'Rampart' Critic Reviews

62%
MovieWeb:   4 reviews
74%
Rotten Tomatoes:   141 reviews
  • Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly (Top Critic)
    92
    Rampart won't be for everyone, but it's the work of a major directorial voice. It's a thriller on fire.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Manohla Dargis New York Times (Top Critic)
    70
    "Rampart" tells a familiar story with such visual punch and hustling energy that it comes close to feeling like a new kind of movie, though it's more just a tough gloss on American crime stories past.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Peter Bradshaw Guardian [UK] (Top Critic)
    80
    Rampart is a gripping movie, and a great addition to the Ellroy canon.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Claudia Puig USA Today (Top Critic)
    75
    It's a testament to the direction of Oren Moverman and the script he co-wrote with James Ellroy that we care what happens to such a despicable character.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Ann Hornaday Washington Post (Top Critic)
    50
    "Rampart" doesn't tell a coherent story as much as swirl the drain with Dave, as his increasingly desperate efforts to save himself simply result in a cascade of self-inflicted wounds.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Ty Burr Boston Globe (Top Critic)
    50
    Something to see and little to remember, an acrid character study undone by narrative implausibilities and its own lack of purpose.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Karina Longworth Village Voice (Top Critic)
    Much like Ellroy's noir classics The Black Dahlia and American Tabloid, Rampart is an imaginative work of historical crime fiction using invented characters to reanimate a specific time and place.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Joe Neumaier New York Daily News (Top Critic)
    60
    Harrelson makes Dave Brown fascinating even as writer-director Oren Moverman - who also made "The Messenger" - allows the film, from a James Ellroy screenplay, to become a sprawl.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • John Anderson Wall Street Journal (Top Critic)
    With Mr. Harrelson, Mr. Moverman has created an antihero of epic proportions and indiscretions.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Glenn Kenny MSN Movies (Top Critic)
    60
    The movie's got some strong moments, and Harrelson's work here is so committed that many might feel his character's journey is worth sitting through for that alone.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • David Edelstein New York Magazine (Top Critic)
    Bad Lieutenant made by a tediously finger-wagging Jew instead of a tediously desecrating Catholic.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times (Top Critic)
    100
    Harrelson is an ideal actor for the role. Especially in tensely wound-up movies like this, he implies that he's looking at everything and then watching himself looking.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune (Top Critic)
    88
    "Rampart" patrols some familiar streets, but this jarringly intimate study of a dirty Los Angeles cop sliding, crazily, down the drain has a distinctive new-cliche smell, pungent and alive.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • J. R. Jones Chicago Reader (Top Critic)
    He insists on "keeping the family together" with the same irrational devotion he applies to his job.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Tom Long Detroit News (Top Critic)
    42
    Where's it all go? Nowhere, really, just down a dirty, disappointing hole. Harrelson deserved better.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Bill Goodykoontz Arizona Republic (Top Critic)
    80
    Brown is a sick man, but Harrelson makes him so interesting, so charismatic, so ... watchable, that you can't look away, even if his actions make you want to (and they will).
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Rex Reed New York Observer (Top Critic)
    63
    An unnerving warts-and-all portrait of a man staggering around in circles of arrogant self-deception.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Justin Chang Variety (Top Critic)
    While the film is drenched in atmosphere and packs a verbal and visceral punch, its relentless downward spiral makes for an overdetermined, not entirely satisfying character study.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Kyle Smith New York Post (Top Critic)
    50
    It takes on a throbbing, sick monotone. This isn't a concert, it's a bass guitar solo, all thumping blackness.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Peter Howell Toronto Star (Top Critic)
    75
    This isn't your average out-of-control character, and Harrelson has to work against a narrowly defined screenplay that is short on specifics.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • William Goss Film.com (Top Critic)
    Harrelson both relishes the conviction with which Dave continually acts out and sells the tumult that follows when he has no one left to hate but himself.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Eric Kohn indieWIRE (Top Critic)
    Using an improvisatory method built around Harrelson's fiery performance, Moverman -- showing incredible range in jagged contrast to the understatement of "The Messenger" -- foregrounds Date Rape Dave's commitment to a lost cause.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Stephen Cole Globe and Mail (Top Critic)
    88
    Hallucinatory, elliptical, with dialogue as rich as chocolate cake, this is the self-proclaimed Demon Dog of American crime fiction at his fevered best.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Andrew O'Hehir Salon.com (Top Critic)
    This movie's too small and too dark to have gotten Harrelson into the overcrowded best-actor race, but it's without question one of the year's great performances.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • James Berardinelli ReelViews (Top Critic)
    63
    It's a downbeat character study and, for the most part, it executes that aspect adequately.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
AVG. RATING 3.3 WORTHY
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