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Sharky's Machine
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Reviews & Ratings for
Sharky's Machine More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:


Author: Heidi
27 June 2003

Some people figured Burt only could act in humor movies but he proved them wrong. He was serious in this movie. It was different of course then the other ones I've seen of him. The middle was so slow, I didn't think it'd get any better than that. The end turned out to be pretty good though. 4/10

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Burts last big movie and I can see why?

Author: mm-39 from Winnipeg
7 May 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The beginning of this movie is great, and the last quarter that starts with the part where Sharky gets his thumb cut off is exciting. The middle is awful. Could it be script or director problem, I can not answer this. The film is destroyed with the middle, too slow for what should be a fast movie. It should have been one big build up until the climax with the office tower. This had the potential to be a classic. This project must of hurt the studio, along with the Canion Ball run, because Burt never got an A movie after these two. Watchable, but ruined 5 or 6 out of 10.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

it's not as good as some say

Author: stimpy-13
6 February 2003

what are you viewers thinking? this movie is pure trash? i just got done watching it actually. the direction wasn't bad the acting wasn't bad either but as for story line it had so many holes in it that it's not even funny. i think his last great movie is best little Whorehouse in Texas. he's done some good ones after that i may add and some bad ones. but this one was pure trash i give it a 5\10

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

touching, beautiful, thrilling and old- one piece of movie making,a ride of happiness, adventure and joy directed by the legend Burt Reynolds...

Author: ary luiz dalazen jr. ( from Brazil
1 March 1999

Before all, it is needed to brighten one thing: "Sharky's Machine" is, without a doubt, one of the most touching and involving crime dramas ever filmed. I would even go farther than that: i watched classic ones like "Bullit" and "The French Connection", all of them great films, but "Sharky's Machine" is even better! Burt Reynolds has in this film one of his most catching and talented interpretations, and behind the cameras, he showed us that he is an excellent and vigorous director. "Sharky's Machine" is the kind of movie which is not made anymore in Hollywood, it represents the golden era of the cinema, it represents Burt Reynolds, David Niven, William represents all this people and more, it represents a movie making type where people, at the time, used to put their heart and soul in doing their jobs... "Sharky's Machine" counts with shining and winning performaces by the main cast, a nervous rhythm, a climate of kindness, friendship, adventure, love and happiness. The film begins with an unforgettable scene, where Burt Reynolds must kill a dangerous and evil drug dealer on the streets of Atlanta. He has taken a bus and hostages, and Sharky has to save all of them. This scene is still one of the most well-done actions scenes of film story, and, even after all this years, the kind of tension that the star and director Reynolds put on it is unequalled! and the end of this movie is terrific, beautiful and full of joy, Henry Silva is brilliant in what may be easily his most memorable interpretation, the final shooting on the six-hundred building is one of the most catching and fast - conducted thrilling sequence of action movie scenes... The final music is so impressive that you won't get the idea if you don't hear it. The song is "Before You", and it represents the essence of the movie's idea: loneliness, love, feelings of joy, adventure and partnership."Sharky's Machine" is a must-see-it film, because even by reading my comments, you won't achieve the feeling the movie has to offer if you don't watch it!prepare for you the popcorn and the drinks, call the friends, and sit back, relax and prepare yourselves to get into a wild, brilliant and unforgettable ride!!!

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

classic cheese fest

Author: Mike from Chicago
15 February 2007

I enjoyed watching this movie somewhat but it had a ridiculous degree of corniness that can't be overlooked. Cars in this movie blow up with one shot from a "cannon" but the same gun can shoot a guy a couple of times and he lives or has a slow slow death. The script is pretty corny too and Burt Reynolds is really self serving in this making Sharky a hero by any definition but an asshole to boot with a cheesy mustache which makes him a funny character more so than a dramatic hero. Sharky's tough guy image is funny when he starts beating the hooker he is in love with. It also shines when that same hooker finds him in her apartment, then doesn't really question it but agrees to follow this plaid sporting lumberjack cop to his car and to his childhood home so she can be "safe". I think this movie is where Norm MacDonald got his "Fuck you I'm Burt Reynolds" impersonation.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Colorful Machine

Author: spelvini ( from New York City
5 June 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Sharky's Machine" is clearly a Burt Reynolds vehicle designed to allow the star room to strut his talents and he spray-paints the machine, the film plot, with colors from other films and other styles, offering a variety of moods within a nourish story.

Made in 1981 at 119 minutes (lengthy for the time period), the film did well, with box office grosses at $37,800,000. It had a lot going for it: Burt Reynolds actor and director, a solid one-two punch; a William Diel novel adaptation, and the south land of Atlanta Georgia, at this time, a land of opportunity for film production out of Hollywood.

Reynolds' Tom Sharky falling in love with Rachel Ward's Dominoe the hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold is here echoed as it was in "Hustle" when he played opposite Catherine Deneuve, and that film also had a corrupt politician at its core, but with downbeat ending not the Hollywood happiness in "Sharky's Machine".

The story is pure Detective procedure/actioner. Sharky a narcotics detective mismanages up a bust of a drug dealer, causing the killing of some innocent bystanders, and gets demoted, literally transferred downstairs to vice, to deal with perverts, and other m misdemeanors that 'upstanding' cops consider latrine duty. His new digs offers him the chance to meet many equally upstanding officers who are doing the dirty jobs no one else wants. When some attention is pointed toward a certain pimp Sharky looks over some evidence and discovers that one particular prostitute Dominoe (Rachel Ward) - Dominoe is being shielded by police forces and political forces and Sharky sets himself up a 24-hour surveillance force to watch her. During the time he watches he learns that the current Governor-elect Hotchkins (Earl Holliman) is visiting Dominoe, as is a slick Italian gangster Victor (Vittorio Gassman). Before the police can build a case with the evidence, Billy, Victor's brother, a coke-snorting gunman (Henry Silva) shoots through the door of Dominoe's apartment seemingly killing the beautiful Dominoe, but when Sharky discovers that the murdered victim was actually a roommate Tiffany (Aarika Wells) Sharky confronts Victor and tells him that he is going to have him arrested. Sharky is captured by some Ninja killers lead by Smiley (Darryl Hickman) and is tortured for information to lead to Dominoe, but Sharky overpowers them and arrests the Governor and in a heated chase kills Billy after he has killed Victor.

Reynolds wants to exhibit the inner workings of a hardened policemen falling in love, but the police-story plot, flavored with noir element, and Reynolds ability at cinematic development tends to slick over the dynamics of the relationships.

We come to learn something about some of the men and this leads us to reason why they are working towards their pensions in vice, instead of fighting real crime- this element of the film seems sketchy under Reynolds' off-handed direction and performance.

There is always uniqueness to a Reynolds film. He likes to hire stars, either character actors or others and then allow them to improvise, sometimes with varying results.

With his crew in "Sharky's Machine" he gets some fine moments, and sometimes some overblown grandstanding but always a sense of ensemble and good-natured-ness. With Reynolds as auteur it works.

Reynolds, the actor/auteur always seems to be smirking at himself and the viewer as if to say it's all fake, but good fun.

Great line: In the scene with Victor when Sharky throws down the gauntlet "You're walkin' all over people like you own 'em ,and you wanna know the worst part? You're from out of state." This seems to be the greatest insult the officer can throw at a criminal.

Reynolds made the film in Atlanta at his career point have shot himself reading the phone book and would have surely targeted and demographic.

The film did mark the appearance of Rachel Ward who was nominated as New Star of the Year in 1981 by the Golden Globe.

Reynolds has always had presence and star power and has chosen to make films close to home, Georgia.

I got my DVD from for $7.99 and unfortunately it doesn't contain any commentary or making-of features, which is a shame. Maybe the next generation will have them.

The movie is still a lot of fun and both Reynolds and Ward are great-looking actors in their prime.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Great Piece of Work!

Author: missykat from USA
10 June 1999

Sharky's Machine (also directed by Burt Reynolds) is his finest work...preceding Boogie Nights. The characters are penetrating and the performances are magnifying. Great action, great story. I urge everyone out there to find a copy and add it to their collection.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Sharky's Machine

Author: Tim Cox from Marietta, OH
28 May 1999

Reynolds is exciting as actor and director as a wily undercover cop in this absorbing thriller. It's about cop Reynolds who cracks a prostitution ring and drug operation that finds the superstars knee deep in murder. Charles Durning co-stars.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Reynolds Last Great Film

Author: james ayala from Bronx, New York
4 May 1999

Simply put this is Reynolds last great film before his lean period, that saw him decline in popularity.Directing as well, this film has it all. As Sharky a detective bumped down to the bowels of the vice squad, Reynolds was excellent as the gritty but vulnerable veteran cop who falls in love with a prostitute played by Rachel Ward.the scenes in which Reynolds has Ward under surveillance are beautifully shot and capture the cops Loneliness and growing attachment to Ward. it's a very tricky thing to pull off and somehow it works. A great supporting cast portray his fellow cops in particular, Charles Durning, Brian Keith,Bernie Casey, John Fielder and Richard Libertini. The villains are perfect, Victoria Gassman as the crime boss and Henry Silva as his junkie brother who kills on his command. To top it off the film has been laced with a great jazz score. Overall this film has really been overlooked. In my opinion this film Rates right up there with Lethal Weapon,And of course Burt did his own stunts.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

"Dirty Harry" of the East Coast!

Author: Brian T. Whitlock (GOWBTW) from WILMINGTON, NC
22 November 2005

Great just great! The West Coast got "Dirty" Harry Callahan, the East Coast got Sharky. Burt Reynolds plays Sharky in "Sharky's Machine" and I enjoyed every minute of it. Playing a maverick narcotics cop in Atlanta, GA is just what everyone wants. Instead of suspension, he's sent to vice squad. Like in the Dirty Harry movies or any other cop movies, the captain is always going to be the jerk. When I was a kid, I was curious what that movie meant "Sharky's Machine". Well I knew who played Sharky, I wonder what his machine was. It was his GROUP of fellow cops. After uncovering the murder, he goes all out to find the perp. When it turns out to be a big time mob boss, Sharky doesn't play around. When he gets the other prostitute into safety, Sharky fights back hard and good despite losing a finger to the thug. And I also like the part where the bad gets blown out of the building through a plate glass window. That was the BOMB! Randy Crawford's "Street Life" really put the movie in the right mood, and the movie itself is really a great hit to me, ALWAYS! Rating 4 out of 5 stars.

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