Film noir is set to be one of the best movies of 2012 Discuss this article

Woody Harrelson plays Dave Brown, a bulldog beat cop working in LA’s infamous Rampart division during the long-running late ’90s corruption scandal that would ultimately tear the department apart. Brown is a conflicted, violent, womanising, borderline racist murderer with a razor wit, an encyclopaedic brain and a dominant instinct towards the (many) women in his life.

The film’s foremost act of rebellion against Hollywood orthodoxy is its avoidance of narrative momentum: though numerous plot strands weave in and out, few are resolved. This is a character study, plain and simple, a journey into the mind of one very serious, very smart, very sick individual. And Harrelson more than rises to the occasion: this is not only by far his finest performance, but one of the most impressive in recent memory.

It’s impossible to list all of the incidental pleasures Rampart offers, from a stunning B-cast including Anne Heche and Cynthia Nixon as Brown’s ex-wives, to a disorienting soundtrack incorporating everything from Leonard Cohen to Gang Gang Dance. Rampart is sure to provoke furious reactions in those unwilling to succumb to its mood of reckless abandon. But for those who can, this feverish slice of LA noir is set to be one of the purest cinematic pleasures of 2012.

By Tom Huddleston
Time Out Doha,


  • Duration: 108
  • Released: Thu, 12 Apr
  • Classification: 18+
  • Language: English
  • Director: Oren Moverman
  • Stars: Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster, Sigourney Weaver, Jon Bernthal, Stella Schnabel, Jon Foster, Ruben Garfias

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