The Young Lieutenant is a decidedly “un-American” police procedural, which is not to decry U.S.-made films. It’s just that, if this were a Hollywood film about a rookie cop, it’d probably revolve around his attempt to fit into the department or get along with his (probably crooked) partner, and he’d probably – and inadvertently – stumble onto some criminal situation bigger than anyone initially thinks it will be and a bit more than he can chew. His superior would probably be weather-worn and would either really, really like the rookie or really, really dislike the rookie, but his or her own personal problems would overshadow any feelings about the rookie. Well, all that actually happens in this film too! Except in the end it’s more a character-study than a crime thriller, and the characters – thanks to some superb performances – feel genuine instead of like superheroes without capes. I’ve read other reviews that claim there’s no plot, but that’s just silly. There’s a plot, it simply doesn’t involve impossible car chases, 40 million bullets, or distracting bedroom scenes. I’m not against any of that stuff; I’m just telling you this isn’t that. None of the characters are perfect by any means, and in fact, two will make honest mistakes that will result in costly consequences, which is how the real drama unfolds – neatly but not so nicely. You’ll get to know these folks by feeling their pain, and it will hurt.