Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA/Australia, 2001. Warner Bros., Village Roadshow Pictures, NPV Entertainment, Outlaw Productions, WV Films II. Screenplay by David Ayer. Cinematography by Mauro Fiore. Produced by Jeffrey Silver. Music by Mark Mancina. Production Design by Naomi Shohan. Costume Design by Michele Michel. Film Editing by Conrad Buff IV.
Exciting cop drama forgoes solid plot in favour of focusing on the irresistible personalities of its two leads. Ethan Hawke is superb as a rookie narc whose first day on the job has him working with his new superior officer (Denzel Washington), a fast-talking, slick-as-snot undercover cop who believes that to get the bad guys you gotta be a bad guy yourself (and boy is he bad). You never get the impression that the film knows where it wants to go next, but the sharp photography, high-octane direction and Washington’s mesmerizing, Oscar-winning performance make you sure that you don’t want to miss a second of it either.
Academy Award: Best Actor (Denzel Washington)
Nomination: Best Supporting Actor (Ethan Hawke)
Golden Globe Award Nomination: Best Actor-Drama (Denzel Washington)
Screen Actors Guild Award Nominations: Best Actor (Denzel Washington); Best Supporting Actor (Ethan Hawkes)
Toronto International Film Festival: 2001