Dark Blue (2002)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  21 February 2003 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 16,577 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 119 user | 70 critic | 37 from Metacritic.com

A robbery homicide investigation triggers a series of events that will cause a corrupt LAPD officer to question his tactics.



(story), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

3 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Breakdown I (1997)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A man searches for his missing wife after his car breaks down in the middle of the desert.

Director: Jonathan Mostow
Stars: Kurt Russell, J.T. Walsh, Kathleen Quinlan
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A gang of ex-cons rob a casino during Elvis convention week.

Director: Demian Lichtenstein
Stars: Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner, Courteney Cox
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

After a break-in at their house, a couple gets help from one of the cops that answered their call. He helps them install the security system, and begins dropping by on short notice and ... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan Kaplan
Stars: Kurt Russell, Ray Liotta, Madeleine Stowe
Soldier I (1998)
Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A soldier is dumped on a waste disposal planet and lives among a community of crash survivors on the planet and takes it upon himself to defend his new home when genetic engineered soldiers are ordered to eliminate the crash survivors.

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Stars: Kurt Russell, Jason Scott Lee, Jason Isaacs
Action | Adventure | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

When terrorists seize control of an airliner, an intelligence analyst accompanies a commando unit for a midair boarding operation.

Director: Stuart Baird
Stars: Kurt Russell, Halle Berry, Steven Seagal
Backdraft (1991)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two Chicago firefighter brothers who don't get along have to work together while a dangerous arsonist is on the loose.

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, Robert De Niro
Narc (2002)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When the trail goes cold on a murder investigation of a policeman an undercover narcotics officer is lured back to the force to help solve the case.

Director: Joe Carnahan
Stars: Ray Liotta, Jason Patric, Chi McBride
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Mac Mckussic is an unlikely drug dealer who wants to go straight. His old and best friend Nick Frescia is now a cop who is assigned to investigate and bring him to justice. Mac is very ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Towne
Stars: Mel Gibson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kurt Russell
Harsh Times (2005)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A tough-minded drama about two friends in South Central Los Angeles and the violence that comes between them.

Director: David Ayer
Stars: Christian Bale, Eva Longoria, Freddy Rodríguez
Street Kings (2008)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An undercover cop, disillusioned by the recent murder of his wife, is implicated in the murder of an officer and must struggle to clear himself.

Director: David Ayer
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Malcolm Anderson is a reporter for a Miami newspaper. He's had enough of reporting the local murders and so promises his school teacher girlfriend (Christine), they'll move away soon. ... See full summary »

Director: Phillip Borsos
Stars: Kurt Russell, Mariel Hemingway, Richard Jordan
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Snake Plissken is once again called in by the United States government to recover a potential doomsday device from Los Angeles, now an autonomous island where undesirables are deported.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Steve Buscemi, Stacy Keach


Cast overview, first billed only:
Bobby Keough
Beth Williamson
Arthur Holland
Darryl Orchard
Gary Sidwell
James Barcomb
Janelle Holland
Henry Kim
Eldon Perry III
Deena Schultz


Set in the Los Angeles Police Department in April 1992, Dark Blue is a dramatic thriller that takes place just days before the acquittal of four white officers in the beating of black motorist Rodney King and the subsequent L.A. riots. In this racially-charged climate,the LAPD's elite Special Investigations Squad (SIS) is assigned a high-profile quadruple homicide. As they work the case, veteran detective Eldon Perry, known for his tough street tactics and fiery temper, tutors SIS rookie Bobby Keough in the grim realities of police intimidation and corruption. Meanwhile, Assistant Chief Holland, the only man in the department willing to stand up to the SIS, threatens to end Perry's brand of singlehanded "justice" on the Los Angeles streets. While navigating through the tumultuous neighborhoods of South Central L.A., Perry and Keough must track down cold-blooded killers and face their own demons, which prove to be more ruthless than the criminals they pursue. Written by Press kit

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


1992, L.A is at boiling point. One cop's turning up the heat. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

21 February 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

4-29-92  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,880,688 (USA) (21 February 2003)


$445,606 (France) (22 August 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was an original screenplay written by James Ellroy entitled "The Plague Season". It was in development for eight years. One time the film was set up at Universal Pictures. See more »


Assistant Chief Holland is wearing his rank insignia upside down during Detective Keough's Officer-Involved-Shooting Board. He wears 3 stars on each collar; one point of each star should be pointed up (towards his neck) however he is wearing them pointed down. See more »


Jack Van Meter: Get the hell down from there. While you're grandstanding here the city is starting to burn. Jimmy for Christ sakes!
Det. Sgt. Eldon Perry Jr.: If the city is starting to burn, Jack, it's partly because of guys like you and me. And I may be a goddamm alcoholic but that doesn't mean I can't tell the truth - and I've got all the deep deep dirt right here. Somebody put the cufs on me - let me start talking!
See more »


References Mandingo (1975) See more »


Streets on Fire
Written by Perry Farrell, Stephen Perkins, Peter DiStefano, Martyn LeNoble
David Williams and Robert Ezrin (as Bob Ezrin)
Performed by Porno For Pyros featuring Kurupt
Perry Farrell appears courtesy of Virgin Records America, Inc.
Kurupt appears courtesy of Antra Music Group.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Solid cop thriller despite not really getting much from the backdrop
1 January 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As the trial of the officers accused of beating Rodney King occurs in the background, LA sits on a knife's edge of tension. Meanwhile hard-line cop Eldon Perry celebrates his partner being cleared of operating outside of procedure and the pair go back to work. When they are put on a robbery homicide case all the evidence points to a couple of informants used by Captain Jack Van Meter, however he assures them it wasn't them and tells them to find someone else to pin it on. However Perry's partner Bobby Keough has a change of heart and the cracks start to show as LA bursts into flames.

This film was slightly over-hyped when it came out. I agree that it is a solid cop thriller that rises above recent offerings from the genre but to give it as much praise as it garnered at the time is to give it more than it deserves. The basic plot is on two levels. On the first level the film is about police corruption and sees a corrupt house of cards teetering on the brink of collapse. This bit works well and the cop thriller element works well even if it treads familiar ground. The second level is the background of the Rodney King trial and the LA riots. This aspect is very much wallpaper and I didn't really feel it was necessary for the main narrative to work. At best it complimented the ongoing tensions between community and cops, at worst it distracts from the main thrust.

Russell does give one of his strongest performances in recent years and is not afraid to be an unsympathetic lead character. However the rest of the cast are either not as good or not as well used. Speedman has to carry most of the moral weight of the film and it is clearly too heavy for him and can't do it convincingly. Rhames is simply not used very well and is almost supplementary to requirements. Gleeson is miscast - he is an able actor but the film required him to be a generation older than Perry, in reality they were the same age more or less. Michele is sexy and is reasonably well used for a support character and Kurupt is good even if he is playing the character that he plays daily in his rapper personae.

Overall this was a superior cop thriller that was enjoyable as same. It did a reasonable job looking at the real life issues of corruption in the LAPD but not as well as perhaps other reviews would have led you to believe - it is more a wallpaper or just a theme that is used to prop up the narrative rather than a real good historic look at the time.

31 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
am i the only one.. quaid82
The best confession scene in movie history farms-1
Dark Blue vs Narc vs Training Day moviemaniathe1st
Ron Sheltons biased commentary and directing yoda953
Anyone else who thought the movie sucked?? nemiss
Scott Speedman woefully bad in this movie Cowboy_Wayne
Discuss Dark Blue (2002) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: