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Sharky's Machine More at IMDbPro »

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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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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

I play the street life! It's the only life I know!

Author: jackwwalsh from Orlando, FL
3 May 2004

Without a doubt, the best Burt Reynolds film ever! Even better than Smokey and the Bandit. This was probably the first real bloody cop thriller of the 1980s and delivered the perfect blend of humor, action, mystery and style that is missing in today's films.

This one has it all: A psychotic Henry Silva jacked up on PCP, $1,000 a night call girls, ninja assassins and Burt Reynolds getting his fingers sliced off, one by one, with a butterfly knife. The film is based on the novel by William Diehl who also wrote PRIMAL FEAR, another one of my all-time favorites. This movie is worth watching just to see Henry Silva get shot six times, crash through a window, and fall thirty stories from the top of an Atlanta high-rise. This is probably the coolest stunt in Hollywood history, performed by legendary stuntman Dar Robinson.

Robinson also played "Moke" in the Elmore Leonard movie STICK, also starring Burt Reynolds. Stick features another great Dar Robinson stunt. Robinson falls from a Miami apartment building and unloads all six shots from a .44 magnum on his way down. Very cool stuff.

SHARKY'S MACHINE is my favorite police drama. I never understood why this film flopped the way it did. If Burt did more films like this, he would've built a better reputation for himself. He proves to be a talented director with Sharky, as well as a gifted actor. Burt is supported by Brian Kieth, Charles Durning, Bernie Casey, Richard Libertini, Rachel Ward, and everyone's favorite bad guy Henry Silva. PLEASE remake this classic film! Get Affleck and Samuel L. and some other hot actors and you've got a great movie just waiting to be filmed.

I give it a 9 out of 10

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Still great after all these years...

Author: Jean (jfg1) from Lawrenceville, GA
25 July 2002

I saw "Sharkey's Machine" when it first came out, but haven't watched it for many years. I found the DVD recently and decided to spend the $10.00. Probably the best $10.00 I've spent for a movie. "Sharkey" is still as tense and realistic as it was back then. It's too bad that Burt Reynolds never made another movie like this one. I prefer it to "Boogie Nights". It's cleaner and simpler. I wore out my cassette tape of the sound track. I wish I could find it on CD. Having grown up in Atlanta, I miss the city in the movie.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Nice Sleeper

Author: ( from Washington, DC
18 July 2001

This is the best thing Burt Reynolds ever did . . . . nice combination of suspense and humor, with an excellent supporting cast, this is a very well written and credible urban drama with a great sound track as well . . . makes you wonder why Reynolds doesn't direct more movies . . .

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Definitely Burt Reynold's best.

Author: thirty6min
28 June 2001

If you don't rent this movie, you are missing Burt Reynold's best work. I saw Burt Reynold's first Western at a very young age and thought he looks like Sean Connery. If he had taken the same route as Connery to horde his talent and wait for better scripts, he would still be turning out great works. His talents were wasted on all those mindless comedies that he took on for whatever reasons. Sharky's Machine brings out the inner strength of this fine actor. He somehow convinced me that he is really falling in love with this woman he is watching through a binocular. Given that the woman is Rachel Ward, that may not be so hard. Chicks may like this movie since it shows a tough guy can be sensitive too. The supporting cast is superb. Brian Keith, Bernie Casey and the lot of them grab your attention and make you care about what would happen to the characters. Cannot believe it has been twenty years since I saw this movie. Guys and chicks can both enjoy this fine piece of work.

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4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

What's he auditing for, a job at Benihana's?

Author: sol1218 from brooklyn NY
21 September 2005

***SPOIERS*** Atlanta crime auctioneer with Burt Reynolds,Sgt. Sharky, and his tough and well oiled "Sharky's Machine" Let. Frisco, Charles Durning, and officers Papa & Arch, Brian Keith & Berney Casey, breaking up the Atlanta crime Syndicate who's on the verge of putting "Their Man" in the Geroria Governor's State House.

Busted after messing up a major drug police sting operation, with the drug dealer and a number of innocent pedestrians shot and killed, Sgt. Sharky was transfered into vice. Busting hookers johns and perverts Sgt. Sharky finds a list of call girls in the wallet of a top Atlanta pimp and after bugging one of the call girls apartment it turns out that she's having Don Hotchkins, Earl Holliman, a candidate for governor as a regular costumer.

As Sharky starts to investigate this strange arraignment he finds out that the good family man, married with five children, Hotchkins is also on the payroll of Vittorio "Victor" Gassman the mob "Godfather" of Atlanta.The high-price call-girl Dominoe, Rachel Ward,who's involved with Hotchkins is tired of being a hooker and want's to leave Victor's stable of call-girls and live with Hotchkins as his live-in mistress after he gets elected governor of Georgia, which is already a forgone conclusion, but their's only one slight hitch; will Victor let go of her.

Tangling with the Gassman Syndicate the corrupt Atlanta police and city officials, as well as the local Chinese mob, Sgt. Sharky ends up losing most of his men, including two of his fingers, as he brings down the Gassman Mafia in a final shoot-out with the his Mobsters at the famous Atlanta Peachtree Plaza Hotel's.

Statueques and beautiful Rachel Ward as Dominoe is thought to have been murdered by Gassman's drugged-out hit-man Billy Score,Henry Silva,who blew her face off with a shot gun but in reality it turned out that he really killed Dominoe's call-girl room-mate Tiffany, Aarika Wells, with Dominoe away in the country.

Sharky, who was in love with Dominoe from afar, found out the truth about her being alive and to the surprise and shock of mob kingpin Victor Gassman is going to use her, by getting Dominoe to testify against him, to put Gassman and his mob away for good but the cunning and vicious Victor wasn't going to go willingly and let Sharky know it sooner then he thought.

Blood spattering shootout at the Peachtree Plaza Hotel in the films final sequence with Shark'y Machine having it out with the almost indestructible junkie hit-man Billy Score. Shooting it out on the hotel stairway both Billy Score and Sharky's machine member Arch come face to face with Billy's drug induced invincibility clashing with Arch's Zen reality alerting philosophy in what can best be said to be a battle of two cultures: West and East.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Dirty Burt.....

Author: FlashCallahan from Leicester, United Kingdom
4 May 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Tom Sharky is a narcotics cop in Atlanta who's demoted to vice after bust went wrong, and a member of the public was killed in the process.

In the depths of this division, while investigating a high-dollar prostitution ring, Sharky stumbles across a mob murder with government ties, and responds by assembling his downtrodden fellow investigators.

This forms Sharky's titular machine and they strive to find the leaders and bring them to justice before they kill off all his partners and witnesses.

Including Sharky himself........

From the upstart of the movie, its a totally different move for Reynolds. Deliverance aside, he was best known for making comedies, so once Eastwood went into his territory with Bronco Billy, he decided to reverse his roles.

And it's a pretty brutal affair. The opening set piece sets the tone for the mood of the whole film, and it's directed solidly by the actor, who makes the mood sometimes almost unbearable.

The mid section is a little stodgy unfortunately though, with the 'machine' looking for extra exposition, and Sharky spending a little too much time staring at Rachel Ward through a lens.

But it's Silva who steals the thunder from everyone. He is truly psychotic as the PCP riddled killer, and the final set piece is genuinely gripping right until the spectacular, record breaking fall.

And it skips to Reynolds and Ward playing with a tyre swing, and then it just finishes, which really feels out of place, especially as the mood swings so rapidly.

So its a totally watchable thriller, but it's nothing out of the ordinary, and despite surprising brutal side to the narrative, these thrillers were ten a penny in the eighties.

Which isn't a bad thing.

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