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Rampart

2.6 out of 5 stars 164 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

At the heart of Oren Moverman's RAMPART is a riveting parable about what happens to a man who refuses to change, even when change is the only thing that can save him. That man is Dave Brown, played by two-time Academy Award® nominee Woody Harrelson. Though the film is set in the 1990s, when scandal rocked the LAPD's Rampart division, the film hones in on a single fictional cop: Dave Brown, a man who has taken the ''no guts, no glory'' American mythos to heart, without questioning what it is doing to him and those he holds dear. He is a cop whose personal life is propelled into a dizzying downward spiral when he comes under suspicion for roughing up a suspect. More than just a police officer who plays things fast and loose, Brown exposes the inner workings of a certain type of personality everyone recognizes around them, a personality very much part of American culture, yet not often examined. He is the kind of man inexorably drawn to authority and power, yet seems destined to abuse it; a man who has dreams of being a great masculine hero, yet is beholden to women; who has undeniable charm, yet whose stubborn refusal to take responsibility for his actions becomes a destructive force against family, community and ultimately himself.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Woody Harrelson, Robin Wright, Steve Buscemi, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Foster
  • Directors: Oren Moverman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Millennium Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 15, 2012
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007AJMBBA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,402 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"Rampart" (105 min.) brings the story of Dave Brown, an LA cop going off the tracks, played by Woody Harrelson in an outstanding perfomance. In the beginning of the movie, Brown tries to keep his personal life together, as complicated as it is with 2 kids he has from 2 women who happen to be sisters, and they are all living together. At a certain point, Brown gets involved in a car accident (accidental? set up?) and after the other driver tries to get away, he beats the driver exessively and just happens to get caught on tape.

Things get worse from there, and I don't want to give away much more from the plot, but suffice to say, Brown gets more and more isolated, even as he meets other women in his life. The whole movie is pretty much downbeat, and exposes the utter loniless of the Woody Harrelson character, leading eventually towards the open-ended conclusion of the movie.

The first hour was sorta long in the build-up, but the last 45 min. really shine. This movie has an incredible all-star cast besides Harrelson, with juice performances from Robin Wright, Ned Beatty, Sigourney Weaver, Anne Heche, and Ice Cube. But special mention in my book goes to Brie Larson in the role of Harrelson's troubled teenage daughter. In all, quite a movie, although certainly not for everyone. Still, "Rampart" is highly recommended!
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Format: Blu-ray
The tagline for Rampart reads "The most corrupt cop you've ever seen on screen," a statement which can only be true if you don't watch too many movies. Dave Brown (Woody Harrelson) is certainly a corrupt cop, but he's far from the most corrupt cop. Cops much more corrupt, more sympathetic and more compelling have been seen onscreen before. Chalk this up to a failure of marketing.

Rampart is the second film by Oren Moverman, following his brilliant 2009 film The Messenger. That film also starred Woody Harrelson, among several others in this cast, and scored him an Oscar nomination. This nomination likely arose from his strengths as an actor, as well as the strengths of the film. Had Rampart been a stronger film he may have gotten a deserved nomination for his work here too. Moverman co-wrote the screenplay with James Ellroy, the well-regarded crime novelist who knows his way around police-driven Los Angeles stories. The film succeeds in presenting its main character as an amoral cop without reason. Dave Brown is not driven by the typical conventions of a corrupt cop movie, existing as he is for no discernible reason. That's certainly an interesting twist, but not everything else falls together so perfectly.

The setting is Los Angeles, circa 1999. Dave Brown is a controversial figure around the police department, having allegedly murdered a serial date rapist years earlier, earning him the nickname "Date Rape Dave." His home life isn't any more conventional. He has two daughters, born to two sisters (Cynthia Nixon and Anne Heche) who regard him passively. Things begin to implode when Dave beats a motorist who has wrecked into his car and is caught on tape. An investigation is launched which threatens Dave's entire way of living.
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1 Comment 40 of 48 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Amazon Video
The trailer/preview is the best part of the movie. Harrelson is great, but there is no "tense" "action" really in the film. A couple of gritty moments, but that's it and a lot of unresolved plot lines that go nowhere. It doesn't even have the decency to spiral all the way downward and end in some kind of self-implosion or something. Anything.
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Format: DVD
Oren Moverman's film "Rampart" is misunderstood, it seems. Most films (and shows) about the Rampart incident, or those that indirectly show it's influence Training Day, The Shield: Complete Series are chalk full of drama and only give the viewer a retrospective after a million bullets and tons of action.

This is a character study. Officer David Douglas Brown works for the LAPD and probably has for some time delivering his own brand of street justice to those who he finds particularly amoral or repugnant. His fellow officers nickname him "Date Rape" as a result of his decision to execute a serial rapist. This kind of action hero behavior is not without an avalanche of consequences which Dave prefers to ignore.

Robin Penn Wright is fantastically understated in her role as a defense attorney who wants to serve Dave up for doing this. She feels a distant compassion for this "dinosaur", as his daughter calls him, but it isn't enough to stop her from pursuing justice.

Dave is a complicated man. He has two wives who are sisters (...yep) and imagines that despite the heat coming down on him after the brutal beating of a black guy who cut him off in traffic, the family can stay together. The world has already ended for this guy, that's the problem. He meets with the truly disgusting Ned Beatty, a higher up in the LAPD and a mysterious character, and it turns out that even an older dinosaur no longer cares all that much.
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