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Romeo Is Bleeding

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United Kingdom, United States · 1993
Rated R · 1h 40m
Director Peter Medak
Starring Gary Oldman, Lena Olin, Annabella Sciorra, Juliette Lewis
Genre Crime

Jack Grimaldi is a corrupt cop and unfaithful husband, living a double life in more ways than one. But when an Italian mob asks him to kill Mona, a Russian assassin, he gets caught up in a lethal and erotic game of cat and mouse.

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What are critics saying?


Empire by

Never content with one cliché when it can shovel on ten, Romeo Is Bleeding — to borrow a quote from the film's own press notes - "would be a comedy if it weren't a tragedy".


Slant Magazine by Chuck Bowen

Romeo Is Bleeding projects an aura of obsessive self-consciousness that occasionally suggests the superior film that eluded its creators.


The New York Times by Janet Maslin

Ms. Olin looks great, and she's a lot more fiery in this hit-woman's role than she has been when trying, in tamer films, to be nice. But otherwise, "Romeo Is Bleeding" adds up to much less than the sum of its parts. Mr. Medak fared better in the service of true, wrenching stories than he does under the spell of this material's desperate fancifulness. The joke isn't much of a joke to begin with, and it wears thin.


Chicago Reader by Jonathan Rosenbaum

The film certainly held me, and even fooled me in spots (when it wasn't simply confusing), but when the whole thing was over I felt pretty empty. It would be facile to say it substitutes style for content; actually, it substitutes stylishness for style.


Entertainment Weekly by Owen Gleiberman

Romeo Is Bleeding just ends up flaunting its Grand Guignol outrageousness, rubbing our noses in its desire to be a gaudy hipster freak show. By the end, the film has become so mired in pointless sensation that it ceases to be any fun at all.


Rolling Stone by Peter Travers

Wait till you get a load of this babe from hell in scenes that are sure to put the gorgeously lurid Romeo Is Bleeding on the Moral Majority’s shit list. The rest of us – those who believe it’s children and not adults who need protection from movie mayhem – will be too busy relishing the riveting fireworks display from Olin and Oldman in this scorcher of a thriller. Director Peter Medak (The Krays, The Ruling Class) keeps the action stylish, sexy and fiendishly funny. The film rarely makes a lick of sense, but it’s compulsively watchable.


Washington Post by Rita Kempley

The author of such shoot-'em-ups as "Executioner" and "Road House," Henkin has hard-boiled the action genre twice over with this lurid, ludicrous, appallingly violent, offhandedly moralistic spoof.


Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

Romeo is Bleeding is an exercise in overwrought style and overwritten melodrama, and proof that a great cast cannot save a film from self-destruction.


Variety by Todd McCarthy

The blood and grunge run thick on the mean streets in Romeo Is Bleeding. This heavy dose of ultra-violent neo-noir gives Gary Oldman a face-first trip through the gutter that would make Mickey Rourke drool, but the far-fetched plotting eventually goes so far over the top that pic flirts with inventing a new genre of film noir camp. Gramercy release will find a cadre of devotees who will groove on the hot cast, high style and low-down macho fantasies, but more people will be turned off by the excessive gore and progressive facetiousness.

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