New York Times - 12/20/2002
"...A believable, fleshed-out film....NARC is convincing, an entertaining, grimy view of the traps of machismo tucked inside a cop thriller..."
USA Today - 12/20/2002
"...Cinematographer Alex Nepomniaschy, sometimes using hand-held shots, establishes a jittery tone that works..."
Entertainment Weekly - 01/03/2003
"...The characters, and Carnahan's shades-of-gray FRENCH CONNECTION-style action, inspire the actors -- they play off one another with blazing skill..."
Sight and Sound - 02/01/2003
"...An impressively edgy piece of genre film-making....One of Carnahan's achievements is to maintain a persuasively dark vision throughout..."
Total Film - 03/01/2003
"...It works and is backed up by a skintight plot, a snappy script and a duo of brilliant performances....It's a two-man show and Liotta and Patric form a praiseworthy double act..."
An aggressive chase and a stray bullet nearly ends the career of undercover narcotics agent Nick Tellis (Jason Patric) whose job is tearing apart his life and his family. Tellis dreams of working a less stressful desk job, and he knows that a conviction in an upcoming case will land him the job. So he accepts an assignment assisting the overlong investigation of a slain officer, hoping it will be his last experience of street work. Tellis is partnered with Lt. Henry Oak (Ray Liotta) whose unorthodox methods are part of the reason the case is still unsolved.
Strict attention to police procedure and cop lingo lift writer-director Joe Carnahan's (BLOOD, GUTS, BULLETS AND OCTANE) gritty, violent film above the cliches of the typical police thriller. NARC is fueled by impassioned performances from leads Patrick, a wary officer who seeks the truth as a means to his own psychological redemption; and Liotta (who also produced), as a broken cop with sadistic, rule-breaking tendencies. The film's grimy immediacy is to the credit of cinematographer Alex Nepomniaschy.
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