who also worked on this picture. Brazilian-born director Bruno Barreto avoids the flashy, adrenaline-laced cliches of MTV-style action spectacles, and does an admirable job of it; he also evokes a convincing sense of down-and-dirty New York City atmosphere, despite the fact that much of the film was shot in Toronto.
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- Released: 1998
- Rating: R
- Review: Loosely based on the autobiography of NYPD detective Bo Dietl (who since his 1985 retirement has played bit parts in such films as The Bad Lieutenant, Carlito's Way and Goodfellas and made a million as a private detective), this gritty police story has th… (more)