Parents' Guide to

Cop Land

By Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

1990s police drama has corruption, violence, language.

Movie R 1997 105 minutes
Cop Land movie poster

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Released in 1997, casting Stallone as an overweight downtrodden sheriff and surrounding him with a trio of gangster movie veterans cast as police officers, proved to be a tantalizing setup. But ultimately Cop Land was a commercial and critical misstep. While the movie has its flaws -- the plot can't seem to decide whether it wants to be a detective mystery or an organized crime drama -- what has aged well is Stallone's foray into making himself vulnerable as the meek and cowardly Freddy.

In later years, with his advancing age, the actor has turned to slightly more diverse roles, again with mixed results. But Cop Land is his most memorable attempt to be more than an action hero, as he tests his acting chops by being tormented by Harvey Keitel's scheming Ray, manipulated by Robert De Niro's calculating internal affairs officer, Moe, and struggling to get a handle on Ray Liotta's traumatized outlier, Figgsy. If you can forgive the film for its lack of diversity, even by '90s standards, it's worth revisiting it as a bold attempt to re-imagine its star and offer an uncompromising take on the police movie genre.

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