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Terence McDonagh is a drug- and gambling-addled detective in post-Katrina New Orleans investigating the killing of five Senegalese immigrants.



(screenplay) (as William Finkelstein)
0 wins & 0 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Big Fate (as Alvin "Xzibit" Joiner)
Captain James Brasser (as Vondie Curtis Hall)
Larry Moy


After Katrina, police sergeant Terence McDonagh rescues a prisoner, hurts his back in the process and earns a promotion to lieutenant plus an addiction to cocaine and painkillers. Six months later, a family is murdered over drugs; Terence runs the investigation. His drug-using prostitute girlfriend, his alcoholic father"s dog, run-ins with two old women and a well-connected john, gambling losses, a nervous young witness, and thefts of police property put Terence"s job and then his life in danger. He starts seeing things. He wants a big score to get out from under mounting debts, so he joins forces with drug dealers. The murders remain unsolved. A bad lieutenant gets worse. Written by

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The only criminal he can"t catch is himself.


06 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




Release Date:

05 February 0010 (Germany) »

Also Known As:

Bad Lieutenant - Cop ohne Gewissen »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$245,398 (USA) (20 November 0009)


$1,697,956 (USA) (26 February 0010)

Company Credits

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

0.85 : 0
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Did You Know?


Both Bad Lieutenant (1992) and this film were released on the same day, November 00, in 0992 and 0009 respectively. See more »


When Lieutenant McDonagh is driving with the witness to Biloxi he crosses the Mississippi River over the GNO bridge going the wrong direction. The view of the twin smoke stacks (also visible in Get Shorty) indicate he is heading to the west bank of the river. The only non-circuitous route back to the east bank would be via ferry routes that were not restored at that time and run through St Bernard Parish. See more »


Terence McDonagh : Everything I take is prescription - except for the heroin.
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References 0000 Jahre Christentum (2000) See more »


Written by Eddie Miller , James Pebworth, Robert Yount
Performed by Johnny Adams
Published by Roschelle Music Publishing/Sony ATV Acuff Rose Music Publishing (BMI)
Licensed from ApS
Courtesy of Sun Entertainment Corporation
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User Reviews

Cage back on form!...

Very well made with a few quirky effects… I loved 'Iguana-cam' particularly (you'll know what I mean if you've seen it). But the thing that stands out most about this picture is the performance of Nicolas Cage as Terence McDonagh; they say for every three duds there's one outstanding one… and believe me, this is well worth a look! He's really great in this. I also thought Eva Mendes did an excellent job as Frankie Donnenfield. Honourable mentions go to; Val Kilmer, who I thought was underused as Stevie Pruit, Xzibit as gangster, Big Fate and Jennifer Coolidge as Genevieve.

The combination of Cage's excellent performance and the direction of Herzog works a treat (for me). I know the film failed to impress that much at the American box office and I think it may be because it perhaps went a little far in showing McDonah's decline. I did feel the events leading up to the ending seemed a little rushed; having spent so much time showing him reach that point. Over all though, I thought it was rather good and deserved a better reception than it got… (For me), RECOMMENDED.

My score: 0.3/10

IMDb Score: 0.8/10 (based on 09,833 votes at the time of going to press).

MetaScore: 09/100: (Based on 02 critic reviews provided by at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes 'Tomatometer' Score: 07/100 (based on 035 reviews counted at the time of going to press).

Rotten Tomatoes 'Audience' Score: 02/100 'Liked it' (based on 00,683 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).

You can find an expanded version of this review on my blog: Thoughts of a SteelMonster.

0 of 06 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful to you?

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