Tuesday, November 9, 2010

UNLAWFUL ENTRY (1992) - Never, ever, trust Ray Liotta.

Despite the awkward title, Unlawful Entry is not a movie about prison rape. It sounds like it, but it isn't. So rest assured. Instead, it tells the story of a happily married couple, Michael Carr (Kurt Russell) and wife Karen (Madeleine Stowe). The Carrs are average yuppies, living in the rich part of town when their normal lives are interrupted by a home invasion. Michael hears the noise, grabs a golf club (no gun? what a noob) and goes to investigate. A robber has broken into their house through a sky light, and they start to fight. Eventually, the bad guy takes Karen hostage with a knife to her throat, only to make good his escape, leaving the Carrs unharmed but scared to hell. Worse, it leaves Michael feeling powerless and like a sissy for not having done better against the guy.

Hear intruder in middle of night. WAT DO?
The cops, in usual movie fashion, get there right after the robber leaves. Two cops respond to the call, Officer Pete Davis (Ray Liotta) and his partner Officer Cole. While explaining the break in, Pete eyes Karen, and then suggests that the couple should get a new security system installed. His partner later notices his glances towards the wife and seems to know what's up with Pete, and tells him to knock it off as they leave the house. The next day Michael comes home from work to find a security company installing an alarm system in the house, and Officer Pete helping out and talking to his wife. See, Officer Pete is such a nice guy that he goes out of his way to make sure he knows the secret password to the alarm. This being movie-land.... neither Michael or Karen seem to think it's a bad idea, since, well, the guy's a cop.

Mackin' on married hoes. All in a day's work for Ray Liotta.
While having a beer with Pete, Michael says he'd love to beat the living crap out of the robber that took Karen hostage. The night after, Pete takes him on a ride along in his squad car. They find the robber on the street, and Michael backs off his earlier statement, while Pete beats up the guy. Pete then starts acting in shady ways: he visits Karen at her school, shows up without invitation to Michael's business party, and oh yeah, he also walks in on them in their bedroom. After this, the Carrs realize that Pete is not all right in the head, so to speak. Pete won't take crap from them though, and starts to try and ruin Michael's life and take his wife away, knowing that no one is going to take Michael's word over that of a decorated cop's. Michael has to figure a way to protect what's his and get the guy off his back.

Don't judge a book by its cover, unless the cover screams "I'm a dirty, crooked, murdering cop."
Unlawful Entry is a good thriller that takes some standard movie cliches but makes them work surprisingly well. There's some dumb choices characters make, but it helps to keep the tension high and the good acting contributes to the feel of the movie. The suspense is genuine and never lets the predictability of some things get in its way. Kurt Russell is always good at portraying the average dude in a bad situation, while Madeline Stowe does the same stand up job with her role. Ray Liotta though - this guy is gold. He is great at being the son of a bitch you love to hate. He's conniving, ruthless and does a good job of switching from the friendly, helpful, buddy cop to a sadistic murdering bastard in a heartbeat. He made this movie and his acting steals every scene he's in.

TL;DR - Officer Ray Liotta is in ur house, stealing your wivez - 7/10


  1. Man, Ray Liotta sells this flick for me. One look at him and you know you've got a real corker on your hands. It's a real great cast here and Thrillers of this era are really quite unique. Will definitely put this one on the To See list.

  2. I love me a good Kurt Russell flick!

  3. Good post! Looking forward to reading you next one

  4. I laughed at the "never trust ray liotta" tag. It's so true.

  5. I love the last line of this review!! LOL!

    Fantastic review as always, great picks as well!!

    As in the words of Ballmer from Microsoft:


  6. Don't judge a book by its cover, unless the cover screams "I'm a dirty, crooked, murdering cop."

    hahaha, excellent review, myself saw the movie a while ago and enjoyed it. I would myself give it a 8/10

  7. I love movies. ill be sure to watch this one on Netflix.

  8. I LOVE how you started this post! Keep writing these terrific reviews!

  9. yeah i remember seeing this as a kid (fucked up right?) need to check it out again.