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Internal Affairs
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54 out of 63 people found the following review useful:

Mind games. Manipulation. Corruption. Welcome to the world of Dennis Peck.

9/10
Author: Dan Grant (dan.grant@bell.ca) from Toronto, Ontario
28 June 1999

I have never quite seen a movie like this before. In it, Richard Gere plays his most sinister role and I think his best character in years. There are many disturbing elements in this film and most of them are perpetrated by Richard Gere's Dennis Peck. He knows how to manipulate people to get what he wants and if that doesn't work he uses other measures.

The story goes like this: Richard Gere plays a cop that everyone owes a favour to. He is everyone's friend and everyone's silent worst enemy. He also lives a little above his income should allow him too and this is why he is being investigated by internal affairs. Enter Andy Garcia as Raymond, in a mesmerizing performance. These two know they are going to square off in the film and Peck has fun tormenting him.

Peck is a charismatic, good looking, wealthy play boy. He knows how to use what he has to his advantage, and that eventually means playing with Raymond's head to make him think that he is sleeping with his wife. Did I mention that he is intuitive? And this is established so brilliantly in one of their first meetings together that it makes you cringe.

Peck introduces himself to Raymond and at first he seems very co-operative assuring Raymond that he realizes Ray has a job to do just like he does. But the conversation takes an abrupt turn when Peck begins to hit too close to home when he begins to question how good Raymond's love life is right now. He knows he spends too much time at the office and that he has a beautiful, young wife that may be neglected. The scene works beautifully and sets up the psychological battle that takes place between the two as the film goes on. The next scene they have with each other is enough to make every man cringe at the cruelty of it.

Internal Affairs is a character study at it's finest. There are few films out there that can compare to this one and that can be attributed to the director, Mike Figgis. He hits every note perfectly and the performances he gets from his cast is such a joy to watch. I am surprised that Andy Garcia hasn't gone on to be bigger than he is because he was outstanding here.

This is an absolute must see for anyone that hasn't had the pleasure of doing so yet. But beware, there are some scenes that will get under your skin, especially if you spend too much time at the office and you have a beautiful woman waiting for you at home. What is she doing right now? Who is she with? Are you paranoid or are your concerns real? This film has fun with that paranoia.

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37 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

Figgis blurs the lines between good and bad in this dark thriller

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
4 February 2002

Dennis Peck is a street cop who seems happy to stay at that level, and yet he spends significantly more money than he makes on his cops' pay. When IA officers investigate Peck's partner Van Stretch for planting drugs on a suspect and using unnecessary force, they decide to look into Peck more. However Peck knows how to exploit weakness in those around him and begins to clear up the loose links around him while pushing all Raymond Avila's buttons.

This was Figgis' first American film and he made an excellent start. The dark plot is pretty simple in terms of beginning, middle, start. What makes it so much more than that is the characters are so well drawn. Peck and Avila both become like each other the more we know about them, their methods, their thoughts and their weaknesses are all similar. It makes it harder to fit everyone into the mould of good guys and bad guys and keeps everything more interesting. The various twists don't always make sense but the film is forceful enough to keep everything moving.

Gere is on best form here, playing a character against type he is the embodiment of corruption, deceit and murder. Garcia is also excellent as Raymond, who blends his actions well from good into bad. Metcalfe is excellent as Garcia's partner who may or may not be motivated by the hatred of Gere's macho personae. It's also good to see Baldwin, Travis and Xander Berkley have good roles.

Overall this is a dark thriller that blends characters into one mess of corruption in the police. It is an excellent film with great characters.

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34 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

Trivia time - these two really didn't like each other

Author: senortuffy from Glen Ellen, CA
16 April 2006

Atmospheric drama about a good cop (Andy Garcia) going after a bad cop (Richard Gere). What sets it apart is the interplay between the two leads.

My girlfriend's ex-husband worked on the set during production and she told me that the fight scenes in the film were real. Andy Garcia and Richard Gere really went at it in the elevator. The wounds they had were real, not fake. After filming had been completed, Garcia refused to attend the post-production party.

Knowing this, watch the film again. The tension between the two is palpable in just about every scene they're in together. Which makes for a pretty decent movie.

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34 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

A superlative, obsessive and seductive cat-and-mouse thriller

10/10
Author: Afracious from England
15 February 2000

Richard Gere and Andy Garcia are the two conflicting lead characters in this superlative cop thriller. Garcia plays Raymond Avilla, an Internal Affairs officer who has just started in a new precinct to work with his new partner, Amy Wallace (Laurie Metcalf). His first case leads him to suspect another officer, Dennis Peck (a committed, nasty and brilliant performance form Gere, who has never been better), is involved in illegal activities. Soon after, Peck realises that Avilla is on his trail, and starts to confront him with boasts of how he his going to take his wife, and Avilla punches him. These scenes are great. Avilla is the clean-cut guy and Peck is immoral without any remorse. You really get to despise Peck in the film, he even kills people on the side for money and protects hookers. The film rolls along with a seductive and sensuous flair as Peck meets Avilla's beautiful wife, Kathleen (Nancy Travis), and Avilla thinks she has slept with him. The scene after this where Avilla confronts her in the restaurant is a classic. The film then builds to a gripping final showdown scene. The motif on the video for this movie is ''charming, seductive and deadly'', and I have to agree. It is a gripping, classy and entertaining thriller.

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23 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Internal Affairs: A tense, fearless police thriller and a showcase for Richard Gere.

7/10
Author: Dillon Richards from United States
30 April 2006

Internal Affairs is a thriller with a lot of nerve. It takes risks, presenting the audience with a grim and violent story of police corruption. It doesn't care if you like it or hate it, just that it does its job of getting under your skin. The main reason the movie is so effective is because of Richard Gere's powerhouse performance. It caught me off guard, since before I saw it I'd always seen him as the hero or love interest, far from the territory he's in here. I'll get more into Gere's performance later, just let me clear up the plot.

Gere is Dennis Peck, respected vice cop, father and husband, determined to do the job. Oh, he's also the dirtiest cop on the force. He plants evidence, shoots suspects, sets up his fellow officers, doing it all without a shed of remorse. The hero of the movie is Raymond Avila (Andy Garcia), newly assigned to the Internal Affairs division of the LAPD and a friend of Peck's partner, Van Stretch (Stephen Baldwin). When Stretch introduces Peck and Avila it's obvious they don't like each other. Not getting along becomes an understatement as Avila starts to uncover Peck's corrupt behavior and looks to put a stop to it. But Peck won't go down without a fight, and he'll do whatever he can to keep Internal Affairs off his back.

As far as police thrillers go, Internal Affairs is one of the meaner kind. Rather than put us into the normal day of a cop it decides to put us into the normal day of bad cop, a really bad cop. This is a guy who would kill a man for stepping on his shoe. He'd probably kill his family too, and laugh while he was doing it. Think I'm exaggerating? Not so much. Peck is the embodiment of all the bad guys in police thrillers and none of the cops in them.

Of all of the actors you could find to play a guy like this, who would have guessed that a likable actor like Richard Gere would ever fit the bill. Does he ever. He gives that kind of against type performance we see a lot from normally good guy actors. We've seen it from Denzel Washington (Training Day), Tom Cruise (Collateral), and Robin Williams (Insomnia) in the past few years. Each of these guys have given performances that have altogether changed how we see them as actors. Gere is no exception here. He seems to be having a blast too, chewing the scenery every chance he gets.

He's surrounded by some good supporting work. Andy Garcia gives Avila a kind of determination you'd expect from a guy who's life has been wrecked by a guy like Peck. As his partner, Laurie Metcalf is likable and isn't as wasted as she could have been.

But when it all comes down to it, this is Gere's show, and he shines in his only truly villainous role to date. He probably had enough of playing the villain by the time he was done with this movie. That would make sense. After playing a guy like Dennis Peck, any actor would need time off from playing the bad guy. I'd like to see Gere play the bad guy again though, and give us another surprising and terrifically evil performance.

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18 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

A sexual and psychological battle is set by Figgis.

Author: ary luiz dalazen jr. (ajr@fortalnet.com.br) from Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil
18 August 1999

This intelligent and well-directed thriller has some brutal, extremely violent scenes, but what makes you really come closer to the tension created by this original and realistic plot is the psychological confrontation among the two main characters, and Mike Figgis works out on it,settling the battle in the sexual and physical aspects,what is evident in the second meeting of Garcia and Gere:Raymond Avila (Andy Garcia, who develops his role in a silent, but extremely lowering form) is a correct, honest Internal Affairs' agent, and he receives the mission to investigate Dennis Peck (Richard Gere, in what can be easily pointed as his best career's performance), a corrupt,charming and cruel cop who has a lot of ex-wives and sons.The moment in which Peck and Avila are together breaks out an explosive hostility: Peck starts to talk about family, and suddenly touches in a sensitive issue, Avila's wife.Avila doesn't like Peck's provocation, and hits him.The battle is set.This scene is very thrilling and memorable.The sound track and the photography contribute to build a hot and agile rhythm. Internal Affairs is an entertaining and interesting movie, and if you liked Q&A and The French Connection, you will enjoy it!

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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

A cop 'outside'. I.A.D. on the case.

8/10
Author: Benjamin Wolfe from USA
20 January 2007

This is sort of a slow starter, but once moving it goes quite nicely. Wouldn't matter anyway, I'm not really that impatient when it comes to a story I want to see.

Figgis, directs this internal-power struggle police story, with a candid view. Mike does a good job of building suspense, then,"BOOM!" It explodes in your face. This was also, between the actors, Garcia,(Raymond Avilla) and Gear's Officer Dennis Peck, an odd but interesting match-up. I think that the perfect cat and mouse game was this stories 'pearl'. These two shined along with others that rounded out the casting. There was a certain hatred between both characters that was just right, for the story-liner. It shows, in the story cops relating to spouses and family in stress produced situations as well as the other civil servants that we don't see on a public basis.

I thought that the way, this was set and brought to a scorching climax was well met by those that saw the movie. I think that Figgis set out and accomplished what he was looking for here. (***) Well Done.

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17 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

A top-of-the-line Gere performance.

7/10
Author: gridoon
28 May 2001

The subject here (police corruption) is banal, but it gains extra value and weight by Figgis' atmospheric direction and, especially, by Richard Gere's powerful performance in perhaps his most atypical role (and as far as I know, his only truly villainous one). After watching him in this film, I don't know how some people can still doubt that he's a talented actor as well an attractive star. The rest of the cast is also good. The finale, however, is somewhat disappointing. (**1/2)

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15 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Effectively skewed genre thriller

6/10
Author: Framescourer from London, UK
15 February 2006

A pretty good, early feature from Figgis. It's a thriller but with a unique strain already showing - it's more a war of character and attrition between Garcia and Gere than a straight chase number and broken up with a notable dream sequence (in fact, with this shot in a monochromatic blue and the nature of the film leaning towards existential examination of the leads I can't help but think of the Michael Mann of Manhunter and Heat respectively).

Garcia gives a good performance, if perhaps a touch excessively 'Latin' in its swinging between inscrutable and violent. He's well supported by Nancy Travis and particularly Lauire Metcalf - playing a unfussy, unostentatious but unequivocal lesbian. The treat of the show though is Gere. A true A-list performance here, powerfully masculine in its self-assurance, sexual charisma and violence in various states of disguise.

A stock film lifted by the agenda of a developing director and a matinée idol. Unsurprising, occasionally laboured but always watchable. 6/10

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Internal Affairs

9/10
Author: Scarecrow-88 from United States
4 August 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Right before Pretty Woman (1990), Gere played smarmy, womanizing, multi-divorced, prick LA street cop, Dennis Peck, taking money from the likes of pimps and drug-dealers in order to provide for his four wives and nine (!) kids. Peck likes to spread the seed around. He's in for a rude awakening when young Hispanic Internal Affairs agent, Raymond Avilla (Andy Garcia) investigates Peck's partner, Van Stretch (William Baldwyn), prone to violent outbursts and other criminal activities. Avilla wants Peck and hopes to get Van to turn on him. Peck not only takes money for prostitution and drugs but also negotiates executions, as is the case with a businessman's parents! Peck isn't about to not only take money and arrange gangbangers to execute the businessman's parents but feels free to bang the guy's wife as well! When Peck realizes the threat to his livelihood, he makes it a mission to torment Avilla, provoking his jealousy in regards to a wife (a smokin' Nancy Travis; I'm telling you, Travis has never been this foxy!) needing some lovin' (knowing Peck's reputation as a womanizer, Avilla does feel a sense of uncertainty because his overworking nature to find evidence against the smart-aleck, no-good cop leaves little time for a wife wanting affection and attention from her husband) and removing anyone that might point a finger at his direction.

Considering the possible notoriety behind the scenes between Gere and Garcia's inability to get along, their time on screen benefits significantly from the intensity, animosity, and hostility shared between the two characters, Peck and Avilla. Gere fires on all cylinders in this performance, full of swagger and aggression, with a character that would easily dupe you into believing he's on your side, while all the while setting up your execution. Seemingly no conscience (except when with his children) or compassion exists in this man, and Peck has built enough bad juju for punishment to visit upon him with violent and swift justice. I like how the film establishes that Avilla's obsessions (like getting a cop associated with Peck, Dorian (Michael Beach), on Homicide) are turning him into Peck. There's a really volatile scene where Avilla confronts his wife in a restaurant about her possible involvement with Peck that registers off-the-charts; Avilla even smacks her upside the jaw, dropping panties, stolen by Peck from her room, at her face! Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne; The Big Bang Theory) has a nifty supporting part as Avilla's lesbian partner, Amy Wallace. Where Internal Affairs feels conventional is in the partner getting hurt and the wife being threatened by the villain. The inevitable showdown doesn't quite match the earlier macho exchanges, eliciting plenty of fireworks, between the opposing cops. Gere dominates his scenes—every last one of them—while Garcia can stare down those associates of Avilla with a moral compass blazing a trail from his eyes that leaves them really uncomfortable and on edge (a great example is the wife of Van, played by Faye Grant, who has a disdain for the IA but cannot look Avilla in the eyes; she had been screwing around with Peck behind Van's back). Annabella Sciorra has limited involvement in the film as Peck's newest wife, eventually helping Avilla take down her sleazy husband (it was either her children or Peck, with few options available to her, as Avilla forces her hand). Baldwin's demise thanks to Gere is hard to watch because it is coming and Van doesn't have a clue he's about to take a shotgun blast to the chest. Not quite dying, Peck assists with a choke hold strangling the remaining life from him. This, along with the discovery of the parents under the giant Hollywood sign, just illustrates fully how evil he really is. He, at the end, uses his children's welfare as an excuse for all of his activities; Gere's whole purpose is to make us despise his character and in that he succeeds.

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