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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 4 people found the following review useful:

One of Burt's Best!

Author: Philip Aldredge from United States
1 March 2006

In short if you want to watch Burt Reynolds best films than this one must be included. If you don't like Burt you may still like this. If you love Burt this may become one of your favorite movies of all time! Being from Atlanta it does hit home but it's also nice to see a cop/action/drama that takes place somewhere other than NY City, Chicago, Miami, or LA. The film is funny at points with & good plot & good performances from a great supporting cast (every character is real & the bad guys are not so one sided they are really well thought out)A nice offbeat romance in the 2nd half & it has some good old fashion shootouts & fistfights (no CGI thank God REAL ACTION!)

If Clint Eastwood did his best impression of a Burt Reynolds movie with "Every Which Way But Loose" & "Any Which Way You Can" then Burt responded with his best Clint type flick with this, & it comes off great!

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Tough-guy Burt directs himself (spoilers)

Author: silentfilm-2 from Plano, Texas
26 September 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Burt Reynolds directed this action movie and (surprise!) he is actually a pretty good director. This movie starts off well as Burt's attempted bust of a drug dealer is botched, and he is demoted down to the vice squad. The ensemble cast has some pretty funny scenes as Brian Kieth is always eating something, Bernie Casey has more class than all of his co-workers combined, and Charles Durning loses control of his squad.

The vice cops stumble on a high-priced call-girl ring that may have something to do with a series of murders. Sharkey spends days staking out Dominoe's (Rachel Ward) apartment, and starts to really adore her from afar.

Just when they are getting close to the crime leader, Dominoe is murdered. I won't give away any of the surprises in the plot, but the first hour of this film is great.

Unfortunately, the screenplay gets very clichéd and unbelievable after that.

Why would Burt Reynolds confront the crime boss with his big secret? Sure it makes the guy sweat, but it causes many more cops to be killed. And it is not believable that Dominoe and Sharkey would make love after they have know each other for one day, much less while their lives are in danger. And at the end, what happened to all the police that run into the building with our heroes? Isn't there a SWAT team? Also, the film never actually tells you how all of the bad guys are connected, and why they have to kill so many people.

There is a very effective torture scene on a boat near the end of the film, which is probably the only really nail-biting scene of the film. It is a shame that the climax is a typical shoot-em-up. Still, this film is certainly entertaining if you like crime and action movies. Don't think about the plot holes, and you will have a good time.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

One of Burt's Best

Author: duke1907 from Hercules, Ca
2 April 2003

In the late seventies and early eighties Burt Reynolds was the biggest box office star in the world and this movie demonstrates why. Burt probably only made two true classics Deliverance and Boogie Nights, but while he was in his prime most of his movies were fun and entertaining.

In Sharkey's Machine he plays at Atlanta cop trying to clean up his city. It is extremely violent, but has good action sequences and a great supporting cast especially Brian Keith and Bernie Casey. Rachel Ward is Dominoe, the 1000 dollar a night hooker that Sharkey falls in love with. She is beautiful and the most classy part in this most. Burt also directs this movie and fills it with great action and fight scenes. He doesn't try to steal the show and lets the other actors shine. One bad thins is that he is fond of extreme close-ups that sometimes work and sometimes don't.

This was Burt's last big hit before he started making drivel like Stroker Ace and became the hasbeen that he now is. If you are looking for the ultimate Burt Reynolds movie then try this. It's too bad that he couldn't keep it up

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Neo-Noir at its best!

Author: Anonymous from USA
1 January 2001

In the tradition of "neo" film noir flicks like "Chinatown", this film focuses on a crime mystery in a bleak realm with a bit of character insight blended in. The typical noir characters thoughout, including the cop out to prove himself, a damsel in distress and a bad, bad guy. Sharky's Machine gets a 9 out of 10 for its cinematography first, plus its direction, story, strong character acting and superb jazz score. Available on DVD, though the soundtrack itself is out of print (but available "used" on some auction sites). Filmed on location in beautiful downtown Atlanta (novelist Diehl's hometown) and the uncluttered, circa 1979 look of the city would make an old-time Atlanta citizen or visitor long for the old days before 12-lane interstates crisscrossed the city, a cinematographer's dream at that time. This was Rachel Ward's first USA feature film.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A tough, uncompromising cop thriller with Reynolds in his best form......

Author: peter.ferrigno from Sydney, Australia
20 March 2000

Along with "Deliverance" and "Boogie Nights", this is Burt's best effort as a tough, hard nosed cop up to his neck in sadistic mobsters, crooked cops, cheating politcians and beautiful gotta enjoy watching Rachel Ward vamp it up !!

This a really punchy action flick from Reynolds with a great supporting cast including some of the best character actors of the early eighties. Charles Durning plays his short tempered boss in the Atlanta vice squad, Bernie Casey as his "Zen" influenced partner, and Brian Keith as "Papa" the junk food loving member of the machine.

And let's not forget those bad guys with Earl Holliman as a corrupt politician, cold blooded, manipulative Vittorio Gassman as the mob boss, the icy, unstoppable assassin Henry Silva,..... and how about those kung -fu killers !?!?

Anyone for a manicure.....????

Great use of location shooting, a gripping tight script, some comical moments from Durning and Keith, plus the exciting stuntwork and some great bone crunching fights add up to one of the most enjoyable cop movies of the early eighties.

This is Burt's last good movie before he went through some fairly tough and lean times ( both on and off the screen ) and then re-emerged back in focus in the 90's.

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

One of Reynolds best films

Author: LuboLarsson from Scotland
28 June 2004

I think this is one of Burts top five movies, along with Deliverance, Smokey and the Bandit, Boogie Nights and City Heat. He also directed this one so he had a talent for that too like his buddy Clint Eastwood. I wish he made more films like this or even a sequel to Sharkys Machine than the likes of Stroker Ace or Cannonball Run II. This is a tough, gritty cop thriller with Reynolds at the top of his game. Having the beautiful Rachel Ward in it of Thorn Birds fame helped too. Henry Silva is the bad guy and he always does a good job at that. The film also a great soundtrack too. I highly recommend this, wish it was on DVD in the UK, an audio commentary from Reynolds would be great as well. ***7/10***

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9 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Wild, Entertaining Action Film But Marred By Excessive Profanity

Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
17 May 2007

There are some tremendous action scenes in here, some of them really wild, and the film is interesting all the way. The only complaint I would have is that it is overly profane. You don't need profanity in almost every sentence. Give me a break.

That overdone language is especially not warranted when you a good story to start with, and an interesting cast. In this film, we have Burt Reynolds, Vitoorio Gassman, Rachel Ward, Brian Keith and Charles Durning.....and none of them are boring, believe me.

I enjoyed this a lot more when it came out 25 years ago. Now that I'm getting older and mellowing a bit, the overdone profanity in here ruined my enjoyment of it. I last saw this five years ago and never finished it which was disappointing since I bought the film instead of renting it.

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Sharky's Machine (1981)

Author: Buggieblade from Westbury, NY
25 March 2004

Sharky's Machine is a crime drama set in early 80's Atlanta. It stars Burt Reynolds as a renegade cop who is hellbent on stopping crime and corruption in his city. The story is about a dirty politician who is at the top of a crime ring that has been brining the city to it's knees. Sharky's link to bringing down this syndicate is a high-priced hooker that he falls for during the course of the movie. The action sequences are well done for the early 80's and the soundtrack / score are pretty good. The acting is B-level but this is a pretty decent film to have in your DVD collection.

Overall 7/10



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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Real cool, reel tough!!!

Author: ColemanDerrick from Decatur, Georgia
13 July 2001

Sharky's Machine is easily one of Burt Reynolds best efforts. It also stands as one of the best contemporary crime dramas. Erotic and violent, the movie distinguishes itself by setting the story in Atlanta, and delivering a chaotic detective case, to you(the viewer), on a silver platter. Dedicated and determined, Sharky must stop the murder of Dominoe, a lovely lady of the night, who's clientel is anything but ordinary. Before long, Sharky's crimefighting Machine uncovers a conspiracy of the highest order, which threatens to corrupt the inner body of Atlanta. As a resident of Metro Atlanta, I recall the excitement in town during the movie's production. Sharky's Machine goes to great lengths to give an accurate portrayal of Atlanta. Twenty years removed and 2,000,000-more people later, the film stands the test of time. Trust me, Atlanta has not changed. One of the highlights of the picture is Dar Robinson's daring stunt(a classic, symbolic ending). It was even featured on That's Incredible, ABC's reality show of the period. It's just too bad that Hollywood does not make enough films like this one. Kick back, each your popcorn, and watch sterling silver cinema action.

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9 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Victor's Perspective

Author: WillDaBeeste from LONDON, ENGLAND
12 August 2005

Meester Sharky, you look so ... normal. You would never get a table in this fancy cocktail restaurant/bistro. I, on the other 'and eat grapes and pate 'ere every day. You like my fur coat with all the fine trimming? My enormous golden rings of gold? Or maybe you like these blonde, 'ow you say?, bombshells, who are all qualified in aerobics and naked petanques, who decorate my long, maroon velvety sofa like so many soft boiled larks on a plate of pan fried foie gras and figs. You like? You can't have! Zey are all mine.

You will never possess 'er as I possessed 'er. Domino was the best, apart from Maman. You do not understand the art of lovemaking. Just look at your inferior moustache. It is almost funny to me, non, to think of that ludicrous protuberance on your silly face, as you snuffle around Domino's love hillock like the piggy seeking the truffle in the forest, the forest heaving and swaying in the hot winds of desire! You lose again Sharky.

When I make love to the women zey know, Sharky, zey know. Zey learn, zey learn until zey become the teacher. Not nano-maths, the arts of love. Domino was the seedling which I watered. I watered her so very often. Everywhere Sharky. Her scented petals, her proud stalk, everywhere. She will wither under your ridiculous hose, like the soufflé removed from the oven five minute too soon.

I must go now Sharky, you bore me so with your disgraceful behaviour. It is you who will be flushed down le pissoir like the smelly thing.

Bon chance!

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