Year: 2002
Director: Joe Carnahan
Producer: Tom Cruise/Paula Wagner
Writer: Joe Carnahan
Cast: Ray Liotta, Jason Patric
The poster child for the gritty urban cop drama genre.

Scathing, sledgehammer and realistic, with every frozen breath and texture of the filthy ground feeling like you can touch and smell it. Nick (Patric) is trying to claw his way back from the professional and personal brink after shooting an innocent in the line of duty while trying to bring down a hood, and he's teamed up with borderline psycho detective Oak (Liotta) to solve the killing of a fellow narc.

While the grimy direction and palpable dramatic tension of people trying to hold their lives together grips your senses, the story unfolds, revealing deeper layers of what starts to look like a terrible truth.

Patric is brilliant - never overstated and looking every inch the part. Why he flashed briefly in Lost Boys all those years ago and did do much bigger and better things than simply this film and Sleepers is beyond me. Liotta fits comfortably into his role as a cop on the edge, and despite the presence of so many hokey clichés from a million cop movies, writer director Carnahan treats them seriously and they all feel fresh and raw.

Produced by Tom Cruise and partner Paula Wagner, everyone involved is a talent to watch.

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