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Q & A
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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
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Highly evocative film from late 80's - early 90's. Reuben Blades song "The Hit" is the icing on the cake of a tremendous movie.Published 10 months ago by dsasdfareaqwe4r
excellent movie. throw back to times when things were simple in movies.Published 14 months ago by enrique sanabria
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. Read morePublished on April 5, 2014 by vanjac
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.Published on February 10, 2014 by J. Waller
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