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The Glass Shield

The Glass Shield

Genders: Crime, Drama

Director: Charles Burnett

Writer: Charles Burnett, John Eddie Johnson (screenplay),

Actors: Erich Anderson, Richard Anderson, Thomas Babson, Monty Bane

Year: 1995
Run time: 109min
IMDB score: 6.8
Updated: one year ago

Movie infomation

Movie name: The Glass Shield

Genders: Crime, Drama

Imdb Score: 6.8

Runtime: 109min

Released: 02 Jun 1995

Director: Charles Burnett

Writer: Charles Burnett, John Eddie Johnson (screenplay),

Actors: Erich Anderson, Richard Anderson, Thomas Babson, Monty Bane

Company: Miramax

Imdb Link

The Glass Shield Available Subtitles

English subtitles The Glass Shieldone year ago

Trailer


Review

A film that tackles blackmail and race relations in the LA sheriffs office

5/10 This was a great low budget police film about corruption in the LA sheriffs office. The film revolves around a young black cop, who stumbles onto a corruption case invovling police brutality towards minorities. The film also highlights just how easy it is to get blackmailed by people who are supposed to be on your side. THE GLASS SHIELD while lacking the stigma of bigger films like LETHAL WEAPON, tells a human tale about a cop and his female partner, however, I feel Lori Petty's role could have been bigger. There was another part of this film that touched on something briefly, sexism on the law enforcement circuit. The trailers for thisa movie suggest it was edited heavily and that the character played by Ms. Petty played a significantly larger role in that version. The logical direction for this film would to have been having the black cop and the woman police officer piercing the layer of corruption together in lA. A great film that tells a stroy from a african american point of view. The film also highlights the conflict within the african american/black community towards police and police brutality and how it is hard for even them to sometimes accept black police officers. An interesting film with a interesting and powerful premise. Don't expect a 600 rd. shoot out with "yuck yuck" laughter and Riggs and Murtaugh in this one...expect substance.

one year ago

Remarkable Depiction of what has, and what can happen

5/10 The movie sends a good message. As cliched as it sounds: Absolute power corrupts absolutely. As other viewers have noted, this movie is low budget and not overtly action packed. But it does showcase very well what can happen when trying to fit in: Loosing sight of what is right and wrong, then trying to do what is right and getting penalized for it from different directions. Many movies do an awesome job in telling a tale. This is one of them. The message of being drunk with power and corruption among peers is something that is not only seen in the law enforcement institutions, but in the corporate and higher education areas as well. It just appears that corruption is more harmful in law enforcement because there is the higher probability that people may become physically and psychologically damaged (on the deepest level) as a result of corrupt people misusing their guns, badges, and utmost authority). The movie is more likely to hit home for someone who is female and/or a minority who has had some in-depth exposure to law enforcement. While many police officers are, for the most part, decent and on the level, I would say that EVERY law enforcement agency has some level of corruption occurring. The corruption can be a lone officer or two belittling citizens unjustifiably (and getting away with it), or a group of them who systematically abuse power. Perhaps a film like this would be worth mandatory viewing for new police recruits. There is something in it for everyone. Not only is there the lesson of how wrong and nasty discrimination is (especially in groups), but there is also the lesson of your own well meaning, however wrong actions, coming back to haunt you. And finally there is the lesson of how harassment, alienation and adversity are often used as cruel weapons in attempts get others to conform to wrongdoing.

one year ago

An Excellent Film

5/10 Being that I was only thirteen when this film came out, I vaguely remember the promos for THE GLASS SHIELD. As usual, the Hollywood establishment misrepresented this film during its release and I fear no one saw it, and those who expected 1) Ice Cube to have a huge role or 2) Lori Petty to get naked were severely disappointed. (I think this came out very close to CLOCKERS, too, which might have confused some people.)

I've been hearing a lot of underground talk about Charles Burnett, lately, so I picked up this film (thinking it was a usual cop-meets-gangsta film previous to my knowledge that Burnett directed it.) I must say that it is an excellent, incisive picture that manages to duck every convention one expects from Hollywood. I was reminded of IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, but this was without the Mr. Tibbs-like over-the-top innocent; JJ (an excellent Michael Boatman) is truly a real character, with real guilt and real problems. Ice Cube plays his role well, and Lori Petty is good, but it is the creepy fraternity of mustachioed white cops that makes this film truly frightening. They are bad, but not outright evil; they are, instead, men too pumped up on the power of the badge and the sidearm and the encouragement of their peers.

This is a riveting film with less than two "action" scenes; the tension exists instead in the idea that terrible violence awaits every character at every turn, and when the higher-ups descend to the levels of insane criminals, we realize the significance of the title, and the vulnerability of peace.

Highly recommended.

one year ago

Still relevant, still excellent

10/10 I just saw _The Glass Shield_ for the first time since it was released theatrically. I'm very glad to say it hasn't gone stale with time. Despite the violent overtones, the film is a subtle and compelling parable on race, power, and sex in the US. It won't satisfy anyone with the attention span of a fruit-fly or a fetish for blood and guts, but it gets under your skin (so to speak) if you pay it the slightest bit of attention.

As a side note — this is one of the very few feature films chosen by the Whitney Museum of American Art for its biennial surveys of contemporary art (there was another film that year as well, _The Hours and Times_, also excellent).

one year ago

Such a surprising film

9/10 I was hesitating between giving 8 or 9 and decided for a 9 when I thought "It was so difficult watching this film - it really showed well how frustrating some things can be in Life; I'm exhausted".

And that in itself sums up this film : it does not have the top notch direction of Crash which won the 2006 Oscars, but, just like Crash, I was on the edge of my seat till the very very end of the film. I was punching the wall out of feeling as frustrated as some of the characters, I was tense and worried that someone was going to get shot, I was a total ball of nerves by the end. And for that alone I went for a 9 rather than an 8 : this film is 10 out of 10 in terms of drawing the viewer into the frustrations of police corruption, racism, sexism, cover-ups, minor mistakes which come back to haunt you big time, the effect on communities, fate. It is not a traditional Police film, it is a hundred times more than that.

If you liked Crash 2006 (the one which won the Oscars), then you'll like this film. Guarantee.

one year ago