Netflix Pick: ‘Cop Land’

Cop Land (1997)
Written & Directed by James Mangold
104 mins.

By Tim Lucia

The 1997 crime drama Cop Land is director James Mangold’s second feature, after his debut, Heavy.  He went on to direct Walk the LIne and 3:10 to Yuma.  The star-studded cast includes Sylvester Stallone, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, Robert DeNiro, Michael Rapaport, Janeane Garofalo, Robert Patrick, Annabella Sciorra, Noah Emmerich, Cathy Moriarty, and Frank Vincent.  There are also some serious mustaches in this film, particularly from DeNiro and Patrick. Garrison, NJ, sheriff Freddie Heflin (Stallone) patrols the seemingly dull streets of a town populated by cops who work across the George Washington bridge in New York.  Freddie always wanted to become a NYPD cop like them, but he is deaf in one ear, which has kept him out.  Late one night on the bridge, Murray “Superboy” Babich (Rapaport) is involved in a double shooting death, which will give the department a huge black eye.  Superboy disappears with the help of his uncle, Ray Donlan (Keitel).  Freddie begins investigating, but not before being warned not to by Donlan.  As Freddie begins sleuthing, he discovers his town, which was thought to be a safe haven populated by cops, is really a town full of corruption and betrayal.  Liotta portrays a sympathetic but troubled cop on Freddie’s side, and DeNiro ignites the screen as a no-nonsense Internal Affairs officer.  An overlooked crime drama, Cop Land is a fun film for any fan of the crime genre.

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