Cop Land

Cop Land
James Mangold’s (1997)

The sheriff of Garrison, a small community in New Jersey mostly populated by cops, discovers that his town is a haven for mafia and corruption.


“I don’t know how the sheriff manages to keep these mercenaries in line, all blue, all armed, all at once. They live next to each other with their wives borrowing sugar, it’s like being the cop of Copland.”
(Lieutenant Moe Tilden)


Trust what Ray tells you, Freddy. The bad and scary stuff is beyond the bridge, in the big city. You can ask any of these cops and they’ll confirm it for you.

That’s why they left that place and brought their families here to Garrison.

And that’s why Ray fought so hard to create this community.
Because this is a safe town, where anyone can cross the street without fear, where the worst that can happen is a fight between kids or a fire.

So, Freddy, relax, don’t ask unnecessary questions, don’t let yourself be influenced by what Lieutenant Tilden says.

He comes from the big city and knows nothing about us. Keep on with your daydreaming, as always… otherwise, you might get hurt badly…

After all, just believe in it, Freddy.


Coming to his second work after the extraordinary debut of the previous year (Dolly’s restoration), the director brings to the stage a police drama that renounces excessive sensationalism, to focus on the psychology of the characters and the narrative of a story that speaks of human and urban degradation.

The action takes place far from the lights and noises of the big city, remaining immersed in the silences and darkness of the province.

Inside homes or in local spots, where men meet and engage in dirty business, without making too much noise.

A cast of first-rate actors (De Niro, Keitel, Liotta), in which Sylvester Stallone stands out splendidly.

Slow, deaf in one ear, and bulky (he was forced to gain 30 kg for the role), he gives life, brilliantly, to the figure of a loser.

A disillusioned sheriff surrounded by scum, without reacting, and dragging himself, day after day, without a purpose, drowning in regrets.

A real walking dead, like those seen in Romero’s films, who will find the strength and determination to react to the filth surrounding him before it’s too late.

Cop Land is a great film.
Essential, realistic, and tense.

Absolutely worth watching.

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