Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

Released 2009


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Movie Summary

Werner Herzog
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans is a loose remake of Abel Ferrera's 1992 crime film directed by Werner Herzog. Terence McDonagh (Nicolas Cage, Leaving Las Vegas) used to be a respected police officer before his severe back problem ramped up, causing him to turn to hard drugs to ease the pain. Now hopelessly whacked out virtually 24/7, he is charged with taking down a notorious drug dealer (Xzibit) who wiped out an innocent family. McDonagh proves in over his head with his coke and gambling problems, and the added burden of having to deal with some thugs accosting him and his prostitute girlfriend (Eva Mendes, Training Day). Cage delivers one of his best performances in years as essentially a very dirty cop who still manages to win a morbid sympathy as he suffers through various demons, all whilst still firmly committed to his job. A critical darling, this movie is not easily shaken or forgotten.


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Metacritic Score

  • 90

    The New York Times A.O. Scott

    Mr. Herzog's film is a pulpy, glorious mess. Its maniacal unpredictability is such a blast that it reminds you just how tidy and dull most crime thrillers are these days.

  • 90

    Los Angeles Times Betsy Sharkey

    It's tempting to forget that Cage is not Terence. That would be unfair though, and diminish the sheer ferocity of his performance.

  • 50

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    The film is offbeat, silly, disarming and loopy all at the same time, and viewers will decide to ride with that or just give up on it, according to mood and disposition.

  • The Ultimate Movie Review! -- @tss5078

    Nicolas Cage is by far one of my favorite actors, because even in a bad movie like this one, he gives everything he's got. The man is pure intensity and believable in any role. That's why I get so frustrated when he wastes his time on a bad movie like this one. I never saw the first Bad Lieutenant film, but this one was presented as a dark drama, centered around the murder of an immigrant family, but that really wasn't the focus of this film. Port of Call New Orleans focuses on a cop who was injured in the line of duty. As a result of severe pain, he turns to drugs and to using any means necessary to obtain those drugs. If I were the writer of a film like this, I would have made it a comedy and the cop would be completely outrageous and over the top. There were a lot of scenes that could have been made really enjoyable with a little bit of comedy, but they didn't do that. This is a slow moving film, about a mess of a man doing fucked up things. There really is no point to the whole thing and it is more than somewhat hard to follow. A good measure of a movie is how long does the film actually feel. Bad Lieutenant was 2 hours, but easily felt like 8. The beginning is kind of interesting, and while I was beyond bored, I had to stick it out to see what happened, I'm sorry I did. Cage is fantastic as usual and the film makers had all the tools needed to make this an amazing film. Instead, they were lazy and dropped this giant turd on us, that is nothing more than a confusing waste of time.moreless

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san francisco california, Cult, Dark Comedy, Crime