Tears of the Sun

Ray Liotta, Jason Patric. Directed by Joe Carnahan
Running Time: 102 mins
Rated: R 18+

Henry Oak (Liotta) is a hardened city cop in the drug squad of the Detroit police department. When his partner is gunned down while off duty the investigators bring in Nick Tellis (Patric) to sort out what happened to Detective Danridge and why. Tellis is recovering from an incident where he shot a pregnant dead woman and was wounded himself. He is on the verge of leaving the police force. To find answers Tellis has to deal with the drug world, police corruption, his own demons and Detective Oak.

Narc is a very tough film. The language and violence is extremely graphic, so much so, most viewers should avoid it. If, however, you like your gritty police dramas realistic and complex, Narc will fill the bill.

Made a shoestring budget, the 16mm film is blown up to 35mm and so it has a washed-out look which perfectly matches the narrative.

Ray Liotta is, initially, unrecognisable as Oak. It is said he gained two stone to play this role. He delivers as tough a performance as you may ever see. Jason Patric, whom we don't see enough of these days, is perfect as the brooding Sergent Tellis, full of angst and anger.

Most of the twists and turns in Narc are unpredictable and the harsh street language means you have to stay alert to understand what is happening. This is a hard-hitting and uncompromising film.

Narc portrays a brutal world to which most of us do not need to be exposed. The last twenty minutes, particularly, delivers fierce justice to those who have transgressed. It is definitely not for the faint hearted.

Fr Richard Leonard SJ is the Director of the Australian Catholic Film Office.

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