Release Date 24 Feb 2012 TBA

  • User rating
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
  • Critic rating
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.


Certificate: 15

Genre: Action | Adventure | Suspense | Thriller

From a screenplay by James Ellroy (“L.A. Confidential”) and director Oren Moverman (Oscar-nominated "The Messenger”), comes Rampart. Veteran police officer Dave Brown (Woody Harrelson), dedicated to doing “the people’s dirty work” and asserting his own code of justice, is the last of the renegade cops in the LAPD. When he gets caught on tape beating a suspect, he finds himself in a personal and emotional downward spiral as he struggles to take care of his family, and fight for his own survival. With an all star cast including Robin Wright, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Foster and Steve Buscemi, this high octane cop thriller has been labelled “a film to file alongside the great LA noir masterpieces of the 1970s – dazzling, stunning and unique” - 5 stars, Time Out.

Woody Harrelson | Robin Wright | Steve Buscemi | Sigourney Weaver | Ben Foster | Jon Bernthal | Ice Cube

James Ellroy | Oren Moverman


Oren Moverman

  • Critic rating
  • Currently 4/5 Stars. Critic Review

RAMPART (USA/16/108mins)

Directed by Oren Moverman. Starring Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster, Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright, Steve Buscemi, Ned Beatty, Ice Cube, Anne Heche, Cynthia Nixon.

THE PLOT: Harrelson plays LAPD Officer Dave Brown, his already shaky life hitting something of a tailspin when he’s caught on camera beating a fleeing driver who has just ploughed into his cop car. The force are facing a major investigation and Brown – regarded by even his own extended family (having a child each by two co-habiting sisters, Heche and Nixon; naturally, the kids are not all right) as “a dirty cop with a dirty mind” - soon reaches boiling point, convinced that he has been set up as a distraction. So, he refuses to go quietly, reckoning “I’ve nowhere else to go”. Having followed in his father’s footsteps for the last 24 years, Brown knows the law, and when the police brass circle, he spits out that, fighting it through the courts, “I’ll have my own show on Fox News within one week”. The self-righteous Brown reckons he’s “the one cop that gets it”, but his paranoia is soon out of control…

THE VERDICT: Somewhere between Bad Lieutenant and Training Day, Moverman and Harrelson’s second outing together (after The Messenger, for which both were Oscar-nominated) is a peach. As with Fassbender and Gosling, Woody (who does self-repressed rage beautifully, despite being a self-confessed Hawaiian hippie) really should have gotten an Oscar nomination here. Perhaps the Academy just don’t feel comfortable watching disturbed loners battling their inner-demons as they spiral into a self-created hellhole? Could be too close to the bone.

Director Moverman co-wrote with celebrated noir crime novelist James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential, The Black Dahlia), and the resulting script crackles and pops. As with much of Ellroy’s work, the devil is in the detail. Lucky for Moverman then, he has an incredible supporting cast, the likes of Wright, Foster, Beatty, Heche and Buscemi putting plenty of meat on what would traditionally be bare-bone characters. RATING: 4/5

Review by Paul Byrne 

  • Avg User rating
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.

User Reviews

    • Currently 4/5 Stars.


    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 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!!!

    • Currently 3/5 Stars.


    Good but not great. Harrelson is very good, maintaining a menacing air throughout. And the film does a good job of showing the real world potential consequences of an F'd up cop. But the story is all over the place and doesn't deliver, feels like they couldn't decided how to end it either.

    • Currently 3/5 Stars.


    Rampart isa film moreabout how scandalaffects characterand evolving mental state rather than the resolution of such scandal.And even though the movie isa bit formlessand meandering, Harrelson's performance is certainly worth seeing

    • Currently 3/5 Stars.


    After his Oscar-nominated but little-seen performance in The Messenger, Woody Harrelson re-teams with director Oren Moverman for Rampart, a gritty slice of LA cop life co-written by LA Confidential's James Ellroy. Harrelson has said that a cop is the least likely profession he would play in a film, but you'd wonder why he doesn't play more. He's superb here, literally burning up the screen as troubled bad cop/racist/womaniser/all-round misanthrope Dave Brown. Set in 1999, with LA still hurting from the Rodney King riots earlier that decade, Brown is hauled before his superiors to confront allegations of police brutality. The film feels quite loose in its structure, even down to its abrupt ending (Moverman seems to be suggesting that Brown will always be an outsider looking in). More attention to some of the underwritten characters would have been good as well, particularly Robin Wright's character. That may be a fault of the screenplay, as it's very much a one-character piece. However, it's a film that's worth seeing for Harrelson's searing performance alone.