(LLL, VVV, NNN, SSS, A/D, M, C) Over 25 obscenities & profanities; graphic violence (close-ups of gunshot wounds, etc.); complete male and female nudity (genitalia visible), pornographic bedroom scenes, explicit bedroom scenes and fornication, statutory rape, sexual orgies; use of cocaine, heroin, & alcohol abuse; police corruption.
Harvey Keitel stars as THE BAD LIEUTENANT who indulges in every vice he has sworn to protect the public from. Although the man eventually surrenders his life to Christ, the movie's numerous pornographic and violent scenes ruin this redemptive lesson.
THE BAD LIEUTENANT’s NC-17 rating should be warning enough, but, regrettably, the redemptive message will be played up by secular critics and will lure many unsuspecting people into movie theaters across the nation. The effect will be shocking. Literally dozens of scenes involving illicit sex, drug and alcohol abuses, and graphic violence lace this film from beginning to end. Harvey Keitel plays a bad cop (THE BAD LIEUTENANT) who indulges in every vice from which he has sworn to protect the public. However, there is a positive message lurking behind all this garbage. THE BAD LIEUTENANT’s quest for salvation begins after he learns about a nun who has just been raped by two teenage boys who have heaped all types of indignities upon her. He offers to kill the boys in revenge; she responds by asking him if he believes in God. Through Christ Jesus, she explains, he will find the same forgiveness for the boys that she has. Our BAD LIEUTENANT experiences a vision of Christ in which he confesses his sins and admits his weaknesses. The film’s ending reinforces the redemptive message.
In one sense, THE BAD LIEUTENANT is the worst kind of pornography. It takes something good, a wonderful redemptive lesson, and taints it by association with visually sickening images. The life this film portrays, and the way in which it portrays it, turns this potentially exceptional story into an exercise in enduring one man’s perversions.