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Street Kings (2008)

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An undercover cop, disillusioned by the recent murder 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
4,151 ( 229)
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
Game ... Grill (as The Game)
Martha Higareda ... Grace Garcia
John Corbett ... Detective Dante Demille
Amaury Nolasco ... Detective Cosmo Santos
Cle Sloan Cle Sloan ... Fremont
Noel Gugliemi ... Quicks (as Noel G.)
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Storyline

LAPD detective Tom Ludlow is a ruthlessly efficient, unorthodox undercover cop. Captain Jack Wander always covers for Tom, as do even his somewhat jealous colleagues. After technically excessive violence against a vicious Korean gang during the liberation of a kidnapped kid sex slave, Tom becomes the target of IA's hotshot, captain James Biggs, who feels passed over after Wander's promotion to chief. Tom's corrupt, disloyal ex-patrol partner Terrence Washington sides with IA but is killed during a shop robbery in Tom's presence. Written by KGF Vissers

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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Turkish

Release Date:

11 April 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Night Watch See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,469,631, 13 April 2008

Gross USA:

$26,415,649
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Ellroy wrote the screenplay in the mid-1990s, inspired by the O.J. Simpson trial. Over the years, Spike Lee, David Fincher, and Oliver Stone were attached to direct the film, at various stages of pre-production. John Ridley contributed to an early version of the screenplay. Belgian Director Erik Van Looy was set to direct this film, according to various interviews, but these plans were scrapped in pre-production, upon which Van Looy went on to direct Loft (2008) in Belgium. See more »

Goofs

After getting into the fight with the two Korean men, Ludlow has blood on his forehead. During the scenes where he bust into their house, in some shots he is seen with the blood on his forehead but in other scenes there is nothing on his forehead. 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

Features Flavor of Love (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Aguanile
Written by Hector Lavoe (as Héctor Lavoe) and Willie Colón
Performed by Marc Anthony
Courtesy of Sony BMG Music Entertainment (US Latin) LLC
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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