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Bad Lieutenant (1992)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  17 December 1992 (Argentina)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 27,602 users   Metascore: 67/100
Reviews: 170 user | 70 critic | 18 from

While investigating a young nun's rape, a corrupt New York City police detective, with a serious drug and gambling addiction, tries to change his ways and find forgiveness.



(as Zoe Lund) ,
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Beat Cop
Cop #1 (as Paul Calderone)
Cop #2 (as Leonard Thomas)
Robin Burrows ...
The Nun
Victoria Bastel ...
Brian McElroy ...
Frankie Acciarito ...
Lieutenant's Wife
Lieutenant's Daughter
Dana Dee ...
Lieutenant's Baby Girl
Anthony Ruggiero ...


A police Lieutenant goes about his daily tasks of investigating homicides, but is more interested in pursuing his vices. He has accumulated a massive debt betting on baseball, and he keeps doubling to try to recover. His bookies are beginning to get agitated. The Lieutenant does copious amounts of drugs, cavorts with prostitutes, and uses his status to take advantage of teenage girls. While investigating a nun's rape, he begins to reflect on his lifestyle. Written by Ed Sutton <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Gambler. Thief. Junkie. Killer. Cop.


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug use, language, violence and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

17 December 1992 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Teniente corrupto  »

Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)


$2,000,022 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (R-rated)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


'Harvey Keitel''s character's real name is unknown - he is only credited as 'LT' and referred to as 'Lieutenant'. See more »


When the Lieutenant stops the Jersey girls he is talking to them through the open driver's side window. When the camera angle changes it is clear the window is rolled up. See more »


Zoe: Vampires are lucky, they can feed on others. We gotta eat away at ourselves. We gotta eat our legs to get the energy to walk. We gotta come, so we can go. We gotta suck ourselves off. We gotta eat away at ourselves til there's nothing left but appetite. We give, and give and give crazy. Cause a gift that makes sense ain't worth it. Jesus said seventy times seven. No one will ever understand why, why you did it. They'll just forget about you tomorrow, but you gotta do it.
See more »


Referenced in Californication: The Ride Along (2012) See more »


Written by Adams / Van Lierop / Praga Khan (as Somora)
(P) 1991 Be's Songs
Performed by Lords of Acid
Used by permission of Antler / Subway Records & Caroline Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

deeply unpleasant movie with a star performance
19 May 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

'Bad Lieutenant' is not an easy film to watch. The lead character on the surface has no redeeming virtues - he's corrupt, he's sexually and morally deviant, he is really and truly on the slide. A nun's rape is supposed to awaken his conscience in some way and affect him so deeply that he almost gets to be a decent citizen, but for the bleak and empty ending.

All this would be so much hogwash if it wasn't for the stunning lead performance of Harvey Keitel, certainly taking his acting talent right to the edge to give us a nothing-held-back portrait of his character. There are several scenes of great power (and one or two which are deeply repellent); certainly this isn't a film you can easily forget when you've seen it.

50 of 60 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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