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Plot: Dave Brown is a Los Angeles police officer who works out of the Rampart Division. Dave is misogynistic, racist, brutally violent, egotistical and a womanizer, although he defends himself against many of these accusations as he says that his hate is equal opportunity. However unlawful, he uses intimidation and brutal force to defend his ideals. The most notorious of his actions is purportedly murdering a suspected serial date rapist, which is why he has been given the nickname "Date Rape Dave". He lives with two of his ex-wives - sisters Barbara and Catherine - in an effort to keep family together, namely his two daughters, Helen and Margaret, who each have a different sister as their mother. Dave still maintains a sexual relationship with both sisters - whenever the mood suits any of them - while he openly has other sexual relationships. His life is put under a microscope after he is caught on video brutally beating a person with who he got into an automobile crash. This situation is made all the more difficult for the police department because of the Rampart scandal. This microscope shows a further potentially scandalous incident involving Dave and a grocery store hold-up. Although he secretly has his defenders within the police department highers-up, Dave, who is unrepentant regarding his actions, has to figure out who he can and cannot trust among his colleagues and new associates as he goes about his business and tries to protect his ideals from being taken away by these scandals. Runtime: 108 mins Release Date: 23 Feb 2011
Woody Harrelson is an amazing actor! (by relaxalot)
Woody Harrelson has had that rare kind of career that few people ever have. He has been at it for decades and been in some of the coolest movies ever made. But in "Rampart" he takes his formidable talent to a whole new level. As Dave "Date Rape" Brown he gives the performance of a lifetime, one that will be talked about for a long, long time. This is "Brando" territory here. Mr. Harrelson inhabits the dark psyche of this character with a fearlessness that few actors possess. His intelligence and primal force propel this movie in ways that make this a "must <more>
see" for anyone that longs for an experience that will linger in their heads for days. All the best performances do. Robin Wright also shines as does Ben Foster and Brie Larson. Bobby Bukowski's cinematography is out of this world. It's a fever dream of bad intentions humanized by an excellent script and a powerhouse performance by Mr. Harrelson. Bravo!!!
an amazing drama about an imperfect man who is a shade of gray (by rory-mule)
I just saw the TIFF gala screening of this last night, and I think it deserves all the positive praise it will surely get. I enjoyed it from start to finish and think it was the role Woody Harrelson was born to play all his life. In the interest of not giving anything away, let's just offer this as the most positive praise. We now have a film which highlights how a Police officer can think he's always on the right side of the law, but has no conception of how wrong he is in life. I think everyone should see this film and that it should get a golden statue nod depending on its release <more>
One of the Great American Cop Dramas (by danielnoah)
A brilliant deconstruction of the corrupt cop genre that crawls deep inside its archetypal male antihero to expose the vulnerabilities that drive him - like an inverse French Connection. If you are amongst the legions of filmgoers who lament the decline of American cinema since the golden era of the 1970s, this is for you. Moverman's filmmaking is at once unblinking and unobtrusive, giving the film a documentary like quality that grounds the genre elements in a heartbreaking emotional reality. In the tradition of William Friedkin, Sydney Lumet, Bob Rafelson, Hal Ashby and Robert Altman - <more>
a probing filmmaker builds a temple around an iconic actor, setting the stage for one of the greatest performances of his career. Dave Brown serves as a fascinating counterpoint to Popeye Doyle, Frank Bullitt and Alonzo Harris. Woody Harrelson may finally win his Oscar for this one.
"Rampart" is a deep, visceral and thrilling character study of a man whose soul is unraveling while the world around him crumbles. Woody Harrelson gives the performance of his life as Dave "Date Rape" Brown and somehow makes us sympathize with a character who is truly one of the most corrupt and decadent police characters put on film. "Rampart" is not a straight-ahead procedural about police corruption--it's after something much more ambitious than that. It is in it's way an investigation into the nature of masculinity and vulnerability, a wild tone poem <more>
that asks whether it's possible to maintain some semblance of humanity in our chaotic, sun-drenched apocalypse. An unsettling masterpiece.
Criminally underrated - a dark, honest piece of cinema. (by jamesmartin1995)
LAPD veteran Dave Brown is a vile, disgusting man. He is a sexist, racist, womaniser, drunkard, dirty cop and patent homophobe. This, incidentally, is not my judgement of him, but that of his own daughter. It's pretty accurate. How much does that tell you?Co-written by James Ellroy and starring Woody Harrelson in the main role, 'Rampart' serves both as compelling crime melodrama and scorching character study. When we first meet Brown the Harrelson character , we take an immediate dislike to him. He stinks of corruption and arrogance; he is a control freak, whose selfishness and <more>
cynicism damage and infect all those around him. He has two daughters by two different women both sisters, as chance would have it ; despite the fact that his adultery is an almost nightly occurrence, he insists on living together with the two women and their respective children, to 'keep the family' intact. The pain and despair this has caused is devastating.Yet this is a man quite capable of charisma, and perhaps in the crudest sense possible, charm. He can, after all, be seductive; in a brilliant early scene, we see him pick up a woman at his local bar; first conversation, then sex. His target is sensible, and perhaps looking for a good time, a friend, maybe even a relationship. Her questions are amicable and fair. The disappointment after that vacuous act later on is captured with incredible insight and realism by the filmmaker.Dave's behaviour is often puerile and savage; the weight of the law begins to force itself upon him when he is caught on camera almost beating a man to death after the latter crashed his vehicle into Dave's police car. The extent of his obstinacy and self-delusion is mind blowing; an amazing piece of cinematography, in which the camera swings round in a circle, abruptly cutting between Dave and his superiors during a heated discussion on the subject of his brutality, emphasises the illogical but never-ending egoism and suppressed insecurity that drive him. Sex, as in most works with Ellroy's name attached, plays a huge role. At first, we think Dave is just producing excess testosterone, or is simply a chauvinistic pig by nature. But we soon realise there is something desperate about his constant affairs, about his insatiable need to control and assert his authority. Perhaps to confirm his masculinity, or escape his problems. Certainly, the brief relationship he strikes up with a lawyer, as confused and desperate as he is in many ways, sheds much light on Dave's character.I've seen it argued that Dave is completely immoral in other reviews. This isn't true. He may have ruined the lives of his family, and everyone he has come into contact with, but he does come to realise that. Too long he has spent running away from his responsibilities; at least on the job, he can fall back on the tired, formal jargon that has etched itself on his brain. But what about his children? I think it would be unfair to give any more specifics on the plot. Technically, this movie is something special: intimately filmed, with heavy usage of artificial lighting neon red, in particular, is used to great effect , and a handful of brilliant sequences – including but by no means limited to an excursion into an underground bar where easy sex pervades the air. This is where we begin to see Dave at his most desperate and 'Rampart' is a formidable movie about a man well past his sell-by-date, whose brutality, closed-mindedness, insecurity and immaturity have destroyed any chance of happiness he might ever have had, and may well have destroyed the same thing for those nearest to him. There is a heartbreaking sequence near the end where, for the first time, Dave tries to speak to his children honestly, in hope of salvaging his relationship with them. It is a film about despair, about a corrupt society that has moulded a man whose failures and flaws are killing him from the inside out, without mercy. His own childhood is left deliberately ambiguous, but his father, another corrupt cop, seems to have been his role model. Thus the corruption and destruction seems to be continuing through the generations in ripples and circles. The possibility of redemption has certainly manifested itself by the end of the film. Hope has come, at least for Dave's family. As far as he is concerned, perhaps self-knowledge is the first step. The movie's final scene is a modification of the opening sequence, and we have to ask ourselves, can we see the change in Dave? There is no easy answer. There isn't meant to be.
Rampart is a successful follow-up to his 2009 film The Messenger. This time though, it has Harrelson at its core, and that is what makes the film succeed. It has a very good script. At first I wasn't digging it very much. A lot of the cinematography and editing choices were very distracting. After a while, I got used to this. They both got a bit better, although its obvious that the cinematographer is trying different methods with this. Bu the script is very good, and it allows Harrelson to shine. I've been a fan of him since I saw him in No Country for Old Men. Then his supporting <more>
turn in Zombieland amused me, then in The Messenger he was very, very good, to the point that his Oscar nomination was very deserved. However, it's here that he boasts an incredible performance. He makes this character. Sure, it's not en entirely unique character-study, as the usual formula is applied here. But we have Harrelson, and also the backstory of the 90s Rampart scandal, and so the film elevates itself. Harrelson gives the best leading male performance I have seen so far this year. I also thought Brie Larson as his angry daughter was pretty great. This is actually a very good film.
I had no idea what this was based on before I went in to watch it. Everyone well many were raving about Woody Harrelsons performance. But the feeling I got from the movie, the vibe it has, does remind one of James Ellroy. Especially if you have read one of his novels which conveniently enough I just had finished one .What you have to accept if you can , is the fact, that this is a very dark miserable, but strangely endearing person. The character Woodys playing does not feel he's doing anything wrong. And you have to admire the honesty he doesn't pretend, he's a straight <more>
shooter . Sometimes you may admire him, sometimes you may hate him. But you cannot say that he is fake.Having said that, this matter will decide if you like or hate the movie. It's not really an easy movie at all. I wouldn't dare calling the watching experience as pleasant, but it sure was something incredible!
Possibly Woody Harrelson's best performance (by Arit)
This is another collaboration of Oren Moverman, Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster after their terrific direction and performances in The Messenger, but Woody is not a somewhat goofy foil to Ben Foster anymore. If you didn't think you saw the full potential of Woody in The Messenger, then you may have a redemption in Rampart, as he plays an all out brutal and uncompromising cop. Ben Foster, on the other hand, bows down to take a less stellar role here; I didn't realize who was playing his part until I saw a few close-ups of the character, but his chemistry with Woody is mostly intact and <more>
there is some important dialog between these two. It's just, this is clearly Woody's vehicle, and nobody even comes close to his driver's seat.Woody's Dave Brown makes his relentless attitude apparent early, when he's bent on grilling a young female cop for ordering excess food that she has no intention to consume. It's only the beginning of his alienation from every woman in his life, though. He treads on a self-destructive route as he eats, vomits, and ruts like a complete beast under a little influence. Near the end we're reminded that he is only a human after all, and that's when we also realize he probably hasn't raised a hand against a woman once. A beast with a heart - an oxymoron only experienced actors can make believable.
It is startling when an actor can embody a living contradiction. Woody Harrelson does exactly that in "Rampart" He manages to give a human center to this creature created by a system that seems to repudiate as well as nurture him. Chilling perfection Mr. Harrelson. Oren Moverman, the writer director is emerging as one o the most pungent of Hollywood writers. His dialog is superb and the opening scene alone is a remarkable confirmation of that. The film has a sticky uncomfortable atmosphere captured in every detail by the underrated Bobby Bukowski's photography. Glimpses of <more>
Sigourney Weaver and Steve Buscemi add considerably to the pluses of this unexpected treat.