Cop Land

on August 15, 1997 by Dwayne E. Leslie
Combining big-city cop intrigue with small-town routine, this latest from filmmaker James Mangold ("Heavy") satisfies the palates of those craving a drama without special effects, aliens or explosions but with story and characters. Although the cast content here suggests major tough-guy action is on hand, the reality is that the players' roles are pretty much equal; no one receives superstar treatment, which might be a disappointment for other audiences (specifically, the male action demo). The film's setting is Garrison, N.J.--a small place (pop.: 1,280) that has become a new hometown for a number of NYPD officers. Garrison's sheriff (Sylvester Stallone) is half-deaf, slow-moving (because of his waistline girth) and very passive. Stallone, who gained 40 pounds for the role, isn't his usual toned action hunk, but nonetheless as the Sheriff of Copland he once again is the law. The story focuses on a cop ("Metro's" Michael Rapaport), an alleged shooting, a car crash and the deaths of two people. Then in quick order come a suicide, lies, coverups, jealousies and missed opportunities in this story about exposing a burg full of corrupt people sharing a large secret. In the end, the quiet sheriff must decide between his friends or doing what is right. Starring Sylvester Stallone, Ray Liotta, Harvey Keitel, Michael Rapaport, Annabella Sciorra and Robert De Niro. Directed and written by James Mangold. Produced by Cary Woods and Cathy Konrad. A Miramax release. Drama. Rated R for violence, strong language and brief nudity
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