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Q & A (1990)

Nick Nolte , Timothy Hutton , Sidney Lumet  |  R |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Nick Nolte, Timothy Hutton, Armand Assante, Patrick O'Neal, Lee Richardson
  • Directors: Sidney Lumet
  • Writers: Sidney Lumet, Alan Smithee, Edwin Torres
  • Producers: Arnon Milchan, Burtt Harris, Lilith Jacobs, Mike Wise
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: February 4, 2003
  • Run Time: 132 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007AJG5
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,517 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Q & A" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

A grim, disheartening view of the underside of city life, Q & A is a legal drama with a disturbing twist. Not exactly a whodunit--the guilt of policeman Nick Nolte is established early on--the plot follows the closing of the circle around him. Leading the murder investigation is Timothy Hutton's young, idealistic district attorney Al Reilly, who finds himself battling a fraudulent and cynical culture. Racism, corruption, and political machinations are all added to the mix, resulting in a film that is just a little too dense and slow-moving to capture the imagination.

Director Sidney Lumet creates a feeling of enveloping darkness around Hutton, who slowly manages to let the light in and bring the truth to the surface. With an obviously small budget, the film has more of a made-for-television feel than that of a big blockbuster and some of the performances err too much on the side of cliché. The concept of the New York melting pot is fairly effectively dismissed by the film, painting a picture of distrust between communities that often spills into violence, both verbal and physical. Not quite as unremittingly bleak as Harvey Kietel's Bad Lieutenant, Q & A is still a tough, dark piece of cinema. --Phil Udell


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A down-to-the-gut real, exciting, bold cop movie May 5, 2003
Format:DVD
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A truly gripping, action-packed and yet really moving cop film with a _raw_ complex plot (no other way to describe it) and some absolutely brilliant performances by Nick Nolte (as Brennan, a puritanical white cop too blurred by his convictions to see the error of his racist, reckless ways), Armand Assante (as a latin drug warlord and the antagonist of Nolte's character) and Timothy Hutton (as Riley, an ex-cop lawyer assigned now by the DA's office to investigate Nolte).
This is no LA Confidential or City Hall because there is much lesser of Hollywood here. Instead, expect some in-your-face narrative of police corruption, compromised idealism, racism, even a pithy take on homosexuality. The biggest surprise is the Puertorican druglord character played to the T by Armand Assante, right down to latin American quirks and verbal cadence - easily Oscar nomination material.
What's a review without some gripes though, so here. The one thing that befuddles the plot a little is the character of Riley's subplot romantic interest. Lumet's daughter herself played this role and I found her to be more than a little taut. This little apparition of an ex-love will have you wondering about what it means to the story otherwise (clue: not much) especially a reference to Riley being surprised on seeing his latin american girlfriend's father because he was black. Why this was anything special I do not know -- I'd be surprised to have a latin girlfriend for 2 years and then see her father and find out that he was black. If there was some highfalutin racism meme intended, I'd venture to say it fell flat on its foot.
Secondly, perhaps some (only some) scenes may be a tad overdone in terms of their dramatic rendering e.g.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Props to Edwin Torres May 26, 2003
Format:DVD
While I agree with some reviewers who felt that this film started off strongly then fell off a bit as it progressed, I have to take issue with a couple of reviews that stated (not verbatim) that the racial politics of NYC as depicted in the film do not accurately reflect real life. One reviewer (the Amazon critic, I believe) went so far as to refer to the race dynamics in Q&A as far-fetched.
Wellllll.. as a Latino, raised in the Big Apple but having spent much time up and down the East Coast, I have to respectfully disagree on that one. Granted, Q & A does take liberties with the interpersonal-relationships-as-microcosm-of-the-social-picture thing, but the actors, some of whose performances go waaaay over the top, are more to blame than the story itself .
The film is based on a book by Edwin Torres, who also authored After Hours and Carlito's Way, both of which provided the basis for the Al Pacino starrer of the latter name. Torres, who grew up in Spanish Harlem, wrote these books while working as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan. He is now a Judge in Manhattan District Court. Point being that though the general suspicion and distrust among the races might appear to some of us in the 21st century as inaccurate, they are based on Torres' observations of the various peoples in and around Spanish Harlem during the 1960s and 70s, and are actually quite on target.
Anyone who has ever found themselves staring down the business end of a police department-issued service pistol during a routine traffic stop can attest to this.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a classic like Serpico, but still good June 10, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
Like Glengarry Glen Ross, the film itself is average--a typical Lumet film which rails against the system but does nothing to solve it's inherent problems. But it's chock-full of the best character performances of all time, featuring Nick Nolte in an oscar-worthy role of slimy (yet resourceful), racist pig flatfoot Mike Brennan, and also the terribly underrated Armand Assante as Bobby Texador, who steals the film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointed September 5, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This DVD is coded for region 2 which means I can't watch it on my blu ray player without reprogramming the player which can only be done 4 times. Very disappointed and I would return it but it didn't cost much so I'll eat it, but I'll never buy from this seller again, they should know better...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this flick! June 5, 2003
Format:DVD
This is a must-have for anyone seeking a gritty portrait of the shadier slice of life in New York. This movie has it all- corruption in high places, police brutality, institutional racism etc. Nolte turns in a really great performance!
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5.0 out of 5 stars dvd in great condition. April 5, 2014
By vanjac
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I had this movie along time ago before dvd's were created. Always enjoyed all the fine actors and one of my favorite repeat movies. Nick nolte, Tim Hutton , and Armand Assante fan. Great proformance by Paul Calderón another great actor .
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Movie February 10, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you like Nike Nolte you will certainly enjoy this movie and the fine cast as well. This flick was one of the hard to find movies on DVD.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good story and good actors very watchable January 15, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
My tastes do not like my favorite actors being the bad guys so I always watch movies like Q&A and Perfect Murder with a little caution. However, I liked the Death Wish and the Substitute movies because of perceived justice happening. But, when cops tend to get even with all bad guys by getting even with a few I get squemish.

However, a 4 star rating means that I will watch it again so it has to be well made, a good story, good acting, and entertaining. Nick Nolte in 48 hours was so good that I have been a fan ever since. So he can do no wrong. No not so. He has been in some crappy movies. One about football comes to mind. This was bittersweet. Is that the term for wanting the good guy to win when he may not?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch this flex
Loved this movie.nick Nolte was great .i recommend this DVD too watch.you won't be disappointed .he showed his true acting skills.
Published 4 months ago by Gerardo
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT MOVIE
this movie is one to watch over and over again. Some good work by all the cast. Nick, Armand, Luis, Tim, all play great roles.
Published 5 months ago by Robert
1.0 out of 5 stars They sent a defective DVD
The DVD they sent was a defective DVD. So I threw it away, and bought this movie from amazon instant video that worked fine.

Movie was good. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Richie
2.0 out of 5 stars this vid is for a differant country [zone]
would not play on my dvd player-played in laptop-but had to change my setting for another country to veiw-be aware of this before you purchase
Published 13 months ago by greg valadez
1.0 out of 5 stars Really Disappointed!
I purchased this CD for my husband for his birthday. I ordered it, received it, and put the movie into our DVD player, and found out that the movie could not be read by my DVD... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Bonnie Shroyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Q&A
Thank you needed this movie had it on VHS have not been able to watch it till now great condition
Published on February 22, 2012 by Sweetdede
5.0 out of 5 stars good movie
i liked this movie...plenty of action with a twist...for those of you who enjoy a raw cop
in action this is the movie for you ... loved
the song at the beginning
Published on December 21, 2011 by donnamarie
4.0 out of 5 stars Better suspense film
Nick Nolte's performance is outstanding and very, very interesting plot. Thoroughly enjoyable film all suspense story lovers would enjoy. Highly recommend.
Published on August 20, 2011 by Keith Kim
4.0 out of 5 stars Q&A Movie Review
Best roles ever played by Nick Nolte & Armand Assante. Great police corruption movie.
Published on September 14, 2010 by agr68
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