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13 Ratings

The Force

Directed by Peter Nicks
United States, 2017


Goes inside an embattled urban police department struggling to rebuild trust in one of America’s most violent yet promising cities.

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The Force Directed by Peter Nicks
There are times, especially when the other meanings of “force” emerge… that you wish that Mr. Nicks would have stayed longer so he could dig deeper into related issues, including segregation and racism. He tends to cycle through historical markers fairly fast, as when he shows archival images of the grouporiginally and pointedly called the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, which started in Oakland in 1966, partly in response to police brutality.
September 21, 2017
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This is a documentary that neither enhances our understanding of American policing nor attempts to look beyond the status quo. Promising an inside look at a dangerously opaque institution, The Force only serves to reinforce the sense that the people of this country have no idea what truly goes on inside the organizations which ostensibly exist to protect them.
September 17, 2017
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Nicks’s previous documentary, The Waiting Room, is a more satisfying but less searching look at an enduring institution, the American emergency room, perhaps because of its smaller canvas. It wouldn’t be kind or accurate to say that Nicks bit off more than he could chew, but the movie feels as confused as the rest of us about what to make of the state of American policing and just what can be done to make it an unassailably honorable profession.
August 08, 2017
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