Box art for Rampart


  • Rated R
  • HD and SD formats available

independent, special interest

At the heart of Oren Moverman's Rampart is a riveting parable about what happens to a man who refuses to change, even when change is the only thing that can save him. That man is Dave Brown, played by two-time Academy Award nominee Woody Harrelson.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

0 out of 5
5 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
4 out of 5
Positive role models
0 out of 5
4 out of 5
3 out of 5

Dark, intense drama about violent, corrupt cop.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Rampart is a very intense character study about a corrupt Los Angeles police officer. When his beating of a motorist is caught on video, it's a catalyst for his long, slow downfall -- a process that includes several scenes of violence, with the cop beating up or shooting bad guys. He also sleeps with several women over the course of the movie (though no graphic nudity is shown), and language is very strong and almost constant. Plus, the main character drinks and smokes constantly and even illegally obtains prescription drugs from a pharmacy. Director Oren Moverman also helmed The Messenger, which was one of the most acclaimed movies of 2009, but Rampart is much more intense.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about Rampart's violence. Every time the main character does something violent, he finds a way to justify it. Is there such a thing as justified violence? Does the main character's violence ever contribute to anything good?
  • Though the movie shows very little nudity, there are a lot of sexual situations. What's the difference between nudity and a sexual situation? Do intimacy or trust enter into this equation? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values on these topics.
  • The character drinks a lot of alcohol. Are the consequences of his drinking realistic?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 19
    see all Rampart reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: This movie's too small and too dark to have gotten Harrelson into the overcrowded best-actor race, but it's without question one of the year's great performances.

- Andrew O'Hehir,, Thursday, February 9, 2012

Rotten: "Rampart" doesn't tell a coherent story as much as swirl the drain with Dave, as his increasingly desperate efforts to save himself simply result in a cascade of self-inflicted wounds.

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fresh: Brown is a sick man, but Harrelson makes him so interesting, so charismatic, so ... watchable, that you can't look away, even if his actions make you want to (and they will).

- Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, Thursday, March 1, 2012

Audience Reviews

3 stars

'Rampart'. A fine lesson in self-destruction that meandered too often between some nice uncomfortable moments.

- c0up, Sunday, December 30, 2012

4 stars

Captivating drama, Rampart is a surprisingly gripping film about a corrupt cop played by Woody Harrelson in a well rounded performance. The film's story is smart, tense and is entertaining due to a strong performance by its lead actor. What I enjoyed about the film was that it was a tense piece of drama, a film that managed to be a gripping, well paced picture that told a riveting story and is elevated by some strong performances. I didn't expect much going into this film, and I must admit, I kind of avoided it for awhile, but I'm glad I did. Directed by the same director who helped the terrific drama The Messenger, Rampart gives you an unflinching portrait of a cop that is corrupt and abuses his oath. Harrelson is perfect for the part, and he commands each scene that he's in. The story is well constructed and is perfectly paced in order to create a rousing sense of tension, which is ever present in the film. This is a fine drama thriller, one that ranks among the most memorable ones in the last few years, and like I said, it's a film that is entertaining and captivating in the way it handles its story. This is a film that is well worth your time if you want a well executed drama that boasts great performances, terrific storytelling and exceptional direction. Rampart is an incredible drama and it's a film that is thoroughly engaging and is a finely made picture that you won't forget anytime soon. The film's strength lies in a solid and unforgettable performance by Woody Harrelson and it has a finely written script that has never a dull moment.

- TheDudeLebowski65, Saturday, July 19, 2014

2 stars

The most corrupt cop you've ever seen on screen. Not a horrible movie at all but nothing really original either. It is slow and never builds up to anything. When you think it is going to get good it falls flat and just drags on. The movie needed some better editing and sharper direction. Watch it if your a fan of Woody, if you aren't don't waste your time. Dave Brown is a Los Angeles police officer who works out of the Rampart Division. Dave is misogynistic, racist, brutally violent, egotistical and a womanizer, although he defends himself against many of these accusations as he says that his hate is equal opportunity. However unlawful, he uses intimidation and brutal force to defend his ideals. The most notorious of his actions is purportedly murdering a suspected serial date rapist, which is why he has been given the nickname "Date Rape Dave". He lives with two of his ex-wives - sisters Barbara and Catherine - in an effort to keep family together, namely his two daughters, Helen and Margaret, who each have a different sister as their mother. Dave still maintains a sexual relationship with both sisters - whenever the mood suits any of them - while he openly has other sexual relationships. His life is put under a microscope after he is caught on video brutally beating a person with who he got into an automobile crash. This situation is made all the more difficult for the police department because of the Rampart scandal. This microscope shows a further potentially scandalous incident involving Dave and a grocery store hold-up. Although he secretly has his defenders within the police department highers-up, Dave, who is unrepentant regarding his actions, has to figure out who he can and cannot trust among his colleagues and new associates as he goes about his business and tries to protect his ideals from being taken away by these scandals.

- xXGiNoBiLiPRXx, Tuesday, April 24, 2012