After losing his badge in a bungled drug investigation, undercover narcotics agent Nick Tellis (Jason Patric) gets a chance at reinstatement when he’s asked to help solve the murder of a fellow undercover officer. Despite his wife’s fervent objections and his own strong reservations, Nick accepts the assignment, joining Henry Oak (Ray Liotta), the volatile detective already on the case. Before long, Nick’s new partner is his prime suspect. The tone in this gripping neo-noir thriller is firmly established within the first few moments, which depict with harrowing hyperrealism a police bust gone horribly awry. From there, writer-director Joe Carnahan maintains an edgy tone, employing split screens, jump cuts and dizzying hand-held camerawork to great effect. There’s a slight aura of “been there, done that” about this rogue cop morality play, but superb performances by both Patric and Liotta keep things compelling throughout.

Grade: B

Kinsey Scale: 1 (In Your Friends and Neighbors, Patric played a malicious, heterosexual misogynist who claimed his most satisfying sexual encounter was a same-sex rape.

(Appeared in Q Syndicate)