Rampart review

Confronting police drama starring Woody Harrelson reviewed

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Readers of FilmInk magazine will know about Woody Harrelson’s intense and highly praised role as old school New York cop Dave Brown, for whom the lines between right and wrong aren’t so much blurred as bashed through with an iron bar, trampled on and kicked into the dirt. Then shot a couple of times to make sure they’re dead. But Rampart is not the film you probably think it is: it is as much about the fragile male psyche, and the part that masculinity plays in the world we live in. There are moments in which the camera focuses unflinchingly, almost cruelly, on Brown’s pain, and Harrelson is up to the task. Director Oren Moverman (Who worked with Woody on The Messenger) didn’t give Harrelson much to work with – the director isn’t big on rehearsal. Harrelson’s brutally good performance clearly comes from somewhere else. Even if you know anything about his background (for example, Harrelson has confirmed that his father was a hitman), it’s impressive.

Check out appearances by Ben Foster (also from The Messenger), Steve Buscemi, Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright, Audra McDonald, Brie Larson, and Cynthia Nixon and Anne Heche as Brown’s longsuffering sister wives (just sisters, not Mormons) and… oh, just go and see the movie. You won’t be sorry.

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