After Katrina, police sergeant Terence McDonagh rescues a prisoner, hurts his back in the process and earns a promotion to lieutenant plus an addiction to cocaine and painkillers. Six months later, a family is murdered over drugs; Terence runs the investigation. His drug-using prostitute girlfriend, his alcoholic father's dog, run-ins with two old women and a well-connected john, gambling losses, a nervous young witness, and thefts of police property put Terence's job and then his life in danger. He starts seeing things. He wants a big score to get out from under mounting debts, so he joins forces with drug dealers. The murders remain unsolved. A bad lieutenant gets worse.Written by
According to Werner Herzog, 2,400 cans of decaf coffee had to be used to make the water appear to be river water in the jail scene. They first attempted to use paint, but it proved to be toxic, then the production team used regular coffee, but the actor absorbed it through his skin. See more »
When McDonaugh searches the couple outside the Gator Retreat, the passenger side view mirror on his car is missing. Later the mirror is there again. See more »
[a dog is barking in the distance as Terrence approaches the house]
Hey! What's wrong?
Your father's mad at me 'cause I can't take care of his fucking dog...
Well why does he need you to take care of it?
Cause! He's goin' back into AA. He says he can deal with anymore responsibilities bsides he said he's gotta stop drinking. I mean, it ain't like I don't wanna take care of it... but I leave at seven o'clock in the morning to go to work!
Let me talk to him.
I try to be a good wife to him, ...
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a truly different film, vividly acted and directed
This movie is filled with humor and turns, it's jazzy and entertaining but not that similar to Abel Ferrara's 1992 story, in spite of the title. It features a wonderful and very much involved performance from Nicholas Cage, a lot of very black humor and gets to develop a strong pessimism. The story is appropriately set in New Orleans (during the Hurricane Katrina's aftermath) and mainly shows what occurs to good people when bad people prosper. Nicholas Cage aside, Val Kilmer doesn't probably manages to do much, but Mendes and Dourif deliver convincing performances. Abel Ferrara's "Bad Lieutenant" was a dirty depiction of a strongly damaged detective (played by Harvey Keitel), where, leaving from the illusions of a drug-induced cop, ended up involving a lot of Catholic guilt. Here there's more action and humor than that stuff, not that the movie is shallow but probably it's just a bit more unpretentious.
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