MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -4

Narc is a compelling crime drama that shows the hard reality of a police narcotics division in Detroit. Undercover cop and recovering drug addict Nick Tellis (Jason Patric) suffers from flashbacks of a drug arrest that ended in the death of a baby. To investigate the ultimate evil in the police profession, the murder of a fellow officer, Tellis is paired with the dead cop's partner, Lieutenant Harry Oak (Ray Liotta). Having lost his wife a few years ago to cancer, Oak is a cop who feels he has nothing left to lose. Frustrated with the politics of the justice system, Oak has been administering a little of his own retribution for the evils he sees on the streets. The investigation leads them through crack houses and slums familiar to Tellis. The movie is heavy with an abundance of bad memories and the bleak life of an undercover officer.

This realistic portrayal of undercover drug enforcement is filled with dark images of death, violence, prostitution, addiction and broken relationships. To the credit of the film, the pursuit of truth emerges as the highest value. Violence is shown to be devastating, not only in its immediate effect, but also in the memories that it leaves behind. Tellis is portrayed as a good man, a gentle father and a caring husband who listens to and relies on his wife's opinions. Oak is a noble character who abhors child abuse and hates the effects of evil on the innocent. Narc depicts life on the streets with many characters who speak obscene language regularly, dropping innumerable f-bombs. Blood-soaked violence occurs in nearly every scene and is particularly disturbing in an explicit scene involving a pregnant woman who receives a gunshot wound to the leg. Although the story is good and the performances are solid, the brutal violence, drug content and pervasive language make Narc a movie to avoid like a bad addiction.

Preview Reviewer: Blaine Butcher
Paramount/Lion's Gate

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (15) times - Mild 11, moderate 4

Obscene Language: Many (260+) times - F-word 240+, S-word 19

Profanity: Few (2) times - Exclamatory (GD, JC)

Violence: Many times - Moderate (shootings, brutal hand-to-hand fighting, syringe stuck in innocent man)

Sex: None

Nudity: Once (man's buttocks)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (man talking about his prostitute girlfriend giving him a venereal disease)

Drugs: Many (people shown taking drugs by injection and by inhalation, illegal drugs are seen being prepared)

Other: The film is shot in a dark gray style that makes the it feel grimy, man shown as disrespecting authority, authority figures shown as self-centered, ethnic races shown as mixing together in friendship, crime portrayed as undesirable)

Running Time: 105 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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