Director: Various
Stars: Various
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Rating: R (Restricted)
Runtime: 105 minutes

Jittery camera moves and a gray-blue palette make it clear that Narc is a gritty police drama in the tradition of The French Connection and Serpico. Jason Patric (Rush, Your Friends & Neighbors) plays Nick Tellis, a former undercover cop with an accidental death on his conscience, which may be why he's agreed to partner with Henry Oak (Ray Liotta), a lieutenant determined to track down the killers of his former partner. This could all be rote, but the grit sticks: writer-director Joe Carnahan takes a huge leap forward from his Tarentino-wannabe first film, Blood, Guts, Bullets & Octane. The entire cast is excellent; Patric and Liotta give rich, textured performances that make their respective obsessions vivid and sad. Narc could use more of the dark humor that occasionally bursts out, but the movie's drive and energy make it more than a bleak tale of good intentions gone bad. --Bret Fetzer

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