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Possibly one of the best cop thrillers in years!
ivo-cobra816 November 2015
Street Kings (2008) is one of the best cop action thrillers from Keanu Reeves. This movie was released in 11 April 2008 (USA) after hearing about this movie that Keanu Reeves made another action movie I rushed to see it right away, if it is any good and I was right! It is a good action thriller! It is one of my favorite best Keanu Reeves movies, I am still a big fan of him and I always enjoy this movie. I also had no idea that Chris Evans (Captain America The Winter Soldier, Avengers) started in this movie as the main support cast opposite of Keanu Reeves. Chris acted outstanding in here as Detective Paul Diskant. This is a slick perfect action thriller about dirty cops and a cop been killed, while other cop is blamed and framed for his death, by other follow officers, now he has to clear his name and punished the guilty ones and finding a Justice on his own way! I know a lot of people don't like this movie that is fine, but is 1.000.000 times way better to seeing this flick than watching the new Keanu Reeves movie Knock Knock! The mystery, the acting and the action in this movie is outstanding!

"Street Kings" is possibly one of the best cop thrillers in years since the likes of The Departed, Training Day, Dark Blue, and To Live and Die in L.A.! Keanu Reeves gives a very strong performance as a veteran L.A. detective who is struggling with his conscience as he deals with both delivering brutal street justice and mourning the death of his wife. Oscar winner Forest Whitaker gives another strong performance as Keanu's hard-nosed boss, whose duties include keeping Keanu within the confines of the law and out of the clutches of Internal Affairs. Hugh Laurie (TV's "House") was a real surprise in the movie, as he plays the captain of Internal Affairs who is out to bring down corruption in the force, particularly amongst the Vice Squad (which includes Keanu, Whitaker, and a couple of appearances by Jay Mohr and John Corbett). And Chris Evans ("Captain America The Winter Soldier") gives a very convincing performance as a young detective who teams up with Keanu after evidence implicates the latter in the death of his ex-partner.

This movie is filed with a lot of action and twists, although some were predictable it kept me interested to the end. Keanu Reeves played a good part along with Forest Whitaker who always gives a top notch performance. It is a fun flick, specially if you are Keanu Reeves fan or you like the actor. This movie was pretty good. I enjoyed it very much. great cast. good story. I know this type of Bad cop movie has been done before in different ways. Keanu Reeves did a way better job as a cop in Street Kings then he did an architect in Knock Knock. Very believable. Great camera and make-up work. there was a good part in this movie were you can feel how cold the streets could be. But for the most part it was very predictable. In this movie are two rappers in here that both plays different characters and they did a good job on acting. Even some people would not agree with me. Common as corrupt LAPD deputy masquerading as "Coates" and The Game as Grill. I think both did a good job playing their roles. Street Kings got a also a sequel which it sucked ass! Both of the roles Keanu Reeves passed in the sequels Speed and Street Kings. Because he knew it was a bad idea and the sequels will be a failure and they really were.

Tom Ludlow (Keanu Reeves) is a veteran LAPD cop who finds life difficult to navigate after the death of his wife. When evidence implicates him in the execution of a fellow officer, he is forced to go up against the cop culture he's been a part of his entire life. This is Keanu Reeves that I love and not his role in Knock Knock, this movie kicks ass!!!!!! And I don't care if you put down this review I stand by my morals of a Keanu Reeves fan boy and I love an action films that he made! I am giving this movie 10/10 it is one of my personal favorite Keanu Reeves best action thriller.
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The critics must be crazy
atifrahman11 April 2008
Here's another movie the critics dismissed that turned out to be a great movie. I was initially hesitant to go see the movie because of the negative reviews, but went to see Forrest Whittaker, Hugh Laurie and Keanu Reeves. I think most critics can't look at Reeves and not see Bill Preston Esq or Neo. However Keanu Reeves shows range in the movie and heads up the movie wonderfully.

This movie is a fast-paced LA Cop movie. It starts off great and never slows down. Money well spent at the Theater, and I'm the kind of guy who'd walk out of a movie that does not engage me. I would watch it again.
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Gritty, compelling and gutsy.
sagans_moon18 January 2010
This is a real find - one of those sneaky films that slipped through the box office and past the critics, despite being a great movie. I'm sure it will find it's audience though, because it's class all the way.

Keanu puts in one of his best performances and seems to be only improving with age. I know he cops a lot of flack for his performances at times but understated doesn't always mean wooden. He is capable of great subtlety, if you care to pay attention. If the guy looked like Sean Penn instead of Keanu Reeves, I'm sure he would get more credit than he does.

The support cast are superb. Hugh Laurie is particularly noteworthy, laying on the smarm.

Gritty, compelling and gutsy. If you yearn for a return to the hard-edged cop movie, don't miss this hidden treasure.
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Explosive entertainment
C-Younkin12 April 2008
"Street Kings" definitely has the street-cred. Keanu looks real bad-ass, Forrest Whittaker looks like he's digging back into the character he played on "The Shield", writer director David Ayer is no stranger to life on the cop circuit, having written "Dark Blue" and "Training Day among others, and the movie also brings on the token rappers for good measure in Common and The Game. But does it work? Reeves plays Tom Ludlow, a Vice detective on a Special Forces unit in LA, led by Ludlow's friend and former partner Captain Wander (Forrest Whittaker). Ludlow's a dirty cop, but he feels in a good way. He'll execute and then tweak the crime scene if it means taking the low-lifes off the streets for good.

His former partner Terrance Washington (Terry Crews) doesn't see it that way though, as he is in the midst of ratting him out to the head of Internal Affairs, Captain Biggs (Hugh Laurie). When he finds out, Tom follows Washington around, walking right into a convenience store robbery where Washington is gunned down execution style. Wander tells Tom he'll take care of it, but Tom is a man who values justice more than anything. He partners with a homicide detective named Diskant (Chris Evans) to follow the evidence and solve the murder.

The movie, by David Ayer, couldn't be more hard-core. It's filled with riveting gun-battles and fights and it's a movie not afraid to show some real brutal violence and blood. The verbal exchanges between characters are also exceptionally written, heated and intense with a good ear for dialogue. My favorite line by far this year is "Why don't you do the department a favor and clean your mouth out with a buck-shot." And the story pulls off a compelling morality play, sending Tom up a ladder of murder and corruption, and at the same time, climbing him further toward his own redemption. Sure, you can probably see the ending coming if your paying close enough attention, but think about it, the movie couldn't end in a better way.

This is the kind of movie Reeves is excellent in, giving his character edge and toughness but also never losing track of the character's underlying moral dilemma. Whittaker is also incredible in this movie, sinking his teeth into a character who's basically portrayed as "The Godfather" of LA. Hugh Laurie shows up every once in a while, the character feels underwritten though. Chris Evans does a decent job, Cedric The Entertainer and Jay Mohr are nice additions who add some comedy, and it's a small role but Naomie Harris deserves a shout-out for playing the down-to-earth voice of reason character.

"Street Kings" is hard-nosed, gritty film-making. The cast is right on the money, the writing and direction is terrific, and the action couldn't be more exciting. The year is still young but this is one of my favorite films so far.
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Back To The Roots
MrSavari11 April 2008
Over the past few years, the Action genre has continued to leave film goers mad. We have returned to what made this genre so appealing in the first place. We have returned to the time of classic cop thrillers such as Serpico and Chinatown. A modern day classic...Street Kings.

Do not miss this gritty story of a rogue cop who is pushed past his limits by corruption, greed and violence. Keanu Reeves plays the role perfectly in his stunning performance as Tom Ludlow. Forest Whitaker gives an awesome supporting performance as Wander.

Although there are a few rap artists in this film, they each play street thugs, which is not a far stretch.

The best film I have seen in theaters for a LONG time, yet I feel it will be overlooked by most.

Street Kings is an instant classic!!!! -Mike
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This is a great movie!
catbuttons13 April 2008
Action from beginning to end. I saw this with my sis and bro-in-law last night. We are all 50-ish grandparents and we loved it. Keanu Reeves is always getting bashed by the critics because he refuses to advertise his private life like Tom C. The man deserves his privacy, just like the rest of us. All the acting was top-notch, nothing over the top or wooden. Real testosterone, just like the law enforcers I know. You have to have the balls to be a cop these days. The Disco character was acted just like a brave newbie cop in over his head. He was not "wooden" If you like action from start to finish, go see this movie. This deserves to be a blockbuster!
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The police are the Street Kings and Keanu Reeves is their enforcer
(Synopsis) Tom Ludlow (Keanu Reeves), a veteran LAPD Detective, works in a Special Vice Squad Unit in Los Angeles. Ludlow has been suffering from depression since his wife died. On top of that, his former partner, Detective Terrance Washington (Terry Crews) is murdered by two gang members. Ludlow goes on a wild and reckless quest through the mean streets of Los Angeles to track them down and get justice for Washington. Captain Jack Wander (Forest Whitaker) is Ludlow's supervisor who must keep him from going over the edge and out of the cross-hairs of Internal Affairs Captain James Biggs (Hugh Laurie).

(My Comment) Keanu Reeves and Forest Whitaker were excellent in playing their parts. In the first 10 minutes, we get to see how good Ludlow is in using his guns. The movie races at such a fast pace, and it is so intense at times that you don't know who is the good guy or the bad guy. There are some great shootout scenes, and whatever you do, don't get in Ludlow's way, because he will take you out. Usually, the police have this cop culture of protecting each other. After they imply that Ludlow had something to do with the murder of Detective Washington, he begins to question his loyalty to his fellow officers, especially, when they hang him out to dry. At that point the movie gets real interesting. The only problem I had with the script was that it put the tough cop Ludlow in a gloomy mood the whole movie. I would have preferred him to be a cop with self-control and strength of mind. If you enjoy cop dramas, you will like this one, because it has so many twists and turns and back stabbing to keep you interested and wanting more. You will love some of Ludlow's interrogation techniques of the bad guys. (Fox Searchlight, Run Time 1:49, Rated R)(8/10)
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Quite An Entertaining Cop Thriller
DarkVulcan2913 April 2008
Keanu Reeves's acting has been called Luc warm by the critics, I don't think he is the worlds worst performer, There are so many other performers I'd like to give that crown too has the worst, but he does not fit in that category. So far his performances are not Oscar worthy, but he manages to make them memorable for the most part.

Set in the mean streets of L.A. veteran cop Tom Ludlow(Keanu Reeves), who has had a strong chip on his shoulder since his wife died, uses dirty methods to get the bad guys, but his captain(Forest Whitaker) does not care, has long as he gets results. But then things begin to come down on him, When he is caught up in a shooting of a former friend turned enemy(Terry Crews), Then Tom starts being investigated on why was he there. Tom secretly begins his own investigation, he has the feeling he might have been set up, will he find out the truth, or will the truth get him killed? It was entertaining to say the least the best cop thriller since L.A. Confidental. It had great suspense and great performances by everybody in the film.
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Well Written Throwback Cop Thriller!!
Eric Idol9 April 2008
Just saw it at a sneak preview and really enjoyed it. Keanu Reeves was fantastic in this film and it really showed me what a great actor he is. I have had a hard time imagining him in anything since The Matrix, but he really pulled this character off and showed me what he is made of.

The rest of the cast is solid as a rock too, but the thing that really stood out to me was the writing. This film is a throwback to the cop thrillers of the 1970's, but with MUCH better writing and bigger budgets. There are even a few genuine laughs to go with all of of the action and it is great to see Jay Mohr doing something other than "The Ghost Whisperer!" The audience reaction in this movie was refreshing as well. It is quite easy to get absorbed in this one.

Prediction: Street Kings is the number one film on it's opening weekend.
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sometimes kind of ridiculous, but it holds the attention and stirs the pot a little
MisterWhiplash13 April 2008
I didn't go into Street Kings expecting a masterpiece, and I didn't get one. What I did expect is what I got, more or less: a competently made corrupt cops drama that throws on some heap-loads of stereotypes (not just racially or ethnically but just movie stereotypes, which may possibly be true to form them), and even crazy hysterics. If there is any significant achievement it's in taking the cop movie into such depraved depths it's like looking at a very entertaining infected boil: you know it'll pop any minute, and the pus might just run out a little bit here and there till there's more to squeeze out. There's almost an underlying current of hopelessness that gives the movie some intellectual lift, but at the same time it's such a time-waster that unless you're hardcore fans of the actors it's just about worth a rental.

Keanu Reeves goes from wooden to soggy-bottom wood as a cop who has been doing some dirty tricks to catch the bad guys lately (like setting up two Koreans- who are bad dudes for sure- by having them jack his car and then catching up with them to pop caps in their behinds), and he might be ratted out by his former partner. But when his partner is killed in very conspicuous circumstances, he goes to investigate it further while on a quasi-probation for even being at the scene of the crime (the crime, by the way, has one of the cheesiest "don't die on me" moments I've ever seen, laughably bad in how it's executed, no pun intended). Now, the conclusion shouldn't be at ANY surprise to anyone in the audience who's at least seen ONE other work by James Ellroy, the film's co-writer.

What does give it just a bit of extra lift is the extreme quality of the conclusion, how things seem so ridiculous that in any other hands this would be total nonsense. David Ayer, the director (and writer of Training Day, the perennial new millennium corrupt-cop saga), does have a good handle on the material though, even with ham-bone performance; Forest Whitaker is one of them, sadly, as he basically retreads his persona from The Last King of Scotland as the "King" of the corrupt cops. There is some not too shabby work, like a nearly phoned-in-from-House performance from Hugh Laurie (not unappreciated if you are a House fan), but it's mostly from supporting players like Jay Mohr in odd mustache and Common, the rapper, as one of the 'thugs'. It all kind of blends together as a pulpy orange of a B movie, good for something to not ponder too long over, but not as horrible as you might expect for a genre piece. It's a flavor of the season.
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Totally recommended, even for non cop movie fans
mercy74013 April 2008
I wasn't expecting to like this movie; the cop genre is not my favorite after all, but I did. I really did. It does feel like a B movie or sort of film noir, perhaps because it only cost 20 million to make. But the cast was top notch. As much as I love Keanu Reeves, I always go into any movie of his cringing, "Will he do well? Will he survive this?" And Reeves delivers with aplomb. This is easily his most nuanced role to date - he truly wears the weight of a cop who has seen and done too much on his face. The action scenes were kick ass and I loved to see Amaury Nolasco play against his Prison Break type. All the actors were great, though I thought Forest Whitaker was a little OTT.
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"You bored or something?" No, that would be the *exact* opposite of what I was during this
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews20 January 2010
When I first took this in at the theater, I had high expectations, and it still blew me away. I remain spell-bound by this. It is an extensively well-thought-out and entertaining film. The plot is compelling, engaging and keeps developing, and while I had a hunch about one twist, I did not see them all coming. This has spot-on pacing, not a boring second to be found, or an overwhelming one for that matter. The cinematography and editing are excellent throughout. Every moment of the action is awesome, intense and exciting without being unrealistic(within the bounds of Hollywood, that is... which, if going by this, is actually entirely acceptable), and there is a solid and fitting amount of it. The music is appropriate for where this is set, not to mention really cool, consisting mainly of hardcore rap. As you can probably figure out, the tone of this is brutal, dark and gritty, through and through, and should not be viewed by anyone who may not be able to take it. The writing is astounding; the script, the dialog, the overall story, all of it. There is a lot of slang(the subtitles certainly helped me out), and some instantly memorable and utterly quotable lines. Almost all of the humor, which is also very rough(and the amount of which is considerable), lies in what is said, how it's put and/or its delivery; think verbal, British comedy(with four-letter words). The characters are distinguished, credible, and psychologically accurate, with no real exceptions, and while there is a heavy dose of macho-ism and bloated egos(some bits are soaked in, and dripping, testosterone), it never gets ludicrous, and there are several characters who help keep it grounded, in their more agreeable personalities. I think it is also notable that this, beyond a sequence lasting no longer than a few seconds, this does not at any point stoop to the lowest common denominator and try to appease and appeal to the young male demographic by simple parading something to gawk at. This isn't denying the existence of such, it just has nothing gratuitous in the way of it other than aforementioned brief part. The acting is magnificent, for basically every part(I owe Evans a heartfelt apology, the guy can actually do great work, and be pretty bad-ass), Reeves is believable, and Whitaker performs well in everything required of him in this. Both Laurie and Mohr, honestly, if you didn't know they usually go for making people laugh, you wouldn't know from this, they're straight-faced and professional all the way(and I'm not saying they're not funny in this). There is plenty of disturbing content and a ton of strong violence and language in this. The DVD holds an interesting director's commentary, a handful of informative featurettes, deleted scene with the option of hearing Ayer's thoughts on them(by the way, David, if I may call you that, I promise you, you put another movie up on the silver screen, and I *will* almost without a doubt go to the cinema to catch it when it comes out), alternate takes and vignettes(really short documentaries). All of them are well worth the time. I recommend this to fans of the people involved in making it, as well as of the genres and those who want to watch pictures set in this environment. 8/10
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A predictable story with 2 great actors
eclecticderby9 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
It's a well crafted film, with very good gun fighting scenes that tends to become a bit overboard, but still realistic enough. The story is predictable, but satisfying enough without being over complicated.

The main thing that make this movie better than many mediocre gangster films is Forest Whitaker. It's sad that he only got so little on screen time.

My favorite scene is not the gunfights and action scenes. It is the final showdown in the film. A true testament to the acting prowess of Forest Whitaker. He simply steal the thunder and lift the show single handedly.

Reeves on the other hand played out his character (a cop with moral dilemma) with the usual broodiness, seen-it-all personality. Pretty much like in Constantine. A well acted, believable character.

Watch this movie if you happened to walk into the cinema one weekend with nothing in mind.
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Okay thriller had too many cooks and was too long in the oven to as good as it should have been
dbborroughs14 May 2008
James Ellroy penned tale of a cop, played by Keanu Reeves, who is a loose cannon sent on the trail of the killer of his murdered partner. Protected by his captain because he can get things done and hounded by Internal Affairs, Reeves soon finds he is descending into a world that he really should not be part of. Reeves is okay, if a bit wooden as our antihero. Part of the problem is that he isn't given a great deal to do beyond allowing events to play out around him. To be certain he is a participant in events but there is a coldness to him that doesn't give a great many clues as to what is happening inside him. One would suspect he took the role because it offered him a chance to say some pithy lines, and behave in a more or less serious manner. The rest of the cast is quite good and one suspects that Forest Whitaker (as his boss) and Hugh Laurie (The Internal Affairs guy) took the roles because they got to play a bit against type. Good instead of great the films script, a long time in the oven, shows signs of being worked and reworked so much that the script becomes confused because too many hands lost track of what was going on. Rest assured that the central thrust and much of the dialog seems to be the work of Ellroy, the ending is most assuredly his in plot if not writing, but all of the details the additional writers have added have blurred what ever had attracted a long line of directors and stars to the project. Worth a look on DVD or cable where you're more likely to forgive the flaws.
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Flawed but good movie.
chance8412 April 2008
I wasn't expecting much from Street Kings, just to be entertained and that's what I got. Keanu Reeves played the part good, Hugh Laurie did exceptionally well, while the worst acting in the movie was from Chris Evans. Chris Evans was wooden and didn't seem to be able to act his way out of a glass box, during the argument in the locker room between him and Reeves I bit my tongue to keep from laughing as Reeves was actually doing a good job. The story was good, flawed and slow in places, but overall good. Sure the movie could've had a better cast but it doesn't and the only surprise here is that Chris Evans was worse than Keanu Reeves.
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I'm already packed…Street Kings
jaredmobarak11 April 2008
What I love about David Ayer's work is that he is unpredictable and unafraid to tell a story in all its brutality. From his penned script Training Day to his directorial debut in Harsh Times, we are treated with bad men and worse men, doing what they need to survive and not worrying about the consequences. When I saw the trailer for his new film Street Kings, I thought I'd be in for a three-peat, but I should have looked at the writing credits. Don't get me wrong, I like James Ellroy and Kurt Wimmer, I enjoy much of their work, however, knowing Ayer's catalog makes me believe that it was their fault why I did not love this film. The aesthetic is there, the language is there, and the violence is never shied away from, but the story itself never surprises. You will be able to see what will happen straight from the getgo and unfortunately that just isn't what I'm used to seeing with Ayer. I expected more and hopefully for his next film he won't go gun-for-hire and write his own new urban street tale.

Don't be fooled by the trailer, this is not a story about a corrupt cop on his day to day jaunts busting heads and covering his tracks. It's about the good cop that has lost his faith, while he may go against the rules, he will only do it for the right reasons; he hasn't gone completely off the deep end. No, it's those around him that are lost and he must find two cop killers when everyone just wants to let it go in order to save his skin. True he wants the cover up to keep his job, but he also wants justice for his ex-partner, a man he began to dislike but a man he loved and would not let die in vain. In effect, then, we are treated to a much slower paced plot then you may want as he goes out on his own to solve the case off the books. More a straightforward cop drama then a crazy shoot-em-up, we are shown this one story thread through to its inevitable conclusion. It's all tidied up with a bow, villains explain the whole plan like the old cliché goes, and we get closure. Ayer, you aren't supposed to be so cut and dry, what happened? Being such a by the numbers tale also means sacrificing a lot of character development. Roles like Naomie Harris' are throwaways, putting a name actress in a small part with no real substance. The same goes for Hugh Laurie, third billed and quite entertaining, but does his Captain Biggs have any real need to be there? You could have put any guy off the street in that role and it would have served its purpose as a MacGuffin to be explained later. And how about Common? The guy owns his five minutes of screen time; it's just a shame that is all he is allowed. Not to mention John Corbett who doesn't even get a billing on IMDb, now that's just strange.

The acting is great overall though. Forest Whitaker is a bit too showy for me, but I love the guy so I give him a pass; Chris Evans is top-notch as usual, hopefully a true breakthrough role is coming for him; and Jay Mohr comes out of nowhere playing the aged Sgt. without any of his trademark wit. Even Cedric the Entertainer comes in shedding any comedic preconceptions. He plays his not-so-bad thug sounding like Terrance Howard in Hustle and Flow; I was shockingly impressed. The guy that holds it all together, though, is Keanu Reeves. I know people hate the guy, but I think he is solidly perfect here. He has the dejection and death sentence look about him, taking the kills for himself so that his partners don't have to live with the guilt. He knows what he does is wrong, but he does it because he believes he has to. Sometimes to keep the city safe, you have to bend the rules. Reeves looks weathered and beat-down here, totally believable as the cop looking to do right despite his actions. Real good stuff.

So, well directed and well acted, but yet not that great? Doesn't seem to make sense, yet that's my feeling. All the good stuff tries to overcompensate for the generic, lackluster story. One thing about cinema, though—and maybe the writers strike was worth it, even though those wanting the strike for more money were mostly the hacks, the true auteurs already get the cash—a good script overcomes all and a bad one cannot be saved. Unfortunately this one never goes that extra mile to be completely unique and the performances just fall into place when necessary rather than enhancing to bring the tale to new heights. If you haven't seen it yet, go rent Harsh Times, save this one for a rental in a few months instead.
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Solid action pic
Skriptman13 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, let's face it. The credibility factor in almost ALL action flicks is questionable at best. If you really took the time to analyze the logic behind the story, you'd come up short. But, by definition, action pics are just that -- heavy on the action, and not so heavy on the logic that supports the story. With this in mind, Street Kings is a solid, well-executed action flick that has all the right ingredients: a non-conformist hero you WANT to root for; a never-let-up story that keeps you riveted to the end; and a stylish, fast-paced visual smörgåsbord that delivers from start to finish.

Yes, the story falls short -- you'll find yourself asking questions like "Why did the undercover cops that Tom Ludlow (Keanu) kill want to eliminate Detective Washington if they weren't part of Det. Wander's crew to begin with?" Yeah, it does get a little dicey if you think it through -- but if you DON'T bother getting bogged down in the minutia, it works. Contrary to much of the published critique of the movie, I think Keanu brings exactly what is needed to the role -- he's vulnerable, jaded, broken... and invincible. What more could you want in a solid action pic??
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A Nutshell Review: Street Kings
DICK STEEL9 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
So I continue my foray into the theatrical releases this week as a break from the Festival proceedings, and choosing Street Kings is a no brainer. It was in Speed that Keanu Reeves donned a Kevlar vest and a devil may care attitude to save a speeding bus from annihilation, and after that he's gone on to other blockbusters such as the Matrix trilogy and countless of other romance movies. Here, he revisits that action genre as a cop with questionable morals, and while some may gripe over his acting ability, I thought that he was given a role totally within his range - that of a clueless gunslinger who's caught up in a web of intrigue far greater than he can fathom.

Based on a story James Ellroy, who gave us L.A. Confidential and Black Dahlia, we continue the tale about corrupt cop culture, and with director David Ayer at the helm, who delivered Harsh Times and wrote Training Day, there's some amount of credibility and expectation with these two powerhouses collaborating, and from my previous enjoyment of their earlier movies, thankfully, Street Kings delivered spot on, with hard hitting, uncompromising action coupled with violence without remorse, and a deep undercurrent brewing on the political angle within the police department as well.

We get introduced to Reeves' Detective Tom Ludlow of the LAPD, who in the first 10 minutes, we witness a classic Dirty Harry styled cop who lets his guns do the talking, and employs questionable tactics in getting the job done. And he gets off the hook easy because of his sterling reputation, and no doubt being given special treatment and protection from his direct boss Captain Jack Wander (Forest Whitaker). Naturally it gets slowly revealed that the entire police team has plenty of skeletons in the closet, and while Wander may be the patriarch of the force, politicking his way to more power, he has his enforcer, Ludlow, at his side to straighten things up.

And with corrupt cops come the probe by Internal Affairs, and here's where things start to get interesting, with potential moles, and doubtful loyalties being thrown around, and in the midst of it all is severe corruption, that it's nearly impossible to try and trust anyone around, more so when Chris Evan's Detective Paul Diskant gets thrown into the fray to investigate a case against Ludlow. For those who enjoy cop dramas, you'll be in for a real treat with the twists and turns, betrayals and double crossings, and when it comes down to the crunch, out comes the guns.

But more importantly, it allows us to question just how much are we willing to sacrifice our moral ground, especially when revealing the truth will put us in bad light, or get us into trouble, and we're talking about trouble with a capital T, where innate self-preservation instincts will take over if we do not consciously make a conscientious decision to come clean. We can cover up, get people to cover up, or better yet, have someone in power to cover it up for you, but that only means you get sucked into a system, and it will continue to breed within you, for the worse.

Street Kings is excellent stuff that blew me away (caution: Fan Boy mode is on), and the ending sure is one of a kind, with the usual soliloquy, but one that really made you think on both sides of the equation - what one would do and say in order to save oneself, and how one can lie straight into the eye of another. It's classic black eat black, showing how deep the rot has permeated, and the ending just demonstrates that sometimes unorthodox methods work, but with a caution that there are always more powerful people out there who play others like pawns on a chessboard. Besides, it was nice to see Forest Whitaker getting into the rough and tumble of things after a rather docile role in Vantage Point.
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Kings of Crap
DaveDiggler21 April 2008
Street Kings" is an over-the-top, unrealistic portrayal of corruption within the police force. Setting it in LA is the only way to make a film with such ambition of distorting reality even possible. LA is heavily diverse with all kinds of people which is a good backdrop for racism and more importantly racist cops. LAPD is also a place where the police have been scrutinized and publicly shamed for involvement in corruption that resorts anywhere from murder to police brutality to not paying for coffee. And in the one track mind of David Ayer who hit it big with "Training Day"- which was a much better film, but also terribly flawed as well- just can't seem to get away from showing cops in a extremely negative light. Here he basically rips off his own film… again- see "Harsh Times". The good thing about "Training Day" was Ethan Hawke's character. He was a good cop under the wing of a corrupt cop. There was a good and evil battle there. Keanu Reeves is supposed to be that good guy, but he's a veteran of 18 years and he has quite a history of corruption. Right from the first scene of the film he's puking because, naturally, he's an alcoholic due to the death of his wife. A lot of cops are alcoholics so it's only natural for the main character, once again, to be an alcoholic in a David Ayers film. Then he goes and buys little airplane bottles of Vodka- three of them- chugs them down, then proceeds to make a routine sell to a couple of Asians who are looking to buy a Machine gun. These Chinese (Or whatever they are) are the guys he's looking for in a kidnapping of two missing persons. Ludlow (Reeves) goes on a racist tirade about their looks and then they follow that up by beating the crap out of him. Only then does he tack them down and kill them all. That's what he does: He kills people. No warning, no police procedure of any kind, he's merely a vigilantly with a badge; a cowboy in the mold of Jon Wayne.

The writing in this film is terrible. It's not even close to realistic and it paints a picture of corrupt cops who own the streets through fear and intimidation- they act the same way as the criminals do. Oh, you've seen that done before? Naturally you come across guys who cover up, set up, spree kill, kill other cops, get involved in drugs, and pretty much any kind of corruption you can think of in about a span of five days. This is made routine in an Ayers film which was okay the first time around. Now it's getting out of hand and it makes his previous films look even worse because we now see where Ayers wants to take this subject: No where. Ayers packs years and years of police corruption into weekend retreats as if it's an everyday routine: A casual drug deal here, an everyday spree killing there, and the usual torture-thing over here. This stereotypical technique of painting all cops evil is not unlike "Training Day" or "Harsh Times" where reality is not needed. You don't notice how bad of a writer someone is until they prove to you that they can't create a character that's three-dimensional or, more importantly, different. Ayers can't provide drama. He has to put his characters in the most extreme circumstance every five minutes because, when he doesn't, his films get boring with tedious everyday interactions that just don't work because they're not in any way, shape, or form realistic. If these cops aren't corrupt they're aspiring to be corrupt. The forgettable cast and the forgettable plot will probably leave smarter audience members with the same feeling I had. If I could tell Ayers something I would tell him this: "Stop beating your stupid message that corruption exists within the police force to ad nausea levels that only a Paul Haggis could rival!! Stop it!! You don't like cops! Great, got the picture." Ayers showed promise as a writer. Now he shows that he can't come up with a single original idea as his films stand on clichés, coincidence, and exaggeration. He adds nothing new that hasn't already been done- even by him. "Street Kings" depends on coincidence to drive the plot, such as a chase scene where a suspect runs through the neighborhood as Ludlow drives around the streets to find him (I think I've seen that before and if Ayers makes another movie I bet I see it again). Naturally, Ludlow is waiting for him and he throws something at his legs- looked like a chair, I wasn't paying much attention since I already knew what was going to happen- which takes the suspect off his feet as he falls into a barbed wire fence. This will also give Ludlow the opportunity to torture him by pulling him against the wire so it cuts into his skin. The man pleads for help as he thrives in pain, then gives in. Ludlow get's his answers. Not a single original idea is created. It's a work of dreadful perfection. The acting is bad, the direction is bad, and the writing is so bad it should have never been written let alone pitched, read, and then made. How did Forest Whitaker get himself involved in this? It's hard to even imagine his performance from "The Shield" compared to this hammed up, pay check cashing snooze fest. Of course he wasn't out done by Keanu Reeves and that one guy who pops in mediocre roles for some odd reason in big budget films. That dude's best acting performance came in "Not Another Teen Movie." Maybe you remember him? No? Me neither. They both were upstaged by Whitaker which shows that Forest can be a better actor than Reeves and the other guy without even trying- or at least he doesn't look to be trying.
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It wont stick
Zach Choi21 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
As we all know the director of training day directed this film and the similarities are evident, from the rising sun and generally to the whole film in nature. However it wasn't unique or better than training day whatsoever. True it would be unfair to compare, but it just leads me to compare. The acting was good, but the crucial thing was their is nothing that separates it and makes it a fantastic film.

Well more thought should have been given to the film because the potential was there, but it just didn't make it. But to give it credit, the action scenes were on the dot and gave me the shrills. The story could have been more realistically done, and Hollywood has much influence on this film.
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Plot holes, Corny Dialogue and Mediocre Character Development
user-2678520 April 2008
Street Kings was a complete failure as a film mainly as a result of a almost incoherent story line and cringe-worthy dialogue.

Without spoiling the film, all I can really say is that Street Kings is filled with character actions that leave the viewer scratching his or her head. It fails to link actions to character, or explain relationships between characters.

It does have some brutal action scenes, which added some liveliness, but much of the movie was various characters vaguely explaining what has happened, leaving the viewer bored as hell.

However, boredom is alleviated by the non-stop barrage of corny dialogue and lame clichés.

The ending just tops it off, as it makes no logical sense, nor emotional sense, and the final climax of the film was a real let down. If i hadn't seen this film for free, I would have been very upset.
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Formulaic entertainment
amesmonde19 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
An infamous undercover cop becomes a pawn when he is implicated in the murder of his former partner.

What could have been an average police corruption thriller is elevated by Keanu Reeves, the supporting actors and David Ayer's kinetic slick direction. Forest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie and Chris Evans are on form. Notable is Terry Crews as ill-fated Terrence Washington. Reeves delivers the flawed alcoholic cop Detective Tom Ludlow successfully, while the role may not be as suitable as John Wick, it certainly one of his more dramatic roles.

The film stands in the shadow of the like of Training Day (2001) but has enough punch, with bloody hard hitting scenes to stand on its own. It's probably on par with the comparable Dark Blue (2002, Ayer incidentally wrote the screenplay) but unavoidably falls into the trappings of the genre.

Ayer's is wise to use a predominately on location shoot and portray graphic violence to give credence and weight to the proceedings. As Ludlow is set up and goes about uncovering a deeper conspiracy screenplay writers, the profound James Ellroy and underrated Kurt Wimmer successfully dot i's and cross the t's crafting a satisfying if somewhat predictable tale. The ending emulates the feeling of the closing of Dirty Harry (1971). Always topical and prevalent, I suppose you can never have too many films which highlight the pitfalls of greed and corruption.

Overall, formulaic yet entertaining.
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sorta like Dark Blue
kai ringler2 September 2009
i thought that this was similar to another movie that i seen a few years back with Kurt Russell and Ving Rhames,, Dark Blue,, this one seems to go into so more detail though, and shows us something new that we really haven't seen before, DNA swapping, i thought that Keanu did a great job in this one, Forrest Whitaker on the other hand seemed to be going through the motions, there is a fine supporting cast to back things up, i like the premise of "Infernal Repair" investigating our hero Tom on suspicion of corruption along with his superior Jack. Tom's former partner is about to dime him out to internal affairs when tom decides he's had just about enough of Washington, so he follows him to a convenience store to get rid of him, but two drug crazed gunmen are there to beat him to the punch,, but beware noting is as it seems in this movie.
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One of the best crime dramas of the decade!!
lopcar19933 August 2009
Sometimes in Cinema we see things that get repeated over and over and over again so many times that when something new and fresh comes along, we turn the other cheek because we instantly think that it's going to be the same thing done over.. again. But that's not the case with Street Kings. No Street kings is fresh and exciting and puts a whole new spin on the corrupt cop story that makes this film one of the best crime thrillers to come out since The Departed and Goodfelleas, this film follows a winding and snakish path down one back alley of corruption after another. I wouldn't exactly call it original or anything groundbreaking but this film had a great story to tell and in the short time it had it told it well.

Keanu Reeves(In his finest hour.) plays corrupt veteran vice detective Tom Ludlow, Ludlow isn't corrupt to further his own career, no Ludlow does it so he can put the criminals where they belong. Which in m book makes that pretty good reason. See the film tries to tell us that one man out of a whole unit is righteous and as the story unfolds in front of you it seems very true that Ludlow is the only good hearted corrupt cop in that unit.

I liked this film, I liked the premise and I loved the plot but the one thing that I didn't like was the fact that the whole movie was only 1hr. 47min. long, that was the only let down about the whole film. But besides it all this film delivers an entrancing and very entertaining thrill ride you've just got to see to believe.

Street Kings is near-perfect in almost every way imaginable the story is bullet-proof, the acting is very good it's not great but it's very good. The premise is great and everything in the film works amazingly and it's story is told with lightning fast accuracy ad great pacing that let's the story unfold before you piece by piece and then in the end it blows you away.

All in all Street Kings is a force to be reckoned with and it's a film that should be given a chance because you never know, you might actually like it.
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Street Kings A Decent Action Crime Thriller With Some Flaws
tburke8510 June 2009
Street Kings is a decent crime thriller with some flaws but the good outweighs the bad. Director David Ayer does an admirable job of making this movie about cops in Los Angeles. The cast are solid in their roles including Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker, and Hugh Laurie. Chris Evans shows up for an extended appearance only to be written out before audiences can come to care about him but he still makes the best of his small part in the movie. The same can go for Common and The Game who make brief cameo roles but are believable enough as the characters they are playing which is a good thing. The rest of the supporting cast including Jay Mohr, Cedric The Entertainer, and John Corbett are good in their limited screen time. The action is well executed and the movie moves at a steady pace unlike some others out there. A few flaws the film could've improved on was a little more character development, secrets being revealed too early as to the identity of the dirty cops (dirter than Reeves character anyway), and some real suspense. Despite its flaws though Street Kings is a decent attempt at a crime thriller with some action at a steady pace and solid acting by the cast.
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