Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans


D: Werner Herzog

First Look Studios/Millennium/Saturn (Stephen Belafonte, Randall Emmett, Alan Polsky, Gabe Polsky, Edward R. Pressman & John Thompson)

USA 🇺🇸 2009

122 mins


W: William M. Finkelstein

DP: Peter Zeitlinger

Ed: Joe Bini

Mus: Mark Isham

Nicolas Cage (Terence McDonagh), Eva Mendes (Frankie Donnenfield), Jennifer Coolidge (Genevieve McDonagh), Val Kilmer (Steve Pruit), Brad Dourif (Ned Schoenholtz)

It's a misconception that this 2009 movie is a remake of Abel Ferrara's similarly titled 1992 film. The only common ground the two films share are that they centre around a corrupt policeman, and even the director of this, Werner Herzog, has debunked any connection between the two films.

Nicolas Cage delivers his last truly great performance in this character study, in which he plays Terence McDonagh, a one decorated police officer following his heroics in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. 

Even the opening scene shows McDonagh to be morally ambiguous and following his promotion he becomes addicted to narcotics, gambling and other legally questionable vices.

Eva Mendes provides good support as his prostitute girlfriend, but other cast members are practically cameo appearances.

Like the 1992 movie, it doesn't make for particularly pleasant viewing, but it's certainly worth watching for Nicolas Cage's performance alone.  It's unfortunate that his career was on a downward spiral following this.


Nicolas Cage in Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
Nicolas Cage in Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
Did You Know:
2,400 cans of decaffinated coffee had to be used to make the water appear to be river water in the jail scene. They first attempted to use paint, but it proved to be toxic, then the production team used regular coffee, but found that the actors were absorbing it through their skin.