Homicide ★★★★

Mamet's cop drama is a punishing fable about one man's dangerous preoccupation to reconcile his identity. It's also about how the badge is an incurable plague, whittling it all the way down to the unharmonious geometry of a tin star. I knew nothing going into this except cop + Mamet + Mantegna and Macy (who's never been more fierce). I was taken aback by the ruthless depiction of the police department with all its abject racism and vitriol. The world of Homicide is a rotten one, inside and out. Insurmountable cultural chasms, anti-Semitic conspiracies, and a murderer behind bars offering the secret to solving evil. And I don't know if it's just because they couldn't afford background artists, but I love how sparse and ghostly Baltimore is in this film. Daylight has never looked so frigid. Homicide is bleak leaning towards apocalyptic. It's the cop movie of 2020 from thirty years ago.

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