Deep Cover (1992)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Thriller  |  15 April 1992 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 6,369 users  
Reviews: 53 user | 21 critic

A black uniformed policeman is recruited by a devious drug enforcement agent to infiltrate a smuggling organization seeking to expand into designer drugs. This 'ugly side of the war on ... See full summary »



(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

4 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Hoodlum (1997)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Black gangsters in 1930 Harlem fights Dutch Schultz who is trying to horn in on their numbers racket.

Director: Bill Duke
Stars: Laurence Fishburne, Tim Roth, Vanessa Williams
In Too Deep (1999)
Crime | Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Jeff Cole is a recent graduate of the Cincinnati police academy who dreams of working undercover. His wish is granted and through success is given the task of taking down state-wide crack ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Rymer
Stars: Omar Epps, LL Cool J, Nia Long
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A beautiful black gangster's moll flees to Harlem with a trunkload of gold after a shootout, unaware that the rest of the gang, and a few other unsavoury characters, are on her trail. A ... See full summary »

Director: Bill Duke
Stars: Forest Whitaker, Gregory Hines, Robin Givens
New Jack City (1991)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A crime lord ascends to power and becomes megalomaniacal while a maverick police detective vows to stop him.

Director: Mario Van Peebles
Stars: Wesley Snipes, Ice-T, Allen Payne
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Vietnam vet adjusts to life after the war while trying to support his family, but the chance of a better life may involve crime and bloodshed.

Directors: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes
Stars: Larenz Tate, Keith David, Chris Tucker
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

People from all different walks of life, encounter racial tension, rape, responsibility, and the meaning of an education on a university campus.

Director: John Singleton
Stars: Omar Epps, Kristy Swanson, Michael Rapaport
Bad Company (1995)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Nelson Crowe is a CIA operative under the thumb of the Company for a disputed delivery of $50,000 in gold. They blackmail him into working for the Grimes Organization, which is set up as a ... See full summary »

Director: Damian Harris
Stars: Ellen Barkin, Laurence Fishburne, Frank Langella
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A former drug lord returns from prison determined to wipe out all his competition and distribute the profits of his operations to New York's poor and lower classes in this stylish and ultra violent modern twist on Robin Hood.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Christopher Walken, David Caruso, Laurence Fishburne
Sugar Hill (1993)
Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Hardened, uncomprimising drug dealer Roemello Skuggs decides to quit his scumbag profession so he may start a new life with his girlfriend. However, he soon learns getting out is nowhere ... See full summary »

Director: Leon Ichaso
Stars: Wesley Snipes, Michael Wright, Khandi Alexander
South Central (1992)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A man is sent to prison for 10 years. Coming out of prison he wants to live a normal life and stop crime but his son has now followed the criminal path of his father.

Director: Stephen Milburn Anderson
Stars: Byron Minns, Glenn Plummer, Lexie Bigham
Deep Cover (1997)
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

FBI agent, expert in martial arts, become the main target for a gangster, after she kills one of his closest employees.

Director: Nicholas Celozzi
Stars: Cynthia Rothrock, Stephen Nichols, Patrick Wayne
Trespass (1992)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Two Arkansas firemen, Vince and Don, get hold of a map that leads to a cache of stolen gold in an abandoned factory in East St. Louis. What they don't know is that the factory is in the ... See full summary »

Director: Walter Hill
Stars: Bill Paxton, Ice-T, William Sadler


Cast overview, first billed only:
René Assa ...
Policeman (as Bruce Barbour)
Bilal Bashir ...
Rapper's Musician
Anna Berger ...
Donald Bishop ...
Ed Cambridge ...
Crackhead #2
Jaime Cardriche ...
Alisa Christensen ...
Ivy's Driver
Alex Colon ...
Molto (as Alex Colón)
Cory Curtis ...
James Encinas ...
Guzman's Guard
Joseph Ferro ...
Russell Stevens Jr. / John Hull (as Larry Fishburne)


A black uniformed policeman is recruited by a devious drug enforcement agent to infiltrate a smuggling organization seeking to expand into designer drugs. This 'ugly side of the war on drugs' explores the context of race, identity and hypocrisy within a brutal and alienating investigation. Written by Keith Loh <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Dealer. Snitch. Junkie. Hustler. See more »


Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 April 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jenseits der weißen Linie  »

Box Office


$16,639,799 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of the pictures on Carver's criminal family tree chart is of director Bill Duke. See more »


When Felix Barbosa is slapping Eddie around in the pool hall at one point Eddie pulls all the food and glasses off the table. The food and drink reappear for one shot before disappearing for good. See more »


Betty McCutcheon: Boys, is this some type of male bonding thing? Because you can take it outside. You're blowing my high.
See more »


References Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) See more »


Nickel Slick Nigga
Performed by Kokane (as Ko-Kane)
by Kokane (as J. Long), Edwin Birdsong (as E. Birdsong), Roy Ayers (as R. Ayres)
Courtesy of Ruthless/Epic
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Intelligent filmmaking that is hard to find in today's films
19 March 2004 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Deep Cover stands out as a great example of how to make a good film and has something that is often missing from modern cinema. The cinematography, editing, and music are all outstanding. What's even better is how all those elements tie-in to a well thought out and communicated theme of duality. The two main characters Russel/John (Fishburne) and David (Goldblum) parallel each other nicely, and reinforce the theme perfectly.

On the one hand, there's Russel, the cop determined to make a difference in his community who is then taken advantage of by his superiors and used like a tool. Russel begins demonstrating more and more criminal traits as the film goes on, eventually "becoming" his undercover alter ego John. As a criminal, John is able to do exactly what he set out to do, all while commanding respect and receiving tons of money without any of the red tape he had as a cop. In the end, he has to make a choice, cop or criminal. Work with society and be dishonest to yourself, or work outside of society and be dishonest to "the system".

On the other hand, there's David, a lawyer with a nice wife, house, and kid, but also happens to be a major drug dealer. He too must make the same difficult choice, even stating in the film, "I want my cake and eat it too", which truthfully shows that it is a hard decision.

While Deep Cover is labeled by most as a "hood movie", it is quite different in it's themes from most films in that genre. Instead of simply presenting the inner cities' problems, the filmmakers here try to answer the question of why. Why do young people feel the need to become criminals? Perhaps it's because of the bureaucratic nature of a society that turns it's back on those with strong uncompromising individuality coupled with low income. Maybe not. But unlike most films that answer all the questions they present for their audiences, Deep Cover simply asks the questions, and leaves the answers up to its audience.

The filmmaking here is intelligent, the subject matter is interesting, and the audience is treated with an amount of respect that isn't easy to find in modern film. No, the film isn't perfect, but at least in my eyes, it's very close to being so.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Things I Learned From This Movie bryandeth316
after watching this over and over again... chwykoff
Ivy rsr26
This Movie Should've been in Black and White Giveadont
who wrote that poem? elialev
Discuss Deep Cover (1992) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: