This gripping crime story from director Antoine Fuqua (The Replacement Killers
)—just like the recently released Don’t Say a Word
—is a crisp, crackling thriller that begins strong and escalates tension before slithering into a contrived, multi-climax third act. Denzel Washington, in his first role as villain, plays renegade LAPD narcotics detective Alonzo Harris. Draped in a large crucifix and black leather jacket, Harris embraces the corruption and eat-or-be-eaten philosophy of the streets as his own modus operandi with quasi-religious fervor. The somewhat bland Ethan Hawke, in his first role as a cop, plays idealistic narcotics squad rookie Jake Hoyt, a family man who in one nightmarish day must prove his mettle to his morally bankrupt, self-delusional superior. With Scott Glenn, Tom Berenger, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg.