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Gang Related (1997)

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After murdering an undercover DEA agent, two corrupt cops scramble to cover up what they've done.


Jim Kouf


Jim Kouf



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jim Belushi ... Det. Frank Divinci (as James Belushi)
Tupac Shakur ... Det. Rodriguez
Lela Rochon ... Cynthia Webb
Dennis Quaid ... Joe Doe / William
James Earl Jones ... Arthur Baylor
David Paymer ... Elliot Goff
Wendy Crewson ... Helen Eden
Gary Cole ... Richard Simms
Terrence 'T.C.' Carson ... Manny Landrew
Brad Greenquist ... Richard Stein
James Handy ... Capt. Henderson
Kool Moe Dee Kool Moe Dee ... Lionel Hudd
Victor Love ... Hooper
Robert LaSardo ... Sarkasian
Perry Anzilotti ... Vic


Two corrupt cops murder an undercover DEA agent by mistake, and frantically try to cover their tracks by framing a homeless man for the crime. That involves juggling evidence, coaching witnesses, and improvising to keep their desperate scheme from unraveling. Written by <rozebud@compuserve.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Best Place To Hide Is Behind A Badge See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language, some violence and a scene with nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

8 October 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Criminal Intent See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,443,237, 12 October 1997

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Jim Belushi played Frank Sinatra's "Fly me to the moon" for Tupac as a song to possibly sample for the soundtrack. Tupac loved the song so much that he felt the song should remain untouched and didnt sample it. See more »


In the overhead shot where they pick-up the third "suspect", the shadow of the boom mic is visible in the lower left-hand corner. See more »


Divinci: The only difference between a witness and a liar is this: One knows what he's doing at all times; the other has no clue.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Tupac Shakur's earlier posthumous film from 1997, Gridlock'd, still had a 1996 copyright date in the credits. However, this film lists its year of production in the credits as being 1997, despite many viewers already knowing beforehand that Tupac Shakur was not alive in 1997. See more »


How Do U Want It
Written by Tupac Shakur, J. Jackson, Quincy Jones, L. Ware, B. Fisher, S. Richardson
Performed by 2Pac
Artist courtesy of The "Untouchable" Death Row Records
Contains a sample of "Body Heat"
Performed by Quincy Jones
Courtesy of A & M Records, Inc.
By Arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

Surprisingly effective film--gritty style and violent content are appropriate here. *** out of ***
27 December 1999 | by Movie-12See all my reviews

GANG RELATED (1997) ***

Starring: James Belushi, Tupac Shakur, Lela Rochon, Dennis Quaid, James Earl Jones, and David Paymer Written and directed by: Jim Kouf Running Time: 106 minutes Rated R (for strong pervasive language, violence, sexual situations, and some nudity)

By Blake French:

My expectations for "Gang Related" weren't exactly peak high when I decided to screen it. The production just didn't look like anything new to be added into the gritty undercover street cop genre. I was wrong, and the film is somewhat original. I liked the film and its gritty ghetto style it is shot in. I recommend it to those of you looking for a violence action picture with an attitude.

The film's setup begins a little week, but then triggers a series of unpredictable events that connect to each other in a distributive fashion. The two main characters are FBI agents Divinci (James Belushi), and Rodriguez (Tupac Shakur). They are corrupt cops, taking the law into their own hands in many cases, sometimes resulting in murder. One night, Divinci and Rodriguez undercover a drug bust that ends in them shooting the seeming criminal dead. As it turns out, the so called drug lord was actually an undercover cop.

The movie's intentions are clear from the first act; we are watching a story from the bad guys point of view. It is an unconventional idea. The opening contains to little dramatic material to go much anywhere, so the rest of the film much hinge of from it. We meet two characters, receive some development that explains to us these are down on their luck, profane, unrighteous individuals, and are then propelled into the rest of the plot, which basically details the complications of the villain's bad choices.

Once Divinci and Rodriguez learn the identity of the man they brutally killed, they panic. Their first intentions. Since they are the cops assigned to this high pressure case, that they will need to come up with a either a criminal suspect who will plead guilty to their dastardly deed, or frame a crime friendly fellow who can't prove he didn't commit their murder. In the streets they come from, crime and murder is an everyday occurrence, so their plans should work out a-okay...right.

I really liked where the film goes from here: In desperation, Divinci and Rodriguez decide to frame a homeless bum for their murderous crime, played tremendously convincing by Dennis Quaid. The bearded man selected is so out of it, he doesn't even remember his name. So our two incisive corrupters give him a name, plant evidence, explain to him a story which he believes happened, and bribe him to confession.

Characters who enter the story afterward are Cynthia (Lela Rochon), a stripper who is persuaded to lend a deceitful but helping hand to Divinci and Rodriguez, powerful lawyer Arthur Baylor James (Earl Jones), who comes to the rescue of the bum's hopeless defense, and another "lesser" lawyer named Elliot Goff (David Paymer).

"Gang Related" contains a story that is as involving and intriguing as any action picture in the last several years. It uncommonly has unpredictable elements inside. The complication of the conflict are tense and involving as the characters sink themselves into a deeper pit of despair and trouble. But one thing came across my mind as I watched Divinci and Rodriguez work up a taut sweat as they make life or death cover up choices, why don't they just flee the country?

Jim Kouf, who wrote and directed this final film to star the late Tupac Shakur, observes decent performances with the strong dramatic impulse manifested. He holds nothing back, and at times goes over the edge a little in his style of direction. The atmosphere created in "Gang Related" is abrasive, pervasive, and indiscreetly tough. But with such a movie titled "Gang Related," what would you expect?

Brought to you by Orion Pictures.

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