100

San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
Not only more crazy than “Reservoir Dogs,'' but it also feels more real. [1 Jan 1993, Daily Notebook, p.D1]
Full Review
100

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
It is not a "dirty movie," and in fact takes spirituality and morality more seriously than most films do. And in the bad lieutenant, Keitel has given us one of the great screen performances in recent years.
Full Review
91

Entertainment Weekly

For all its scenes of degradation (five minutes of which have been shorn for an R-rated cut; we recommend the original NC-17 version), Bad Lieutenant is a deeply moral movie. It's not pretty-it's not even very realistic-but it does matter.
Full Review
80

Empire

Abel Ferrara out-sleazes even his own grubby oeuvre with this powerful if overbearing study of a soul swallowed by depravity.
Full Review
78

Austin Chronicle

By Marjorie Baumgarten
What it lacks in charm, it compensates for with audacity and single-mindedness of vision.
Full Review
75

Chicago Tribune

By Dave Kehr
For Keitel, this is the Scorsese film that Scorsese never gave him, in which he gets to elbow Robert De Niro away from center stage and take the best part for himself. He seizes the opportunity: Bad Lieutenant immediately becomes one of the defining roles of his career. [22 Jan 1993, Friday, p.C]
Full Review
75

The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Rick Groen
Pick your cliche - searing, rivetting, haunting - Keitel delivers a performance to rival Brando's in "Last Tango In Paris."
Full Review
70

TV Guide

Harvey Keitel gives an astonishing performance here... Though hardly a film for all sensibilities, Bad Lieutenant has the courage of its own convictions, and follows them to the bitter end.
Full Review
50

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
As good as the lead actor is, he's not enough to save this picture from landing on the scrap-heap of uninspired, derivative, and grotesquely distasteful character studies. Ferrara is definitely no Martin Scorsese.
Full Review
50

USA Today

By Mike Clark
It's the first film to include both a cameo appearance by Jesus and a full-frontal nude shot of Harvey Keitel dancing in a drugged stupor. [20 Nov 1992, Life, p.4D]
Full Review
67 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.