Writer-director Abel Ferrara makes very strange, uncomfortable films (King of New York, The Addiction, The Funeral). This 1992 movie depicts a corrupt cop, and they don't come any badder than this. Harvey Keitel's lieutenant builds up massive baseball betting debts, hangs out with prostitutes, tries to make off with a kilo of cocaine, shoots up on screen, investigates a grocery store robbery and takes the money, and (in a scene that makes you both laugh and squirm) uses his position to take advantage of teenage girls. He finally encounters a situation he can't understand or handle when a nun is raped on the altar of a church in Spanish Harlem, and forgives her rapists, whom she knows and won't give up to the police. Keitel gives the role his all, in a painful and ugly movie that compels attention but evokes both disgust and stunned admiration.
This report prepared by David Loftus