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Gang Related (1997)

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Two corrupt cops murder an undercover DEA agent by mistake, and frantically try to cover their tracks by framing a homeless man for the crime. That involves juggling evidence, coaching ... See full summary »






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Cast overview, first billed only:
Det. Frank Divinci (as James Belushi)
Kool Moe Dee ...


Two corrupt cops murder an undercover DEA agent by mistake, and frantically try to cover their tracks by framing a homeless man for the crime. That involves juggling evidence, coaching witnesses, and improvising to keep their desperate scheme from unraveling. Written by <rozebud@compuserve.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


With cops like these, you don't need gangsters. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language, some violence and a scene with nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 October 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Criminal Intent  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,286,065 (USA) (10 October 1997)


$5,790,448 (USA) (7 November 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The word "fuck" and its derivatives are said more than 165 times. See more »


In the overhead shot where they pick-up the third "suspect", the shadow of the boom mic is visible in the lower left-hand corner. See more »


Divinci: Alright. Let's think about this.
Detective Rodriguez: Yeah. Let's.
Divinci: What's the worse case scenario?
Detective Rodriguez: What? Are you kidding me?
Divinci: No.
Detective Rodriguez: You're joking me?
Detective Rodriguez: You mean, what's "worse" than what we've done that can still happen? Or, what's worse than if this shit doesn't work out! Blows up in our face! We go to jail, get sent to the electric chair! THEN we die! THEN we go to fuckin' hell! Worse than that?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Dedicated to Tupac Shakur (1971-1996) See more »


Referenced in Sunday Morning Rapture (2011) See more »


Joe's Nightmare
Written & Performed by Danny Sheridan & Deborah Ann Ray
See more »

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User Reviews

Surprisingly effective film--gritty style and violent content are appropriate here. *** out of ***
27 December 1999 | by (Michigan, USA) – See all my reviews

GANG RELATED (1997) ***

Starring: James Belushi, Tupac Shakur, Lela Rochon, Dennis Quaid, James Earl Jones, and David Paymer Written and directed by: Jim Kouf Running Time: 106 minutes Rated R (for strong pervasive language, violence, sexual situations, and some nudity)

By Blake French:

My expectations for "Gang Related" weren't exactly peak high when I decided to screen it. The production just didn't look like anything new to be added into the gritty undercover street cop genre. I was wrong, and the film is somewhat original. I liked the film and its gritty ghetto style it is shot in. I recommend it to those of you looking for a violence action picture with an attitude.

The film's setup begins a little week, but then triggers a series of unpredictable events that connect to each other in a distributive fashion. The two main characters are FBI agents Divinci (James Belushi), and Rodriguez (Tupac Shakur). They are corrupt cops, taking the law into their own hands in many cases, sometimes resulting in murder. One night, Divinci and Rodriguez undercover a drug bust that ends in them shooting the seeming criminal dead. As it turns out, the so called drug lord was actually an undercover cop.

The movie's intentions are clear from the first act; we are watching a story from the bad guys point of view. It is an unconventional idea. The opening contains to little dramatic material to go much anywhere, so the rest of the film much hinge of from it. We meet two characters, receive some development that explains to us these are down on their luck, profane, unrighteous individuals, and are then propelled into the rest of the plot, which basically details the complications of the villain's bad choices.

Once Divinci and Rodriguez learn the identity of the man they brutally killed, they panic. Their first intentions. Since they are the cops assigned to this high pressure case, that they will need to come up with a either a criminal suspect who will plead guilty to their dastardly deed, or frame a crime friendly fellow who can't prove he didn't commit their murder. In the streets they come from, crime and murder is an everyday occurrence, so their plans should work out a-okay...right.

I really liked where the film goes from here: In desperation, Divinci and Rodriguez decide to frame a homeless bum for their murderous crime, played tremendously convincing by Dennis Quaid. The bearded man selected is so out of it, he doesn't even remember his name. So our two incisive corrupters give him a name, plant evidence, explain to him a story which he believes happened, and bribe him to confession.

Characters who enter the story afterward are Cynthia (Lela Rochon), a stripper who is persuaded to lend a deceitful but helping hand to Divinci and Rodriguez, powerful lawyer Arthur Baylor James (Earl Jones), who comes to the rescue of the bum's hopeless defense, and another "lesser" lawyer named Elliot Goff (David Paymer).

"Gang Related" contains a story that is as involving and intriguing as any action picture in the last several years. It uncommonly has unpredictable elements inside. The complication of the conflict are tense and involving as the characters sink themselves into a deeper pit of despair and trouble. But one thing came across my mind as I watched Divinci and Rodriguez work up a taut sweat as they make life or death cover up choices, why don't they just flee the country?

Jim Kouf, who wrote and directed this final film to star the late Tupac Shakur, observes decent performances with the strong dramatic impulse manifested. He holds nothing back, and at times goes over the edge a little in his style of direction. The atmosphere created in "Gang Related" is abrasive, pervasive, and indiscreetly tough. But with such a movie titled "Gang Related," what would you expect?

Brought to you by Orion Pictures.

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

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