Rush (1991) Poster


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Excellent drama, much better than expected
smokehill18 May 2000
I watched this only because Sam Elliott was in it, expecting little from Patric & Leigh, whom I looked upon as TV-quality lightweights. I was quite wrong -- both can act with great strength when given a quality script (a rare item in Hollywood). This is an intense, driven tale about undercover cops firmly entangled in the drug underworld, with the criminal activity and hypocrisy evenly spread between the cops and the dealers. The accuracy of this portrayal and the obvious futility of the "War on Drugs" explain why this film was hammered loudly by the police departments, newspapers and mainstream critics. To anyone who hasn't spent time around serious junkies this film will be a bit of a jolt, but it's the best and most honest portrayal of this world ever put on film.

This is definitely not your standard two-cop "buddy" films that spew forth so often from the Hollywood colon. The story is not predictable, nor is the ending....nor the ending after that ending. Scripts like this are jolting because they make you realize just how awful most of the other films actually are.

Some of the secondary actors turn in surprisingly nice jobs here. Sam Elliott turns in his usual good work, always enjoyable, but several others are well worth mention: Max Perlich, the pathetic little snitch, and Gregg Allman, who with almost no dialogue does a very convincing portrayal of a malevolent local crime kingpin.

This is one of those rare movies where the soundtrack is worth owning. Eric Clapton does a superb score, and his selection of music for the saloon and drug den scenes is masterful.

I've watched this three times, each a few years apart, and it gets better each time. The film doesn't have rely on fancy car chases, lengthy gunfights or comic relief. It's simply a fine film done by craftsmen -- a rare treat indeed.
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a drama definitely worth seeing
LATENITE20 November 1999
'Rush' is a very powerful and moving drama complimented by some of the greatest acting performances of the stars' careers. Patric and Leigh are the most notably outstanding actors as a duo of undercover narcotic police officers delving into the illegal drug world of a small town in Texas. There were a few problems, though, in this film. Small parts of the film's dialogue are flawed and the pace gets too choppy at many points. Nevertheless, 'Rush' remains a great example of what dramatic scenes and acting should be. Highly recommended for drama movie lovers.
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Well acted and convincing drama
JohnSeal9 February 2000
Rush was a controversial film upon it's initial release. Scenes depicting drug use by police officers were denounced by the usual Fraternal Orders and right wing cranks. Those scenes are only part of what makes Rush such a memorable experience. Good performances from Jennifer Jason Leigh as a starry eyed rookie narc, Sam Elliott as her burned out boss, and especially Max Perlich as a construction worker making some extra bucks in the drug trade anchor a film that makes a mockery of our vain attempts to somehow end the importation and use of these illegal substances. When does use change into addiction? How far will we go to stop people from abusing their bodies, and how many lies must be told in the process? Rush is a brave and provocative film that tells it's story without histrionics, a minimum of gunplay, and a dearth of sensationalism...despite what Officer Friendly may say about it.
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Excellent and intense
igulin21 October 2000
For those who claim this film unrealistic, mind you it is based on a true story. I hail Rush as one of the most powerful and emotional films to ever portray addiction. The characters coupled with Pete Dexter's realistic and sincere dialog paint a very sad, yet human picture of our culture. Our need to punish crime, yet our inability to steer 100% clear of it, is one of many themes intertwined with Rush's story. This film is a fine example of true filmmaking. There are no big effects, no trick stunts, yet one cannot turn away from the screen. Everything from the sutle production design to Eric Clapton's score make Rush a true modern classic.
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A good '70's styled cop film...
chas771 September 1999
While no masterpiece, "Rush" is an offbeat, well made film set in the early '70's centering on the efforts of some Texas cops to bust supposed drug dealer Greg Allman -- at all costs.

All of the actors perform well -- Jason Patric gives a particularly intense performance as the once idealistic officer who has obviously stayed undercover too long.

Great score by Eric Clapton. I really have no idea why this fairly unconventional film (gee, maybe that was the reason -- it wasn't a formulaic cop/buddy movie) did not receive more acclaim. 7/10.
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Rough and Sweet
native_girl3339 July 2006
I saw "Rush" yesterday and it surprised me completely. I haven't seen so powerfully dedicated acting in a long time! In "Rush" two undercover police officers (soulful pair Jason Patric and Jennifer Jason Leigh) who are trying to bust every big drug dealer in Los Angeles. But there is a fine line of becoming a drug addict when you are acting to be one... Is it save to use drugs in the name of good intentions?

Lili Fini Zanuck directed (and her spouse Richard D. Zanuck produced) Jason Leigh and Patric with a touch of a combination of rough and soft at the same time. The pair gives performances which are strong and morningly present, too. Probably their career's best roles. The pair supports the story and are the strength of whole movie. I was blown away. Jason Leigh and Patric really had the unspoken chemistry. That isn't easy to achieve. They were very impressively convincing.

Although of the rough subject of the movie the love story rises behind it. If your partner is screwed than so are you, Patric's character Jim Raynor says to Kirsten (Jason Leigh) about their under-covering. Yes, it is true but I think that Kirsten would have done whatever Jim would have wanted her to do even she was so strong individual. It is a notion of overcoming love.

I really loved the feeling of the seventies in the movie. The music (composed by guitar-wizard Eric Clapton), clothes and the spirit was so '70s (my favorite decade even I wasn't been born yet). After happy hippie-sixties, the golden era of drug-using was behind and the drug-busting was just begun. If the using was so free in the '60s in the '70s it was spreading more fluently and the criminality was increasing. The movie shows that how dangerous it is to be close encounter with the drug dealers.

The movie has R-rating here in Finland and some other countries too and it is definitely rough and tough although there is a softer side. But I am sure that the drug addicts life isn't so pretty so "Rush" feels very authentic and real.

"Rush" was surprisingly good movie which held me throughout the whole movie. I highly recommend it.
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It's a fine line, Dodd.
lastliberal21 January 2008
Outstanding movie about undercover drug work with Jason Patric (In the Valley of Elah) and Jennifer Jason Leigh (Miami Blues, Margot at the Wedding).

Producer Lili Fini Zanuck (Driving Miss Daisy, Cocoon) directs her first film and does a great job of keeping the action moving as we delve into the sordid world of those who build cases against drug dealers and see the danger that they themselves are in. It was a revealing and tense film with outstanding performances by Patric and Leigh.

With Sam Elliott (The Big Lebowski, The Golden Compass) and Gregg Allman in his only movie.
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Title Is Self-Explanatory
jzappa9 September 2007
Rush does not have my favorite atmosphere, that of big belt buckles, long hair, cowboy hats, and barrelhead bars. Not a fan. But, the film is very powerful. It's directed with a very discerning pace and clearcut, head-on reception of every emotion and tension released by every scene by Lili Fini Zanuck. Because of this, the film, which some say is not so action- packed, is actually brimming with action. The action doesn't largely involve guns or chases or fights but involves a harrowing ride through the attacks of libido and paranoia of drug addiction. The film is a masterpiece of direct film-making. Not only is Zanuck's aforementioned style barefaced and precise, the story is the reality of a deep cover narcotics operation. Hardly any connection with the outside world at all, the acclamation to hard drugs, the dangerous risk taken by the chemistry between the narcs working together, and the unexpected traumatic, malicious confrontations that turn out to be the most harrowing and affecting experiences on the whole.

Jason Patric and Jennifer Jason Leigh make for a surprisingly very intense duo. Patric delivers a gem of a performance as a dark, hardened cop who reaches the peak of every alarming human extent. Leigh, as the straight man so to speak in that particular area, delivers on quite a sensitive note. Also, having been scarred by her maddening irritating side in The Hudsucker Proxy, I was happy to see her in a performance where she did not go over the top and stayed at the level that made her stand out quite a lot. And, on a side note, I had no idea she was so hot. Her body, especially around the level of the hips and thighs, is perfection rarely so magnified. Watch for the scene in the apartment where she's wearing jeans and a black shirt. You'll sweat till your clothes stick.

Rush has what one wouldn't expect from a film like it, and that is a villain that is an added bonus in every way. We see him only as silent punctuation at the beginning, middle, and end. He is elusive, smarter than any of his partners, calculating, all underneath that long Texas hair of his. From the start, we are presented with a man who only appears to all that come in contact with him to be no different, wearing boots, the accent, everything I said at the top, the like, but beneath the appearance is someone who knows the trouble and chaos those who try to catch him throughout the film are about to go through and smirks inside about it.
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Thought Provoking
snyderb24 December 2000
Rush was definitely interesting to watch, though not always pleasant to look at. Set amidst the war on drugs, this film challenges us to rethink this battle. Are the wasted resources really worth the hypocrisy and corruption that go hand in hand with the arrests? The movie was not extraordinary, but I did go away haunted by many of the prevalent themes.

The relationship between the two undercover agents was very intriguing. I would have liked to have seen a bit more development before they became so involved, but nevertheless, their support of each other, alone in a world they don't belong in, is very interesting. Their different descents, and partial ascents accross the blurred line of addiction gives merit to the portrayal of this affliction. I would definitely recommend Rush for those who have second thoughts about the war on drugs. This film shows us that the worlds of the law breakers and the law enforcers may not be so far apart after all.
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gets me every time
yaknowreesa16 July 2006
Although this story isn't about the average person's everyday life, in my opinion this film is one of the most realistic and interesting movies I have ever viewed. This tale takes place in Caterly, TX where two undercover detectives have found their chance to make a difference, but after becoming involved in this world they realize that right and wrong is not always black and white. This film is very close to my heart. There are no cheesy lines that you only here in movies where you find yourself thinking "who really talks like that?" The emotions displayed by these characters come across the screen as guanine and hit you where it hurts. Most of all this movie has an unbelievable soundtrack including hits from Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton.
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Marginalized Persons
rmax30482316 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The cable guide summary was misleading -- "Two undercover cops become lovers and addicted to dope and danger." Look out -- action movie ahead, right? Righteous cops seek out Gothic underworld figures. Motorcycle chases. Exploding heads. Vicious beatings. The shoot out in the automobile graveyard. The final vindication with the hero's arm in a sling. But no. It's a mature movie. Above all, the couple don't get hooked on danger. On the contrary, they're scared to death of it.

Jason Patric and Jennifer Jason Leigh are two narcs who must be part of the drug world they inhabit and yet retain their identities as cops. In a way they're marginal people, like shop foremen or upper-echelon clerks -- no longer just workers, yet not part of management either. Or like cultural anthropologists, for that matter, participant observers, of which I was one. Two of us were studying psychedelic drug use in New York way back when and were doing on-site observation at a party where everyone else was getting stoned. The dope turned my hosts paranoid and they accused us of being narcs. My partner and I agreed that I would partake of the illicit substance -- just a hit or two to reassure our subjects -- and my partner would not. It reflected really poor judgment on my part. (How long is the statue of limitations in effect, again?) But watching this movie, I could understand pretty much exactly where these two narcs were coming from. In their case, life and death were involved. If you don't participate, you don't do your job. If you do, you're breaking the law. If one side finds you out, you're spanked. If the other side finds you out, you're spanked.

What's important in a movie like this are the performances and they're quite good. Not just Patric and Leigh, but even the smaller parts. I was pleasantly surprised by the direction as well. Let me see. The producer is Richard Zanuck. The director is Lili Fini Zanuck. When you see a combination of names like those with statuses like those, you have to suspect nepotism. But, nepotism or no, the direction is unhurried, dark, humorless and very effective, the subdued equal of one of Sidney Lumet's stories of squealing cops in New York.

The photography is outstanding, its colors drawn from the cool end of the spectrum. The music is by Eric Clapton and he does a great riff on Texas Rock, though we still hear his vibrating chords through the cow flops.

It isn't a happy movie. But it's unusually well done.
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A Great Movie to see again and again!
psywizard8808 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I thought this movie was excellent. I loved Greg Allman in this. He really should make more movies. I remember the first time I saw him in the movie, walking into the bar, checking out people, clad in black with his long blonde hair, he was the bar owner type. He really did not have such a big part but I think he played a great Gains. My husband and I each have two different takes on the end of the movie. I say that when Jennifer Leigh is in court on the stand, when she looks at Gains, he takes his finger and runs it down his nose very slowly, while he is staring at her. The same thing that happened when the double barrel gun came through the window when she was laying on the couch. Now, I think that Leigh was the one in the back seat and blew Gains away. My husband says that police chief, or Sam Elliott killed him, I say it was Jennnifer Jason Leigh. Who was it? One of my all time favorite, one of many.
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The Sordid World of Drugs and Addiction
Uriah4321 May 2020
Set in East Texas an undercover narcotics agent by the name of "Jim Raynor" (Jason Patric) is given an assignment to gather enough evidence to convict a well-connected drug dealer named "Will Gaines" (Greg Allman). Realizing the risks in an operation of this sort he chooses an attractive rookie cop by the name of "Kristen Cates" (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to be his partner. Although she is warned beforehand that the narcotics environment can drastically affect a person she agrees to accept the assignment in the naïve belief that she can "make a difference". Little does she know just how bad it will get for her and her partner as they descend into seamy world of drugs and addiction. Now rather than reveal any more I will just say that I was very impressed with the raw and brutal nature of this film with both Jason Patric and Jennifer Jason Leigh put in outstanding performances in their respective roles. To a lesser extent I also liked the performance of Max Perlich (as the small-time drug dealer known simply as "Walker") as well. In any case, as mentioned earlier this film has some rather explicit scenes here and there but it definitely kept my attention from start-to-finish and for that reason I have rated it accordingly. Above average.
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Portrays the Drug Scene 100%
IHATEITHERE7415 August 2011
As an ex-addict (who am I a fooling, I'll always be an addict for life), this movie plays to exactly how an addict works in life. You will do whatever you have to do to get that high. Whether it be coke, heroin, speed, etc. this movie portrays it perfectly. Once you have done heroin, there is no turning back. Yes, it is that addictive. I'm not a big coke fan, but Meth (Speed)is damned addictive and good luck getting off of it once you have started. This movie portrays this perfectly, as Jennifer J. Leigh is going through the carpet and snorting whatever Meth she has found (I've done the same and it is a terrible thing).

The message of this movie is perfectly clear. Do NOT put yourself in the position to get strung out on any of this stuff. It will ruin your life, like it ruined mine.

Is there anything better than a shot of heroin? No...There is not. Is there anything better than being high on Meth? No, there is not. STAY AWAY FROM IT ALL OR IT WILL WRECK YOUR LIFE AS IT DID MINE!!!

Drugs are a great escape until you find out it is too late and in up in rehab (which I did). Even after rehab I went back to using. Yep....It is that hard a habit to break.

I am in a Methadone clinic now, but getting close to getting out.

Bottom line? Don't mess with any of this stuff if you want to keep a clean life.

God bless.
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Great 1970's Time Capsule
RedQueenIMDB6 January 2013
Not hard to follow, just lacking plot, Rush captured a way of life more than it followed a sequence of events. What struck me about this film was how realistic it was to the seventies rural drug culture, and how casual it was, with the kingpin being untouchable. The attitudes are dead on.

The Eric Clapton soundtrack was an ingenious idea that again was dead on for the period, but disappointing in its unoriginality.

I still can't figure out the worst love scene in cinematic history or why was that was included, but men seem to like this movie a lot and never mention that.

The ending was good but anticlimactic as the surprise was ruined by foreshadowing in the opening scene. Again, I just don't understand why they did it that way.

But I do get the gist of this film and it's an interesting socio- political comment.
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Leigh and Patrick deliver academy award worthy performances in this gritty, stark drama.
triple820 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers

I read the book "Rush" as well and found both the book and the film to be very good. The supporting cast was incredible. And The performances from the two leads are as good as it gets and about as good as Leigh and Patrick get. If one were to doubt the acting ability of either of these two people, they'd need only to see this film. Both of them immerse themselves in their roles and the fact that they are performers playing a part, really does disappear. It was two excellent casting choices, casting these two as the police officers.

The movie itself is moody, grim, and, at times brutal, but it always stays interesting. I loved the southern feel of the film and think the atmospheric cinematography was spot on. Rush is really thought provoking and the performances from Patrick and Leigh, being really much more then merely good, were both academy award worthy. They also had an incredibly strong amount of on screen chemistry and that chemistry adds a lot to this film.

Rush is a very difficult film to watch because of the subject matter. This is both an anti drug film and a crime film and so there's not exactly a lot of sweetness and light but the film is very well made and the supporting performers deserve a lot of kudos as well. Because of just how stark and grim the film is, with less talented people it may have become to difficult to watch but this movie is performance driven and always keeps one watching.

The story and characters are complex, and watching this one does kind of forget it's a movie as the film plays like a volcano about to erupt and a lot of different feelings are felt when watching this. There were a lot of films being made around this time about drugs and though this isn't my favorite, it is one of the most complex and well acted.

The main negatives are the slow moving nature of the film, the extreme talky quality and the mood of the film in general which is so gloomy it's tough to get through at times. There's a lot of violence, a lot of drug use and a lot of people getting hurt or killed. The story however, as grim as it is, is also fascinating and it's almost impossible not to get hooked in. The ending is full of questions and a bit more ambiguous then I would have liked(it also differs from the book). Rush isn't going to be for everybody but I liked the film and loved the performances from everyone. I'd give this a 7.5 of 10.
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"Something's changing here and we got less control of it all the time."
classicsoncall6 November 2021
Warning: Spoilers
Attempting to take down a suspected drug kingpin, police detectives Jimmy Raynor (Jason Patric) and Kristen Cates (Jennifer Jason Leigh) go undercover in the small Texas town of Katterly. Their infiltration into the drug world results in both of them coming under the influence of heroin and an assorted cornucopia of pills that threaten their very existence. It's a gritty film and one that highlights the sordid underworld of the drug trade that exists pretty much in plain sight if one goes looking for it. The story could have been made more menacing if it utilized Gregg Allman in a more treacherous light. He portrays saloon owner Will Gaines, who meticulously avoids any connection to the dealers and users who descend on his Driller's Club, and ultimately faces arrest due to planted evidence that Raynor and Cates resort to upon the orders of their Chief Nettle (Tony Frank). Quite frankly, Nettle came across even sleazier than Gaines to me because of his paranoid agenda. The entire case falls apart when Cates, on a courtroom stand to testify, decides it's not worth it to lie about their involvement in Gaines' arrest, this after their principal informant (Max Perlich) commits suicide, and Raynor falls victim to a gunshot wound in what I thought was a somewhat awkward scene that relies on the viewer's conjecture as to what really happened. And so it is with the final scene as well, in which Gaines leaves the court a free bird (with due recognition to Lynyrd Skynyrd), and receives a sentence in absentia from an unknown assailant, although one's hunch about who did it would be a fair guess.
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Gritty and Harrowing Account of Undercover Narcotics Work
rmailander22 March 2020
Jason Patric and Jennifer Jason Leigh play two beat cops graduating to agents who are given a rather diabolical case on their first undercover go-around. The two are tasked with gathering enough evidence to jail a ruthless drug lord (Gregg Allman). The two go through a good amount of close calls with Allman and company and after trying heroin a few times; become full-fledged addicts. A move which prevents much of anything in the way of investigations to happen. A strong cast and keenly realized ending make up for the lull spots that seem to plague the very middle of the film.
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Jason Patric is awesome!
tlawrenceintel13 August 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This is by far Jason Patric's best role. Even better than Sleepers and that's saying something. While he is not the best actor and will likely never receive any serious acclaim, he serves this role up realistically. The downward spiral that he slips into as the good cop gone rogue is believable. I came to realize that this could really happen when deep undercover gets too deep. Look for Greg Allman in an amazing performance in a role that was tailor-made just for him. The ultimate gangster/biker/outlaw long before Sons of Anarchy was conceived.
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I'm going deeper underground!
hitchcockthelegend31 July 2016
Rush is directed by Lili Fini Zanuck and adapted to screenplay by Peter Dexter from the Kim Wozencraft novel. It stars Jason Patric, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Sam Elliott, Max Perlich and Gregg Allman. Music is by Eric Clapton and cinematography by Kenneth MacMillan.

Two undercover narcotic cops get on a downward spiral that they may not return from...

Set and filmed in Texas, Rush is a hot, sweaty and claustrophobic neo- noir. It maybe doesn't have the classic visual tics of yesteryear, but it has photographic style to burn - with Clapton's score suitably melancholic, which in turn is something that sits perfectly with the perpetual sense of doom that pervades the pic. Corruption and addiction lead the way, all while love tries its hardest to break on through to the other side, but we are on a bus to noirville, and noirville is an unforgiving place...

Patric and Leigh are damn fine actors if given the right material to work with, and they carry this with aplomb. Sadly, Allman is a weak villain, maybe because he looks like a Rick Wakeman clone?! While under using Sam Elliott is just a plain waste. However, this deserves its place on neo-noir lists. It is deliberate in pacing, therefore asking for you to buy into the thematics at work, to let them itch your skin, but to do so has rewards, for in true noir style it doesn't chicken out once the end credits have rolled. 7.5/10
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Feelings towards the movie RUSH
mdnght13818 November 2005
I was about 21 when i first saw the movie Rush.. and i just fell in Love (well maybe not love, but close..) with Jason Patric. The mix between him and Jennifer Jason Leigh was wonderful. And adding Sam Elliot to the show was like icing on the cake. Then adding Max Perlich and Gregg Allman gave this movie the perfect cast. It was a movie that people could relate to b/c the writers and directors didn't dress it up to be something that it wasn't. They made a real life situation seem not only realistic, but interesting and informative as well . I felt like i was there with them the whole time, going through the motions like they were. I've watched this movie many times and it is by far my favorite movie,, never have i found a movie that can match the feelings that this one gives me. I say great job to all who where involve. It is an amazing movie and a must see. Truly what a movie should be. Thanks for listening, Angel
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Feel the rush
videorama-759-85939126 August 2013
Rush is a great movie, steered by two great actors, sharing their finest hour. Loosely based upon a real story, Rush tells the story of DEA undercover cops, (Leigh and Patric) who fall prey to the miscellany of drugs themselves, getting too involved in the false guise they're leading, through no fault of their own. These drugs have em'. Leigh, the newcomer to this operation, is shown the ropes by Patric, who later on, is that that far gone, he bounce back from this quicksand he's falling into. We both feel, greatly for these character's plights. They're out to bust the supplier Gaines, (Cher's hubby, Greg Allman in a sinister, pitch perfect part) who's into more than the distribution of drugs. We follow the slow destruction of these two, Patric at one stage burning his wrist purposely with an iron. In another scene of hopelessness, he arsef..ks Leigh. Sam Elliott in a strong part, plays their boss, a character of great support for these two's hapless spiral into a world of fear, paranoia. The two are so believably great, in one of the best drug films ever made, and still is to this day. It's a good solid drama, with top notch storytelling, and a dynamic and approving shock ending at the sound of double barrel. Too, Eric Clapton's song, Tears in Heaven is featured towards the end, fittingly in a haunting and memorable scene, a few scenes ahead of an unforgettable and tragic one.
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True story that rings true
sueelaine7 January 2019
I have watched this movie a few times over the years and always enjoy it. Sexy. True. Intense. Deep. Hits emotionally every time. God bless cops and what they endure giving their one life to protecting others.
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Intense but slow
valerie-868 October 2009
I preface by stating I am a big fan of JJL and NOT one of Patrick. Therefore I watched this to see her performance and of course, it was excellent. I do not feel the director was adequate for the film as several very bad choices were made re: shot angles, blocking, etc. If the director was trying to give it a "realistic" feel, they failed and lost some good performances because of it. Nearly always felt that the camera was way too static, too far from intense facial reactions -- and so many times when the action depended on the intimacy of lead characters, the dialog was slow and plodding. This easily could have been resolved by cutaways or changes of camera angle. But the impression I got was that the budget was too small and only one camera was used! I also got the impression that perhaps scenes were shot multiple times and the energy coming from the actors was... used up.
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Heavy Duty Drugs
sjanders-864302 December 2020
The problem with 1991 Rush is that the two main characters do hard drugs. Rush is a sad story of an undercover cop, Jason Patric, who uses drugs to convince drug dealers he isn't a cop. In the process he becomes addicted. He recruits Jennifer Jason Leigh to be his partner. She barely escapes addiction herself. This film is an anti- drug film that shows how easy addiction is. The problem with Leigh is that her acting style, no matter the film, is troubled and so low key that she is an energy negative. She cannot emmote anything more than half awake. The peripheral characters are strong contrasting the two main characters doing drugs. If the peripherals were weak, this film would not work. That is true of any film where the main characters are doing bad things. They must be surrounded by strong good characters.
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