Working on a Bust
Review by Ross Anthony

Edgy, gritty, dark, but real. After an outstandingly filmed, tense opening first act, the film relaxes in the middle, perhaps a tad too much, then comes back with a vengeance. The tension crammed into that last act will knot your stomach Narctight. Threads of ethical, legal and personal quandary weave and tie taut into one of the most compelling film moments this year.

However, the resolution to that knot plays less artfully, its point also of minimal redeeming value to me personally.

Very well produced, acted, directed and shot with a 70's cop, bluish cinemagraphic feel, but "Narc" ultimately offers little thematically.

According to NYPD Det. Todd Merrit, who acted as advisor on the film, "An undercover will try to talk his way out of having to ingest anything, but sometimes it can't be helped. When it does happen, an officer immediately reports the incident and can be removed from active duty for up to a month. In the case of an officer getting addicted, it's different from state to state. For example, in New York, an addicted officer is immediately suspended and that's it. But in Detroit, where this film is set, they have rehab centers where they send narcs who get themselves in too deep."

Interestingly enough, Tom Cruise serves as executive producer.

  • Narc. Copyright © 2002. Rated R.
  • Starring Jason Patric, Ray Liotta, Busta Rhymes, Chi McBride.
  • Directed by Joe Carnahan.
  • Produced by Diane Nabatoff, Ray Liotta, Michelle Grace, Julius R. Nasso at Splendid/Lions Gat/C/W/Tiera Blu/Paramount Pictures.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:02:05 PDT