- compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2003 1 Jan
Gerri Pare (Catholic News Service) says that the movie "scores as a film noir that is about more than color—an introspective look at urban police work and those who wander from the straight and narrow with disastrous consequences." The film's star receives high praise: "Cocky and spouting repellent opinions about social justice, Russell transforms his cowboy cop incrementally into a man forced by events to confront his demons and accept responsibility for crimes he had heretofore easily justified. His dynamic portrayal is central to keeping the busy story focused."
Michael Elliott (Movie Parables) says, "Russell's performance may take you by surprise. He starts off competently enough, but as the film progresses, so does the complexity of his character. Whatever appeal this film has is due to his ability to present Eldon Perry as a fully fleshed out character—warts and all."
But Tom Snyder (Movieguide) argues, "Russell is not always convincing in his role … partly saddled by uneven writing and pedestrian direction. Ultimately,
Phil Boatwright calls it "depressing and inflammatory. It avoids presenting a representation of those who don those blue uniforms in an effort to fight injustice. The film suggests that the majority of white cops are bigots and crooks, while all minorities are merely put upon." Similarly, Bret Willis (Christian Spotlight) warns readers, "In short, it appears the writers have taken a serious issue and portrayed it as even worse than it really is, thus potentially widening the rifts between blacks and whites and between police and public for no worthwhile purpose. This makes the film very dangerous. I see no redeeming quality in it, and don't recommend it to anyone."
Bob Smithouser (Focus on the Family) would prefer this drama about cops, crime, and corruption refrain from portraying so much corruption. "Sex. Obscenities. Brutality. That's reason enough to give this police story a thumbs down."
Mainstream critics found it to be a mixed bag. Ebert says, "
Andrew Sarris (New York Observer) says the film falls short of genre greats like