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Above the Law (1988)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  22 April 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 20,814 users  
Reviews: 87 user | 34 critic

A former Special Operations Vietnam vet works as a Chicago cop and uncovers CIA wrongdoing.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Detective Lukich
Tony Salvano
Sara Toscani
Miguel Nino ...
Chi Chi Ramon
Nicholas Kusenko ...
FBI Agent Neeley
Joe Greco ...
Father Joseph Gennaro (as Joe V. Greco)
Nelson Fox
FBI Agent Halloran (as Gregory Alan-Williams)
Uncle Branca
Metta Davis ...
Rosa Toscani
Joseph F. Kosala ...
Lieutenant Strozah (as Joseph Kosala)
Ronnie Barron ...
CIA Bartender


In Japan, the Sicilian martial arts expert Nicolo "Nico" Toscani is recruited by the CIA Special Agent Nelson Fox to join the Special Operations Forces in the border of the Vietnam and Cambodia. In 1973, Nico witnesses the torturer Kurt Zagon interrogating prisoners of war and he is disgusted and quits the CIA, returning to Chicago. Fifteen years later, Nico is married with a baby with his wife Sarah and they live in the same house of his mother. Nico is a tough and incorruptible narcotics detective of the Chicago Police Department very close to his partner and friend Delores 'Jacks' Jackson and his friend Detective Lukich. When Nico and Jacks investigate a drug traffic operation, they arrest the gang of the drug dealer Tony Salvano but they find that they are smuggling the plastic explosive C4 instead. However there is an interference of the FBI and Salvano and his partner are released by FBI Agent Neeley (Nicholas Kusenko) and the detectives are forbidden of proceed with the ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He's a cop who believes no one is above the law. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




Release Date:

22 April 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nico  »

Box Office


$7,500,000 (estimated)


$18,869,631 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(4 channels)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Due to film schedule constraints, the sequences at "Chicago Summer CES" (Consumer Electronic Show) were actually filmed at the November Comdex (Computer Dealer Expo) in Las Vegas. The film crew carried press credentials and pretended to be a news show filming about the products in the booth. See more »


During the search in Nico's house, one of the officers calls Steven Seagal "Steve", instead of "Nico". See more »


Delores Jackson: You're gonna need me.
Nico Toscani: Need you? For what?
Delores Jackson: To get your ass outta jail.
Nico Toscani: You think you can afford my bail?
See more »


Spoofed in Confessions of an Action Star (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Seagal's starter hit
9 February 2005 | by (WILMINGTON, NC) – See all my reviews

It's near the end of the 80's, and this movie "Above the Law" will be one of Steven Seagal's starter hit. It was not a sleeper from the beginning. The action there was almost non-stop, I liked the part where one of the thugs had a machete, that was used against him, that person ended up sliced and diced Seagal style.

Unlike those thugs there, the real deal were inside law enforcement, and that's where the fun begins. Pam Grier as Jacks maintains her toughness in this movie as she did in other blaxportaion films. Gregory Alan Williams was there way before "Baywatch", Sharon Stone, way, way, way, before "Total Recall" and "Basic Instinct".

Seagal character was just as a juggernaut in this movie as he was in "Hard to Kill". He was still driving the car with its front wheels shot out, and he shrugs off the cocaine murder attempt by one of the rogues. Everything turns out well in this movie, and the reviews should go well with the fans as well. Rating 3 out of 5 stars.

20 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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