3004. Internal Affairs (1990)

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7.3 Striking, but not heart-stopping
  • Acting 7.5
  • Directing 7.4
  • Story 7.1
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: Richard Gere, Andy Garcia, Laurie Metcalf

Director: Mike Figgis

Running Time: 115 mins


Internal Affairs is an American film about a man investigating police corruption in Los Angeles, as he attempts to bring down a suave but dishonest cop who uses his colleagues for his own nefarious schemes.

Although it isn’t the world’s most exhilarating crime thriller, Internal Affairs impresses with a strikingly unnerving tone, a brilliant musical score and strong performances.

In that, it’s not quite the engrossing, intricate thriller you may want to see. Internal Affairs, for all its strong points, is actually a fairly run-of-the-mill movie at its core, with often predictable twists and fairly underwhelming drama throughout.

What makes the film work, however, is its style. Its screenplay may not be a masterpiece, but its eye-catching atmosphere and fantastic performances make all the difference.

With a captivating tone that features heavy dramatic gravitas, Internal Affairs feels really gritty and intense. That’s only compounded by an amazing musical score which is without doubt the best part of the whole film.

Ominous, unnerving and yet strangely elegant, there’s something absolutely genius about the music in this film, and it adds so much to the atmosphere. In fact, the score is what makes Internal Affairs the strikingly gritty watch that it is, and brings so much more to the table than even the screenplay.

Meanwhile, the performances are impressive too. Andy Garcia and Laurie Metcalf are likable as the investigators of police corruption, with just enough of a dark edge to make their characters a little more interesting than pure do-gooders.

But the standout performance here without a doubt comes from Richard Gere. Fantastically evil, slimy and purely nasty all the way through, Gere blends his typical charisma with a terrifying dark side that’s mesmerising to watch at moments.

He’s a perfect antagonist all the way through, and his extreme affability combined with his scheming machinations makes him a deeply unsettling presence the whole way through.

As a result, Internal Affairs still has a gripping intensity to it, even if that doesn’t come from its screenplay. The story is far from enthralling, but with a striking atmosphere, a brilliant musical score and strong performances across the board, it’s still an eye-catching watch, which is why I’m giving it a 7.3 overall.

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About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com