6.8/10
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209 user 198 critic

Street Kings (2008)

Trailer
1:28 | Trailer
An undercover cop, disillusioned by the death of his wife, is implicated in the murder of an officer and must struggle to clear himself.

Director:

David Ayer

Writers:

James Ellroy (screenplay), Kurt Wimmer (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
3,858 ( 753)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keanu Reeves ... Detective Tom Ludlow
Forest Whitaker ... Captain Jack Wander
Hugh Laurie ... Captain James Biggs
Chris Evans ... Detective Paul Diskant
Cedric the Entertainer ... Scribble (as Cedric 'The Entertainer' Kyles)
Jay Mohr ... Sgt. Mike Clady
Terry Crews ... Detective Terrence Washington
Naomie Harris ... Linda Washington
Common ... Coates
Cle Sloan ... Fremont
Martha Higareda ... Grace Garcia
John Corbett ... Detective Dante Demille
Amaury Nolasco ... Detective Cosmo Santos
Game ... Grill (as The Game)
Noel Gugliemi ... Quicks (as Noel G.)
Learn more

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Storyline

LAPD detective Tom Ludlow is a ruthlessly efficient, unorthodox undercover cop. Captain Jack Wander always covers for Ludlow, as do even his somewhat jealous colleagues. After technically excessive violence against a vicious Korean gang during the liberation of kidnapped child sex slaves, Ludlow becomes the target of hotshot Internal Affairs captain James Biggs, who feels passed over after Wander's promotion to chief. Ludlow's ex-patrol partner, Terrence Washington, sides with IA but is killed during a shop robbery in Ludlow's presence. Ludlow works his way through the twisted rungs of the police and the deadly streets of Los Angeles for answers that lead to more and more questions. Written by KGF Vissers (TC edit)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Their City. Their Rules. No Prisoners.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and pervasive language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The bathroom where Ludlow and Diskant have their talk about Washington being dirty was actually a set that was built on the Fox lot. The urinals in the background all had signs saying "Do Not Use" See more »

Goofs

When Ludlow and Wander fight in the end the handcuff that is placed on the railing changes positions after the initial "lock up." The handcuff moves one section down the railing and is closed tighter. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Boss Kim: Yo dawg.
Tom Ludlow: Konnichiwa.
Boss Kim: What?
Tom Ludlow: Konnichiwa. Konnichiwa. It means what's up. So what the fuck's up?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Task: Pilot (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Down 4 My N's
Written by Snoop Dogg (as Calvin Broadus), Magic (as Awood Johnson Jr.),
C-Murder (as Corey Miller), Carlos Stephens and Donald Robertson
Performed by C-Murder, Snoop Dogg and Magic
Courtesy of Priority Records
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
See more »

User Reviews

 
Explosive entertainment
12 April 2008 | by C-YounkinSee all my reviews

"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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Turkish

Release Date:

11 April 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Night Watch See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,469,631, 13 April 2008

Gross USA:

$26,418,667

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$66,476,363
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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