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3,100 Ratings

Bad Lieutenant

Directed by Abel Ferrara
United States, 1992
Crime, Drama, Thriller


In a performance that nabbed him an Independent Spirit Award, Harvey Keitel plays the titular “bad lieutenant,” a philandering, drug-addicted New York City detective who seeks personal and spiritual redemption as he investigates the rape of a young nun.

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Bad Lieutenant Directed by Abel Ferrara

Critics reviews

Far from those films that are content to illustrate an explicit situation with more or less original incidents, Bad Lieutenant works upon the slow translation of an affect of agony within the form of an image-story. This is why the film is significant: it considers the image not only as a plastic entity but above all as a spiritual exercise.
December 20, 2006
It directly tackles an anthropological torment and, to transform it into a poem of amour fou, disintegrates the fiction in such a way that the process of denial appears naked. . . . The film evokes the archaic ritual of conjuration. Ferrara thus transforms a film into a profane prayer, tearing the cinema away from its condition of reflection to commit an act, to fashion a gesture of exorcism and adjuration.
December 20, 2006

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