6.7/10
67,522
215 user 283 critic

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009)

The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans (original title)
Trailer
2:35 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Terence McDonagh is a drug- and gambling-addled detective in post-Katrina New Orleans investigating the killing of five Senegalese immigrants.

Director:

Writer:

(screenplay) (as William Finkelstein)
Reviews
Popularity
3,794 ( 1,303)
3 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Big Fate (as Alvin 'Xzibit' Joiner)
...
Heidi
...
...
Genevieve
...
...
Captain James Brasser (as Vondie Curtis Hall)
...
...
...
...
...
...
Larry Moy
Edit

Storyline

After Katrina, police sergeant Terence McDonagh rescues a prisoner, hurts his back in the process and earns a promotion to lieutenant plus an addiction to cocaine and painkillers. Six months later, a family is murdered over drugs; Terence runs the investigation. His drug-using prostitute girlfriend, his alcoholic father's dog, run-ins with two old women and a well-connected john, gambling losses, a nervous young witness, and thefts of police property put Terence's job and then his life in danger. He starts seeing things. He wants a big score to get out from under mounting debts, so he joins forces with drug dealers. The murders remain unsolved. A bad lieutenant gets worse. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The only criminal he can't catch is himself.

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug use and language throughout, some violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

11 December 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$245,398 (USA) (22 November 2009)

Gross:

$1,697,956 (USA) (28 February 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Veteran television writer William M. Finkelstein's first feature film screenwriting credit. See more »

Goofs

When McGonagh blackmails football player Renaldo, Terrence dangles his handcuffs from his finger with the bottom cuff unshackled. Moments later, when the shot returns to Terrence, the bottom cuff is shackled. See more »

Quotes

Terence McDonagh: [to the pharmacist about his prescription] Excuse me, could ya tell me how much longer that's gonna be?
[pause]
Terence McDonagh: HELLO, MISS! I'm a lieutenant in the police department! I'M IN THE MIDDLE OF A HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION! CAN I GET MY PRESCRIPTION, PLEASE?
Pharmacist: Do you see I'm on the phone?
[McDonagh runs behind the counter]
Pharmacist: Hey, hey... You can't come back here!
Terence McDonagh: YOU GOT ME WAITING THIRTY MINUTES TO MAKE A FUCKING PERSONAL PHONE CALL!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Heartbeeps (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

STAR SPANGLED BANNER
Arranged by Otto Jensen / Julien Desabais
Published by Abaco Music Library/Cypress Creek Music
Courtesy of 5 Alarm Music Library
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Moments of brilliance
17 November 2014 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Herzog's popularity, and some might say his entire career, came from his long partnership with the incomparable firestorm of an actor Klaus Kinski. In Herzog's own words, their "joint derangement must have converged to create great art". Whether Herzog was referring to Kinski's explosive fury on screen or something more insidious such as the real life allegations that Kinski sexually molested his daughter from age 5 to 19, we don't know. My point is that Herzog had the ability to draw on Kinski's madness & evil to create some very memorable films about precisely that: madness & evil ("Aguirre", "Fitzcarraldo", "Nosferatu"). After Kinski died, Herzog's films were considerably less explosive although he still pushed those dark themes.

Here in "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans", once again we get the familiar themes of madness and depravity, and although it doesn't quite strike that horrifying Kinski vein, it has moments of brilliance thanks to an excellent acting job by Nicolas Cage.

We also get, at the core, a well-written story by William Finkelstein who wrote extensively for gritty TV crime dramas like "NYPD Blue", "Law & Order" and "L.A. Law".

It's the story of a rogue New Orleans cop who is investigating a series of murders while he himself flirts with depravity as he battles with drug-related issues and moral degradation. What's important to note is the familiar Herzoggian theme of madness and the thrill of of evil on the human soul. Cage plays a detective who, on the surface, is a cool-tempered & intelligent hero, a likable guy really. But he begins to descend into depravity, and there are 1 or 2 moments of outright sickening behavior (such as falsely arresting, then having sex with a woman in exchange for letting her go). This is not a film for the morally faint of heart. It is intended to morally shock us, and that it does.

But what's interesting is the way Cage's portrayal remains heroic (the good guy), unlike Kinski's villainous portrayals (the monster). In the past, Herzog-Kinski films presented us with a vision of evil which thrilled us in a guilty way, as if we're passing a gory car wreck. Here we have the much more comfortable yet equally challenging perspective of watching a good guy who can't resist the thrill of depravity. So from a safer distance from evil, we can watch the story unfold.

I don't know if it's that subtle thematic difference, or simply the idea that Nicolas Cage is not an alleged incestuous child abuser, that made me enjoy this film in a lighter way. I should note that this film also carries much more humor and playful dark comedy than any of Herzog's other films I've seen. In the 2nd half of the film, Cage's frenetic portrayal of a coked-up, cracked-up drug fiend was done a comedic air... along with some hilarious surreal visuals & music (the break dancing scene had me laughing out loud).

Ultimately, we get a "morality tale" which is very gritty, very comic, very morally disturbing, and yet it doesn't leave us with a sick feeling like certain other films which explore the evil nature of human beings. In fact, with the exception of the disturbing sexual bribe scene, "Bad Lieutenant" could almost be watched as a dark comedy from start to finish. It's a different approach for Herzog, one which would be great to see him explore in the future.

Final note worth mentioning, since Herzog's early films were notorious for having real animal abuse/killing that may disturb some viewers: Yes, there is a scene of a dead alligator with her guts spilled out, and yes it is real. But according to the DVD extras, the alligator carcass was purchased from (presumably) New Orleans animal control because it was a "nuisance alligator eating people's pets and stuff." I think there was an American Humane "no animals harmed" disclaimer at the end of the movie.


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

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?