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Stars: Woody Harrelson, Robin Wright, Ben Foster, Cynthia Nixon, Anne Heche, Brie Larson, Steve Buscemi, Ned Beatty, Sigourney Weaver, Ice Cube, Francis Capra, Jon Foster, Jon Bernthal

Director: Oren Moverman

Another of those films that ends before anything is resolved. In any case, you may already have some sympathy with hard-nut anti-hero Harrelson when he moans 'I don't know how much more of this shit I can take' midway through the film.

Lots of wobbly close-up head shots of Harrelson dissolving under pressure punctuate a story in which the Department, which is vainly trying to get rid of this maverick because of his over-the-top methods, is gifted a crowbar with which to prise him out, in the shape of video footage of him beating an unarmed suspect to within an inch of his life.

We also see his increasingly crumbling home life, and his money worries, which result in his pocketing ill-gotten gains from a poker-game robbery after shooting one of the (again unarmed) robbers dead, and planting a gun on him.

Not an easy watch, this, especially with bursts of hand-held camerawork as Harrelson's sex, public and private lives all spiral downwards. Interest is just about held, though, by the sight of a fascinatingly starry cast getting down and dirty to help the versatile Harrelson tell this bad cop's story.

David Quinlan

USA 2011. UK Distributor: StudioCanal. Colour by FotoKem.
108 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 19 Feb 2012