Homicide (1991)


“Hey, you got some… you got some heavy troubles on your mind? Huh, babe? We’ll work it out. We’ll play some cops and robbers. We’ll bust this big criminal. We’ll swagger around.” – Tim Sullivan

Number of Times Seen – Twice (Cable in the 90’s and 1 Jul 2020)

Brief Synopsis – A homicide detective is assigned a case which forces him to decide whether his job or his religion is more important to him.

My Take on it – This is a film that I recall seeing when it came out on cable nearly 30 years ago and only recalled the overall premise of how a detective deal with his religion versus his duty to his job.

This film differentiates itself from others in the genre by the fact the main character is constantly in conflict within himself as to who he really is; is a he a cop first or a Jew first.

David Mamet is a superb writer and writes beautiful and realistic dialogue and this film is no exception to that.

The words flow from the character’s mouths and come across so genuinely in all that they say or do.

The character must deal with two murder investigations simultaneous while also trying to seek out who he is deep down.

This is a film that works quite well yet they miss a few great opportunities to make this even more powerful and poignant which is a shame.

Instead they rely too heavily on some of the cliches of the genre and that takes away from making this feel even more unique on what it is trying to accomplish here.

Bottom Line – Fascinating crime thriller that is presented in a two fold way. We get to see how the main character, a Jewish detective deals with both his job and his personality and history at the same time. The dialogue is written beautifully by Mamet who makes things sound so realistic the whole way through.  As the story progresses, he must try and define who he is while also trying to deal with two murder investigations simultaneously. Unfortunately, this film’s story could have been even more impactful and poignant, but they end up following usually crime thriller cliches that don’t help this story distinguish itself among the other films in the genre. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The film began as an adaptation of David Mamet’s friend William J. Caunitz’s 1986 novel “Suspects”. However, the more Mamet wrote, the more his story diverged from the source material until, with Caunitz’s blessing, Mamet left the source book behind entirely, until ultimately the script became an original screenplay. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)

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