Critic Reviews



Based on 35 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Rampart is co-written by crime writer James Ellroy as a messy, disorienting noir, and shot by cinematographer Bobby Bukowski with an unsettling degree of realism.
The film has its narrative flaws and, occasionally, distracting stylistic flourishes. Harrelson's portrayal of a swinging dick staring down the abyss, however, is perilously close to perfect; it's the finest, most harrowing thing he's ever done.
Slant Magazine
Not only does its incredibly loose aesthetic challenge the traditionally controlled and slick conventions of the cop genre, it adds a certain visceral haziness that compliments Brown's own professional and personal immorality.
Harrelson rewards watching; he's no less potent at rest than when he explodes in calculated rage.
Village Voice
Here the director pulls off the formidable task of marrying two unwieldy performances: Harrelson's, a volatile and vulnerable feat of showboating, and Ellroy's, whose writing voice is unmistakably the voice of the movie.
While it provides a watchable, nuanced portrait of man in crisis, it's an insistently one-note affair, repeated until it induces a splitting headache.
Boxoffice Magazine
With a powerhouse cast that also includes Steve Buscemi, Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright, Ben Foster, Anne Heche, Cynthia Nixon and Ice Cube, the carefully crafted and trenchant drama will appeal to more audience members than it will to critics.
While the film is drenched in atmosphere and packs a verbal and visceral punch, its relentless downward spiral makes for an overdetermined, not entirely satisfying character study.
Harrelson though, is in every scene, and seeing him burn up Rampart is positively arresting.
Harrelson goes full bore from the opening scene and there are no scenes he is not in. But the effect is wearying rather than exhilarating.

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