A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Violence & Scariness
Very violent, characters murdered, attempted rape.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexual references and situations, brief nudity.
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Extremely strong language including the n-word.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drug use and drug dealers, drinking, smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie is a very strong R, with extremely rough language (including the "N" word and anti-gay slurs), graphic violence (including the murder of major characters), drug use, brief nudity, and sexual references. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Denzel Washington has a coiled, controlled energy that puts tremendous power behind his coolness and grace, which adds complexity and ambiguity to his portrayal of heroes. Here that cougar-like quality adds a lot of sizzle to his portrayal of a bad guy, a rogue cop who has crossed the line so many times that he doesn't even see it any more.
Washington is dazzling in his Oscar-winning performance as Alonzo. He lets us catch a glimpse of Alonzo's desperation as he interacts with a charming drug dealer with a taste for expensive drinks (Scott Glenn), three "wise men" who run the department, the mother of his child, and the men of his unit. With each encounter, he shows us a different approach. Hawke is just fair as the white-bread rookie, but Glenn and singers Macy Gray, Snoop Dog, and Dr. Dre make the most of small roles. The director, Antoine Fuqua, shows his music video roots with a style that is often flashy but not always in aid of the story.
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Our Editors Recommend
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