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Deep Cover (1992)

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 »

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(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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 <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He'd be the perfect criminal if he wasn't the perfect cop. See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 April 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jenseits der weißen Linie  »

Box Office

Gross:

$16,639,799 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The rhymes that 'Lawrence Fishburne''s character recites, such as "The jungle creed says that the strong must feed on any prey at hand..." are lyrics taken from the record 'Reflections' by best-selling black author 'Iceberg Slim'. Bill Duke, who is a great fan of Iceberg Slim's work, wrote a screenplay of his autobiography "Pimp" which never made it to production. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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

Connections

Featured in Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

The Sex Is On
Performed by Po' Broke & Lonely
by Chris The Glove Taylor (as C. Taylor), R.C. Monge, M. Lynn
Courtesy of Ruthless/Epic
See more »

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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.


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