Director(s): Oren Moverman
IMDB Rating: 6.1
Dave Brown is a Los Angeles police officer who works out of the Rampart Division. Dave is misogynistic, racist, brutally violent, egotistical and a womanizer, although he defends himself against many of these accusations as he says that his hate is equal opportunity. However unlawful, he uses intimidation and brutal force to defend his ideals. The most notorious of his actions is purportedly murdering a suspected serial date rapist, which is why he has been given the nickname Date Rape Dave. He lives with two of his ex-wives - sisters Barbara and Catherine - in an effort to keep family together, namely his two daughters, Helen and Margaret, who each have a different sister as their mother. Dave still maintains a sexual relationship with both sisters - whenever the mood suits any of them - while he openly has other sexual relationships. His life is put under a microscope after he is caught on video brutally beating a person with who he got into an automobile crash...
JRlock (10 May 2013)
Harrelson gives a great performance in a movie that is truly a fineexample of character study as you'll ever see in a Hollywood movie. Thecast is impressive and delivers performances at par with that ofWoody's but all are either short or in a few scenes only; that of BenFoster and Ned Beatty are such, short and few scenes. Take a second toperuse the cast names. It is an intense film and for those who haveseen their share of French movies you will see how very similar thecharacter study genre is reminiscent of French movies. There were toomany actors I liked in "Rampart" to pass up the movie, besides, I haveno aversion to character studies pieces so long as I'm in the rightframe of mind; you can't and will not like this movie if you are not atease with the genre and in the right frame of mind. Why? Because thesetypes of movie are slow and when they do energize, it doesn't lead to apay-off moment; it simply moves on with a degree of apparentdisconnect.I have read some excellent reviews of this movie, preceding my own,which reviews eloquently make a case for how good and how bad thismovie was. Dave Brown, played by Harrelson, is in a dark moment of hislife and his job as a cop, makes it that more complicated; the movie isentirely focused on his tribulations, so you must be very open to studyof the human nature for this movie to interest you. Had the movie endedtragically with his suicide, I would have a positive view of myexperience, just as I would, had there been an ending with his familypulling for him and giving him hope. The abrupt ending instead gives itwhat I like to call an 'artsy' touch; you have to fill in the blank andwork your imagination like looking at an abstract painting. I don'tcare for 'artsy' all that much unless I'm consuming something thatenhances dopamine production in my brain; I wasn't, so my rating of themovie will only rank mediocre.
Jake Coyle (09 May 2013)
Instead of leading toward understanding, "Rampart" remains a dirty cop caricature, more a complaint than a story.
Josh Bell (30 April 2013)
The dark feeling it captures is more important than the details of the hazy plot.
filmcriticonfire (29 April 2013)
"Rampart," starring Woody Harrleson and Robin Wright-Penn is set in LosAngles in 1999, right at the height of the notorious scandal thatrocked the LAPD where numerous officers were implicated in cases ofpolice brutality and misconduct. One fact is crystal clear; OfficerBrown is on a path of self destruction from the very start of the film.Harrelson, in the leading role, plays the the character of Veteran LAPDOfficer Dave Brown. Brown is street-hardened, old school cop who isboth hated and loved by his peers on the job. His old school ways ofthinking are becoming the sort of thing that the LAPD is no longer in aposition to tolerate, as it is being exposed in numerous cases ofpolice misconduct. Brown is racist and a bigot who thinks that he cando no wrong and feels that his conduct is a justifiable means to takecriminals off the streets. Living with his two ex-wives (who happen tobe sisters) and his two daughters, the viewer sees how Harrleson'scharacter destroys his personal relationships piece by piece. Hispersonal life crumbles even more with his tumultuous relationship alawyer (Penn.) Officer Brown is suddenly thrust into the misconductspotlight when a video camera catches him beating a person who justcrashed into him while driving in his police cruiser.Harrison's performance is strong and gritty, but the film lacks overallmomentum. The narrative of the story seems to be all over the place.The numerous sub plots seem like they are going to connect at somepoint or another, but never do. The film has several notableappearances of famous actors (Steve Buscemi, Sigourney Weaver, IceCube, even Ned Beatty) but their characters never seem to materializeto their true potential. Director Owen Moverman, who also directedHarrleson in "The Messenger," really hits the mark with Harrleson'scharacter, but failed to take the film any farther than that. If youare looking to watch the very talented skills of Woody Harrleson, thenyou will get your money's worth...but not if you are looking to watch agood police drama.
danielnoah (12 April 2013)
A brilliant deconstruction of the corrupt cop genre that crawls deepinside its archetypal male antihero to expose the vulnerabilities thatdrive him - like an inverse French Connection. If you are amongst thelegions of filmgoers who lament the decline of American cinema sincethe golden era of the 1970s, this is for you. Moverman's filmmaking isat once unblinking and unobtrusive, giving the film a documentary likequality that grounds the genre elements in a heartbreaking emotionalreality. In the tradition of William Friedkin, Sydney Lumet, BobRafelson, Hal Ashby and Robert Altman - a probing filmmaker builds atemple around an iconic actor, setting the stage for one of thegreatest performances of his career. Dave Brown serves as a fascinatingcounterpoint to Popeye Doyle, Frank Bullitt and Alonzo Harris. WoodyHarrelson may finally win his Oscar for this one.
buypluto (12 April 2013)
This star studded movie just never takes off. It is slow and neverbuilds up to anything. When you think it is going to get good it fallsflat and just drags on. There are scenes, like the sex club, that justmake no sense and you have to wonder why it was put in the movie. Sexis a theme and that can only be my guess as to why.Would have been great to develop more of the characters instead ofhaving them in the movie to just have them. Ice Cube was great, butonly has a few scenes. You wont realize who Ben Foster is until youread the credits.Spoiler The ending is horrible. If I was at the screening I would havebooed. After an hour the movie could have ended and I was like are theyever gonna wrap this up. The story is horrible, though the actors aregreat and that is what the other reviews touch on. GREAT actors,horrible movie.
Timoverich (26 March 2013)
The film is a slice-of-life/character study produced in the style of LAnoir/docudrama and seen in that context it succeeds admirably. Greatperformances from Harrison and others. I think the writing and Moverman's mettle attracted the high profileperformers in supporting roles. However, it can be initiallydistracting to see such folks appear as it takes a few moments for oneto acknowledge their presence and again suspend disbelief. (Though Iwould not have made this observation if the site did not require atleast 10 lines of text in a review. The observation that big nameactors can be a distraction in small roles did not originate with me.)The obvious solution to this dissonance is to expand the supportingroles of such talented, accomplished actors. I think it must be difficult to do noir in LA with all those pastelsand sunlight. In "Rampart" it is the subject matter, the script, andthe performances that create the dark self-destructive trajectory thatpropels the protagonist into his hellish alienation.
Kimberly Gadette (25 March 2013)
Rampart is nothing more than an showy cinematographic exercise that depicts an anti-hero who resolutely won't change. Does the film undergo any kind of story arc? Nope. Give me a Training Day any day.
fenderjazzmaster (17 March 2013)
Movies that have several subplots are fine, but having no resolution toany leaves the viewer feeling like he has been cheated out of anending. The character played by Woody Harrelson was the same characterhe played in "Natural Born Killers" except he was on the other side ofthe law this time. The end of this film actually burns up 11 minutes ofcredits and dedications to people we don't have any idea who they maybe or what their connection to the movie and/or story is. I download myvideos through newsgroups and I can't get my bandwidth back that Iwasted on this crap. I generally depend on the reviews here on IMDb andthey usually give me a pretty good indication of what to expect, thistime was the exception to the rule. Don't waste your time of effort onthis turd...
Sarah Boslaugh (16 March 2013)
The performances are uniformly excellent and the film looks great, thanks in no small part to the cinematography of Bobby Bukowski...
jamesmartin1995 (13 March 2013)
LAPD veteran Dave Brown is a vile, disgusting man. He is a sexist,racist, womaniser, drunkard, dirty cop and patent homophobe. This,incidentally, is not my judgement of him, but that of his own daughter.It's pretty accurate. How much does that tell you?Co-written by James Ellroy and starring Woody Harrelson in the mainrole, 'Rampart' serves both as compelling crime melodrama and scorchingcharacter study. When we first meet Brown (the Harrelson character), wetake an immediate dislike to him. He stinks of corruption andarrogance; he is a control freak, whose selfishness and cynicism damageand infect all those around him. He has two daughters by two differentwomen (both sisters, as chance would have it); despite the fact thathis adultery is an almost nightly occurrence, he insists on livingtogether with the two women and their respective children, to 'keep thefamily' intact. The pain and despair this has caused is devastating.Yet this is a man quite capable of charisma, and perhaps in the crudestsense possible, charm. He can, after all, be seductive; in a brilliantearly scene, we see him pick up a woman at his local bar; firstconversation, then sex. His target is sensible, and perhaps looking fora good time, a friend, maybe even a relationship. Her questions areamicable and fair. The disappointment after that vacuous act later onis captured with incredible insight and realism by the filmmaker.Dave's behaviour is often puerile and savage; the weight of the lawbegins to force itself upon him when he is caught on camera almostbeating a man to death after the latter crashed his vehicle into Dave'spolice car. The extent of his obstinacy and self-delusion is mindblowing; an amazing piece of cinematography, in which the camera swingsround in a circle, abruptly cutting between Dave and his superiorsduring a heated discussion on the subject of his brutality, emphasisesthe illogical but never-ending egoism and suppressed insecurity thatdrive him. Sex, as in most works with Ellroy's name attached, plays a huge role.At first, we think Dave is just producing excess testosterone, or issimply a chauvinistic pig by nature. But we soon realise there issomething desperate about his constant affairs, about his insatiableneed to control and assert his authority. Perhaps to confirm hismasculinity, or escape his problems. Certainly, the brief relationshiphe strikes up with a lawyer, as confused and desperate as he is in manyways, sheds much light on Dave's character.I've seen it argued that Dave is completely immoral in other reviews.This isn't true. He may have ruined the lives of his family, andeveryone he has come into contact with, but he does come to realisethat. Too long he has spent running away from his responsibilities; atleast on the job, he can fall back on the tired, formal jargon that hasetched itself on his brain. But what about his children? I think it would be unfair to give any more specifics on the plot.Technically, this movie is something special: intimately filmed, withheavy usage of artificial lighting (neon red, in particular, is used togreat effect), and a handful of brilliant sequences Â including but byno means limited to an excursion into an underground bar where easy sexpervades the air. This is where we begin to see Dave at his mostdesperate and 'Rampart' is a formidable movie about a man well past his sell-by-date,whose brutality, closed-mindedness, insecurity and immaturity havedestroyed any chance of happiness he might ever have had, and may wellhave destroyed the same thing for those nearest to him. There is aheartbreaking sequence near the end where, for the first time, Davetries to speak to his children honestly, in hope of salvaging hisrelationship with them. It is a film about despair, about a corruptsociety that has moulded a man whose failures and flaws are killing himfrom the inside out, without mercy. His own childhood is leftdeliberately ambiguous, but his father, another corrupt cop, seems tohave been his role model. Thus the corruption and destruction seems tobe continuing through the generations in ripples and circles. The possibility of redemption has certainly manifested itself by theend of the film. Hope has come, at least for Dave's family. As far ashe is concerned, perhaps self-knowledge is the first step. The movie'sfinal scene is a modification of the opening sequence, and we have toask ourselves, can we see the change in Dave? There is no easy answer.There isn't meant to be.
Tony Heck (13 March 2013)
"I was under attack, I went after the suspect. End of story." DaveBrown (Harrelson) is an LAPD officer that who does things his own way.After he is caught on tape brutally beating someone after they hit hiscar his career is in jeopardy. While trying to defend himself againstthe charge an old alleged crime of his comes back up. This is a reallygood movie. The big problem is that it is again nothing reallyoriginal. He acts the way "Dirty Harry" acts but has the morals ofDenzel Washington in "Training Day". The movie has an all-star cast andthe acting is fantastic. Harrelson especially is great in this in avery layered performance. He covers everything in this role; brutality,being a smart-ass, father in a very dysfunctional family as well aswomanizer. This is a great role for him and the movie is very muchworth watching. Again, though the only problem is that it seems likethis movie has been done to death. Overall, nothing new but still good.I recommend this. I give it a B+.
jbearheart (09 March 2013)
I very, very rarely take time to write a review unless I feel totallymoved to do so be the movie good bad or indifferent. In this case, badis my motivating factor and disbelief that this thing realizes anaverage review rating of 6.3 just blows me away. This movie is soundirected and lacking in anything resembling a focused story line thatyou end up wanting to tear your hair out from sheer frustration. Themovie is so convoluted it is nearly impossible to follow the storyline, let alone the intent and every movie must have intent or itshouldn't be a movie. This thing is all over the place with adjunctlines that just throw the entire movie into a nether world. Completewaste of time unless you really like spending time trying to followcompletely disjointed story lines with no meaningful objective. Awfulmovie.
Peter Keough (09 March 2013)
Not derivative so much as a variation on a template.
Shaun Munro (05 March 2013)
Woody Harrelson's compelling performance as a man desperately trying to escape a net drawing ever tighter - yet fundamentally refusing to change his ways - ensures this gripping and gritty crime drama amounts to being more than just The Shield: The Movie.
Christopher Tookey (04 March 2013)
Harrelson does everything but beg for an Oscar in a film that does little else but delve deeper and deeper into a character that has no depth.
Philip French (28 February 2013)
It confirms Harrelson's position as one of the best, most ambitious, least self-regarding actors at work today, and by the end he's compelled us to understand Brown and accord him a grudging respect.
M. J Arocena (28 February 2013)
It is startling when an actor can embody a living contradiction. WoodyHarrelson does exactly that in "Rampart" He manages to give a humancenter to this creature created by a system that seems to repudiate aswell as nurture him. Chilling perfection Mr. Harrelson. Oren Moverman,the writer director is emerging as one o the most pungent of Hollywoodwriters. His dialog is superb and the opening scene alone is aremarkable confirmation of that. The film has a sticky uncomfortableatmosphere captured in every detail by the underrated Bobby Bukowski'sphotography. Glimpses of Sigourney Weaver and Steve Buscemi addconsiderably to the pluses of this unexpected treat.
We Watched A Movie (22 February 2013)
Woody Harrelson plays a corrupt cop named "Date Rape" Dave (and forthose of you still reading, we continue) who got the moniker not fromdoing so but rather for allegedly killing someone who did. He alsolives in something one can only call a "situation" in which he marriedsisters (both at different times) had kids with each, divorced each andnow insists that they all live under the same two roofs in homes rightnext to each-other. This leads to an awkward moment in which hisdaughter actually asks if their family is incest. Dave is also a copthat really likes to beat people down. Not just anyone mind you,everyone. Because he is not racist, he simply hates everyone. The whole story focuses on Dave trying to beat a charge of victim abusewhen a camera catches him beating the daylights out of a perpetratorthat hit his car. All the while we watch Dave womanize, take drugs,smoke about two million cigarettes and try to get his two families tolove him despite his disturbing life choices. Despite the disgusting things his character does Harrelson actuallymakes you feel bad for him in a few fleeting moments. All the while youknow he deserves everything he gets and more but it's hard to hate himwhen he is watching television with his youngest daughter and cannotstop smiling at the thought of her wanting to be near him. The film isalso packed with small roles by big names like Steve Buscemi andSigourney Weaver who spice up the film but don't really add anythingmemorable. Harrelson makes the film watchable with an amazing performance and likea train wreck, is hard to take your eyes off. Unfortunately, Rampart isa gritty character study that is more repetition than self discovery.See Dave womanize, disgust his family, say shocking things, beatsomeone up, get wasted, freak out, rinse and repeat. He gets deeperinto trouble with his family and career with each endeavor and neverreally learns anything from it. By the films end you realize Rampartsuffers the same fate as Dave in that it's not going to change its waysand is ultimately headed nowhere. 5/10
rivalclepto (21 February 2013)
Let me start off by saying, I am a Woody Harrelson fan. Rampart waslike a giant hot lava magma flow... without the lava, fire or heat.Without even the hot air one would expect with a movie surrounding LAPDduring the Daryl Gates era. Woody was no Saint, but please the mostcorrupt cop ever? Apparently someone did not see Bad Lieutenant withHarvey Keitel, now that was a bad cop. There was no cinematography, nogreat dialog, no innovative camera angles. Woody was way too literatefor this role of a corrupt cop. I was deeply disappointed with thefilm, especial the lack-luster ending.. oh wait there was no ending itjust ended after he was caught y his daughter skulking in the bushes athis former house. There was no confrontation, just credits rolling.Save your time and watch Bad Lieutenant again.
Review total: 20, showing from 1 to 20