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Timely Terrorist Movie
Schlockmeister29 May 2001
It was 1981 and the world had just gone through a decade of terrorism. Casting Rutger Hauer and Persis Khambatta (she was the bald woman in the original Star Trek movie) as heartlessly cold terrorists was great casting! Billy Dee Williams and Stallone as street cops suddenly transferred to a terrorist unit do a good job. Stallone had not become a parody of himself yet and his diction is better here than it had ever been up to then. The movie's pace is unrelenting. This is a movie that I almost always have to stop and watch, easily getting swiped up into the story again and again, when I see it on television. Excellent twist ending and monorail scene. Recommended highly.
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Hauer steals the show
getmynannerup22 August 2004
Remember a day when Rutger Hauer starred in good movies that actually saw wide theatrical release? No. Hmmmm. Hauer is one of my favorite actors and stars in two of my top ten favorite movies (Blade Runner and The Osterman Weekend), so it's hard not to already be slightly biased about the movie. I remember first hearing about Nighthawks on the Headliners and Legends biography of Stallone and how it was not as well received as his Rocky and First Blood movies. For shame, because Nighthawks does manage to be a top notch thriller most of the time. I could go into the plot, but I believe in telling people what I liked and disliked instead of parroting the plot details like almost every other review. (See, a movie to me is more fun when I only know a little about the story, instead of the first hour or so, because someone felt that they had to readers digest the entire film.)

Anyway, now that I've ranted, I have to admit that I enjoyed it for the most part, with the exception of the initial pacing. It continues to drag in places towards the middle, and takes a little over an hour to set up the crucial players backgrounds. The only real problem is that every time the film stops to focus on DeSilva (Stallone) and Fox (Williams), it spends twice as much time focusing on Wulfgar. Wulfgar is certainly a well crafted maniac, but when the movie is over we know almost nothing about Fox and only a little about Dee DeSilva. Still, the movie does succeed in making you care about our two main characters, by thrusting them into danger and having them do what is morally right (i.e. Towards the beginning of the film the two are in a drug raid, and refuse to take bribes from the perps who had apparently already paid off the cops from the first raid on their operation.

They're good cops, and it's their good guy image that endears them). I guess it would have been nice also to see a little more of Stallones relation to what's her name. (sorry, I haven't seen this in a about a month now.) I was interested in the prospect of a hero who was torn between the relation with his ex (who he was trying to re-ignite the flame with), and his duty. But, alas, she was just a narrative device who the writers have decided is only important in the last 15 minutes or so.

With all these cons, why did I still like it? Sudden scenes of high impact, good cast and acting all around, a villain who wasn't just a cardboard cutout, and Stallone's bitchin' beard, and a wholly convincing scenario.

The bottom line: This film is more akin to The French Connection than it is to Rocky. Methodical and often stylish, NightHawks deserves to at least be rented and watched with an open mind.

8 Stars out of 10
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Excellent Trio Make This A Top-Notch Thriller
ccthemovieman-13 April 2006
This Sylvester Stallone movie may be his best because, unlike most of his more famous roles over the years, this is very believable. He isn't Rambo or Rocky...just a tough New York City cop.

Stallone and partner Billy Dee Williams team up in an attempt to stop a terrifying international terrorist (Rutger Hauer) before he kills more people. All three of those actors are riveting in this rough, gritty film.

I thought so much of this movie that I bought it twice. The first DVD that came out was fullscreen, no stereo and grainy. Later, they issued a better widescreen print and it was worth upgrading. The movie is a top-notch thriller start-to-finish and Hauer makes an outstanding villain.

It might be a cliché but this film always "kept m on the edge of my seat. "
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One of the most underrated films...
simba-1819 May 2000
This is one of the best action movies out there, even to this day. It's a must see especially for Stallone fans. If he chose more of this type of movie, he would be much more respected in Hollywood. Rutger Hauer is awesome as Wulfgar, the international terrorist. All performances are notable, Billy Dee Williams/Sylvester Stallone pairing works well. Stallone really is a great actor, given the right material, and this one certainly provides it. It's a shame he sold out with the "Rocky" sequels.
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"What the f*** is 'Nighthawks'?"
patrickl-18 November 2002
...Something that I've heard again and again throughout the eighties and nineties. It's only Stallone 's and Hauer's best performances in any movie that I've seen them in. I read a positive comment (which encouraged me to write this) about this film. I was 9 years old when this movie came out: tried to sneak into it when it played in the theaters (failed), saw it a year later on cable, and I LOVED IT! I resembled a little Rutger Hauer and lived in Los Angeles at the time, so I found myself almost relating to this film. But I was so impressed that it wasn't like all of the other dreck that came out that year, too.Now international terrorism is simply a satire in today's films until 9/11. However, I think that "Die Hard" changed the industry forever in a bad way. To them more is better- to me, more is more. This movie does not glamorize violence (like the before mentioned) and shows how serious it is when it hits home. This movie did not play very long in theaters (in 1981), and hardly anyone can recollect it. It was made on a modest budget, and so many films have surpassed it since, it is now been archived.

I wish Stallone returned to this kind of role: he's so enamoured with John Rambo, Rocky Balboa, every other action-hero-cardboard role that he lost credibility. Hauer went down a separate but equal path in demonstrating his difficulties with other directors, he's a strait-to-video icon.

To this day, I still remember the lines "...I do not enjoy killing-- but it's my job!" and " this is for the press...Now you may drop the child, but don't drop this..."

Why can't people watch this instead of Steven Segal movies? I guess Serpico's out, Marky-Mark's in...
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Pour a drink for Bruce Malmuth
rsbrandt1 July 2005
I was happy to see Premiere magazine remember this flick when they ranked the 100 Best Thrillers of All Time, and after reading today that its director has passed on, I can only hope more people will give it a first or second look. Time has of course given it extra relevance, but there are three reasons for checking this one out:

1. As hinted above, in the post-9/11 world, its theme of terrorists plotting an attack in New York City seems eerily prophetic.

2. Sylvester Stallone gives an uncharacteristically muted performance that comes off as extremely effective.

3. That ending? They got me. They totally got me.

Director Bruce Malmuth's work here was competent enough to make one wonder just a little if he didn't deserve better projects than he got after this.
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Surprisingly interesting...
Nazi_Fighter_David20 June 2004
Wulfgar (Rutger Hauer) is an international terrorist not to be taken lightly… He is wanted by half the countries in Europe… He is currently financed by no one... He becomes trapped as 'Persona Non Grata'…

Wulfgar manages to succeed where others have failed… His pattern is the instilling of fear… He makes female contacts to establish safe housing for his armory… He always covers a woman who is clean... He loses one, he finds another... He has a liking for fancy food, expensive clothes and the most varied nightlife…

Wulfgar doesn't think like a criminal… He wants to be a hero… Since the London incidents, he wants to prove himself as invincible as he ever was… So he decides to change his look, and strikes without warning... Wulfgar's associate is Shakka Holland (Persis Khambatta), a pretty cool woman, with no maternal instincts, who murders without apparent provocation…

DaSilva (Sylvester Stallone) wants to treat Wulfgar like 'some mugger' on the streets… He makes a mistake when he finds himself unexpectedly facing the malevolent killer... He refuses to act in the same ruthlessness Wulfgar does, and to use deadly force in defense of the lives of innocent hostages… He hesitates to shoot and kill… DaSilva rejected to pay attention to the impact of the terrorist's actions on his thinking and beliefs… This mistake enables the best policeman to meet the dangerous terrorist on equal terms…

'Nighthawks' turns out to be surprisingly interesting… Rutger Hauer easily holds our attention throughout the film… He is a disciplined terrorist indifferent to his victims, cold and calculating… His mission to harm the enemy transcends any concern about his victims… For Wulfgar, the end justifies the means...

Stallone and Billy Dee Williams make good partners… Stallone doesn't play his usual character, the ruthless policeman who combats violence with greater violence… He seems to be more human desperately trying to do the right thing at the right time…
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My favorite Stallone movie
Nick708021 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
My absolute favorite Stallone movie followed very close by First Blood and Cobra, and my favorite Rutger Hauer movie along with The Hitcher.

Stallone plays Deke DaSilva, New York cop who gets an assignment to be part of special police force whose job is to catch Wulfgar, brutal terrorist played by Hauer.

Wulfgar is in New York where he wants to cause some havoc and impress his old partners and bosses in world of terrorism. DaSilva and his partner must stop him before he does that.

VERY underrated and sadly overlooked at the time of it's release, today Nighthawks is cult movie that has lot of fans.

It's also worth mentioning that this movie was originally lot longer and bloodier, before Universal studios heavily cut the movie and removed great deal of plot and most of the violence, then the MPAA did the rest of the job by demanding even more cuts to be made which made what was at one point very brutal and violent thriller into average movie which thankfully still got recognition over the years and many fans which would definitely love to see special edition of it.
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One of Stallone's best films.
dzanier18 January 2002
This is a very good slick action thriller. Well written, well acted and very realistic to boot. It has nary a dull moment and Rutger Hauers' Wulfgar makes you shiver with fear. The international flavor of the film adds a nice quality to it and Nigel Daveports character(terrorist expert)is a treat. The pace is fantastic and even though it is an action film, we get to find out enough about the characters in it that we care about them as people. The conflict that Stallone has with his wife as well as being torn as to how to deal with a terrorist who does subscribe to the same set of rules as the ordinary New York street scum he is used to dealing with is genuinely affecting. The chase scene in the subway is thrilling, well shot and engrossing. This film, as far as I am concerned also benefits immeasurably from its New York location. It really could not have been shot anywhere else in the US except maybe Chicago. I am a native New Yorker so I am obviously partial to New York, but after you see enough movies, you arrive at the conclusion that New York is the best place to shoot a film, generally speaking and depending on what kind of film is being made. Thinking about this movie being shot in L.A. for example makes me cringe.
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Long Before Terrorism Was On Our Minds...
ReelCheese3 September 2007
Long before terrorism was on the minds of most Americans, NIGHTHAWKS tackled the thorny topic. Sylvester Stallone and Billy Dee Williams are decoy cops -- that is, they venture into rough neighborhoods to bait muggers and other forms of scum -- assigned to track down the cold and calculating Rutger Hauer. It seems the devious mastermind has landed in the media capital of the world, New York City, to try and regain his place among the terrorist elite.

Although it's a fairly decent action/suspense effort, NIGHTHAWKS is difficult to recommend unconditionally. The performances are certainly solid; in fact, it's hard to remember Stallone, here sporting a thin beard, being so effective outside of boxing trunks. The action is crisp and exhilarating, with one pursuit through subterranean New York deserving of a place in the Chase Hall of Fame. The story is original and much of the plot intriguing. And Hauer, in his American film debut, is a suitably hateful villain, with his motives all to familiar to contemporary audiences.

Yet NIGHTHAWKS is not quite as good as the sum of its parts. Even though the film starts out with a bang -- literally -- there's somehow too much build-up and not enough execution. The movie has not aged particularly well, and despite its 1981 release date has the feel of a '70s period piece. And as good as Hauer is, his character is a little too incredible to believe as he pulls off massive acts of terror with little or no sponsorship; what should take a team of experts is accomplished by one man wanted by countless law enforcement agencies.

In the end, NIGHTHAWKS is a movie you're bound to like -- either a little bit or a lot. Considering the high ratio of garbage that has and will continue to spew out of Hollywood, I guess that's not such a bad thing.
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Thrills , tension , intrigue with tough Stallone against nasty Hauer in a film narrated with great agility and fast movement
ma-cortes9 October 2014
Exciting picture with plenty of action about two-fisted police detectives hunting a brutal , ruthless terrorist . The meaning and relevance of the title is that 'Nighthawks' refer to the men and women street cops of the New York City Crime Unit who patrol the city at night-time . Intriguing story of two N.Y.C. (Sylvester Stallone sports a beard throughout the whole of this picture and African-American Billy Dee Williams) street cops reassigned to chase Wulfgar (Dutchman Rutger Hauer's first American feature film) , an international terrorist holds the City of New York hostage, but Deke DaSilva (Stallone did all his stunts on this movie) , the most dangerous cop known to man, can take him down . But DaSilva's "at-home" tactics are very much put to the challenge , as he is assigned to special unit led by the British Peter Hartman (Nigel Davenport) that's tracking a psychopath as well as wily killer .

The film is combined of unstopped action ,shootouts , violence , fighting , adequate characterization and breathtakingly suspenseful denouement .It's a run-of-the-mill action movie because from start with its explosive first scene to finish the action packed is continued ,in fact ,the final confrontation is impressive and extremely violent , including plot twists . Prior to it's theatrical release, Nighthawks was severely cut for violence by both Universal studio and MPAA. Amongst the scenes that were cut are disco shootout which originally had Wufgar shooting and killing more people, and Wufgar's death scene in the ending which was almost completely cut out . Amongst the scenes which were deleted from original cut of the movie are almost all scenes between Sylvester Stallone and Lindsey Wagner, Rutger Hauer and Persis Khambatta, more scenes explaining the plot better, and many other scenes because Universal wanted fast paced action movie . They also cut most of the graphic and gory scenes due to the concern that movie will get X rating . In preparation for their roles as New York street cops, actors Billy Dee Williams and Sylvester Stallone spent a number of weeks working at night with the New York Street Crime Unit . Nice acting by Sylvester Stallone as conservative street cop DaSilva reluctantly agrees to terminate an international terrorist who has demanded media attention , but is Rutger Hauer who steals the show as a cruel terrorist . The film is from Sylvester's first period after his secondary interpretations in Mandingo , Bananas , Farewell my lovely , Capone, Death race 2000 , and during his successful Rocky I , II , Paradise alley and Fist acting.

This supercharged action motion picture was well directed by Bruce Malmuth , including hair-raising moments along the way . When the original director, Gary Nelson, left the project, Bruce Malmuth took over production. When he couldn't make it on his first day to shoot the train chase, Sylvester Stallone directed the chase himself to not miss a day of shooting. Malmuth made his film directorial debut with Sylvester Stallone in this classic thriller Nighthawks (1981), followed by Mary Higgins Clark's best seller, Where Are the Children? (1986) with Jill Clayburgh, and the popular action film dealing with political corruption, Hard to kill (1990) with Steven Seagal and Pentathlon (1994) with Dolph Lundgren, as well a number of other feature films and documentaries until his early death.
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Hollywood's toughest hero VS Hollywood's meanest villian
crewcut624 August 1999
Finally, Sly Stallone stars in a film that he really deserves to appear in! He and Billy Dee Williams make a great team as two no-nonsense New York cops who chase Rutger Hauer, who has a great role as a remorseless terrorist (then again, no terrorist has a heart of gold!) Though he's totally unrecognizable with a long beard, Stallone does an exceptionally good performance because unlike his other cop roles, such as Ray Tango from "Tango and Cash", Sly doesn't portray a cocky character, which makes it very realistic. However, our hero doesn't show his muscles in this flick, but, it proves that you don't have to be brawny to be a tough guy.

Hauer is also perfect, playing what he does best, an oily villian. He might look very suave at first in this film, but when he shows his true colors, you better watch out. Last but not least is Billy Dee Williams, who does a cool Roger Murtaughesque cop who relies on his partner Sly to do the job.

If you're in the mood for suspense and good chase scenes, "Nighthawks" is your gameplan. Look out for the great conclusion. It might cause you a great deal of shock!
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Excellent Cop thriller which needs an Uncut & extended blu ray
greene51527 November 2013
Nighthawks starts with a bang literally! as Hauer's ruthless international terrorist Wulfgar Reinhardt enters a department store & coolly flirts with the very pretty cosmetic assistant (Catherine Mary Stewart) & leaves a satchel containing a bomb which causes more carnage than his employers( IRA ) wish to have. Upon being informed on he flees to Paris where he teams up with fellow Terrorists Shakka Holland Persis Khambatta(Star Trek the motion picture) upon receiving cosmetic surgery ( a clever transformation courtesy of Dick Smith who contributes to some of the special make up effects used throughout)

Wulfgar travels to New York City where he plans to carry out a series of attacks,

Stallone' is detective Deke DeSilva and his partner Fox (Billy Dee Williams) are taken off their usual street work and are assigned by their boss Joe Spinell ( Maniac, Paradise Alley) to be indoctrinated in Anti Terrorisim techniques led by the late Nigel Davenport who is on the task force charged with hunting down and 'terminating' Wulfgar.

Nighthawks is a very solid thriller featuring some excellent chases and a tense showdown centred around a cable car at Roosevelt Island( which was famously used in Spider-Man) Lindsay Wagner also starts as Stallones estranged wife.

Nighthawks is criminally short at 99mins, it is alleged that their is a longer cut of the film languishing away in Universal's vault, their is also many scenes edited For Gore Dick Smith was responsible for the effects.
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Effective, old-school cop thriller
mjscarface16 March 2007
Nighthawks is a much under-appreciated title that sits between Stallone's Rocky and Rambo sequels and shows a different type of character for him.

Stallone plays a NY cop who is handed over to Interpol to help track down a freelance terrorist in the Big Apple. At first, his over-cautious "cop-on-the-beat mentality" lands him at odds with the lead investigator who explains that "to combat violence, you need greater violence". This is a nice little clash of ideals that allows for a little more character development that you'd expect.

The said terrorist is very well-played by Rutger Hauer in a breakthrough role that gives both charm and menace. Also, there is a nice chemistry between Stallone and his partner Billy Dee Williams.

The plot development is quite old school in the way there's a very long build up before the action kicks in with a lengthy set-piece that tops the film. But there's plenty of four-letter words, terrorist-talk and machismo flying around to fill that time nicely. The soundtrack may be dated now, but gives the film a unique quality and in fact the music is one of the unforgettable elements of the film - which has led to controversy over the DVD release.

There is clearly a lot of footage that was left on the cutting room floor, particularly a love sub-plot that is abandoned quite early on. And let's not even mention that horribly cut-down ending! All in all however, the film is always interesting and has a great old-style of cop thriller to it, perfect for post-pub Friday night fodder!
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old fashion cop movie
chowan_man18 December 2006
I got to see t his movie in the theater when i was 16. i thought it was cool then and still think it is cool today. The movie has a great story, and although a tad unbelievable at times, it still builds well with one of the best endings of any movie. Sly was in his prime here and Billy Dee Williams plays a great role as well as his partner. This movie is a good throw back film, showing the old NYC. Great street footage, especially in the first half of the film. This was one of Sly's best cop films to me, much better than "Cobra" . Recommend for an old fashion throw back 80's film. A fun popcorn rental with some very good action sequences. and a great ending!
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Rocky and Lando in the same movie!!!
jkremer20 August 2002
Sly Stallone and Billy Dee Williams star as Agents DaSilva and Fox originally on the NYC decoy unit. They love their work, so they are dissatisfied when they are assigned to the ATAC squad. The squad's purpose is to apprehend the world's foremost mercenary terrorist, known only as Wulfgar (Rutger Hauer), dead or alive. The cops must deny their passive "don't get anybody hurt" strategy in favor of one of brute force, irregardless of hostage safety, which sits poorly (at first) with Stallone and Williams.

Wulfgar as the terrorist is -amazing-. He works with the NYC underworld to learn the liabilities/weaknesses of the ATAC squad out to get him. Combined with plastic surgery and a penchant for picking up girls in nightclubs, using them, and killing them, he is a formidable adversary. If that's not enough, when have you ever got to see Stallone in drag, twice, in a movie! All kidding aside, though, this is a great film to rent, but not good enough to buy.

Give it a try!
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Rutger Hauer is Spectacular!
irish4412 July 1999
"Nighthawks" stars Sylvester Stallone and Billy Dee Williams as NYPD detectives DeSilva and Fox assigned to a special anti-terrorist squad. The world's most wanted terrorist, Wulfgar (Rutger Hauer), shows up in town to disrupt the United Nations.

The story line is a little "cheesy", but acceptable. Stallone and Williams offer fine performances. Rutger Hauer steals the movie as the chilling and truly scary terrorist. He is GREAT!

One of the best scenes ever in a cops 'n robbers movie is the disco scene in which Stallone and Williams have only a composite drawing of the suspect.
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Genuinely worthwhile thriller benefits from strong character development and great acting.
ChoiBaby16 May 1999
Two dedicated albeit crackerjack cops (Sylvester "Sly" Stallone and Billy Dee Williams) are on a new case: They must apprehend a slick, nefarious international terrorist and not to mention notorious criminal mastermind, Wulfgar (Rutger Hauer). Wulfgar's schemes thrive on the destruction of World Order and democracy. The two detectives, whose beat have always been the petty criminals of the street, have at first expressed animadversion when they are forced to nail the wily villain, Wulfgar. They have never encountered such an eluding antagonist before. No longer can the cops use conventional tactics, but they must resort to new, fresh methods...

For Wulfgar dissembles his identity with several incognitos, thus making him a tougher target to capture.

NIGHTHAWKS is a well-mounted, well-paced thriller that puts the accent on suspense (with some bloodshed of course). NIGHTHAWKS is a neat powerhouse! The movie contains riveting chases, a spectacle for a final confrontation, and an aggressively structured formula throughout the entire film. There are lots of opportunities for combustible moments in this film as well.

What makes NIGHTHAWKS standout even greater and better than the ordinary action flick is its emphasis on characterization and morals. NIGHTHAWKS does a terrific interpretation of how fascinating and surreptitious the terrorist bad guy is compared to a troublesome criminal. Whereas the latter simply relies on survival and desperation in the derelict streets, the former is a very intelligent person with a respectively high I.Q. and an organized purpose. His mission is clear: to fight the oppressors who have destroyed his native land and people. The terrorist covers his tracks well and moves from location and location, making his presence less conspicuous. As for the heroic cops, Deke DaSilva (Stallone) manages to preserve ethics first when making a judgment before decisive action. He knows when to call out the shot. DaSilva refuses to jeopardize innocent lives just for the sake of shooting down the villain, and in most cases, he has earned a level of propriety. DaSilva's testament to moral values is also well demonstrated in NIGHTHAWKS.

Rutger Hauer gave a genuinely eerie and chilling performance as he portrays a very psychotic but also very convincing villain with a substantially bad attitude. Overall, NIGHTHAWKS is a high caliber action film. This "above and beyond the call of duty" type quality of motion picture is a consistently thorough and memorable film. This ranks among the finest cop dramas ever composed and for over a decade, this film's reputation and aura have managed to stand the test of time. NIGHTHAWKS is a recommended hit.

RATING: *** out of ****.
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Eighties Action flick now more powerful then ever.
odessafilms11 December 2001
Nighthawks for me has always been one of Stallone's most entertaining performances. But because of recent events Stallone's character of Deke DaSilva has grown in complexity. Because of recent terrorist attacks on New York City, the idea of a terrorist walking around in the Big Apple, ready to strike at anytime, is extremely frightening. Detective Sergeant Deke DaSilva struggles with the choice to shoot to kill at the chance of killing innocent civilians, or to not shoot at all. His conflict on screen has been intensified dramatically since Sept. 11th. This rediscovered must see now drags it audience along with the tense decision whether or not DaSilva should shoot now and ask questions later, or not take any chances. Stallone is brilliant at playing a character who must ask himself the question, does the needs of the many out way the needs of the few? Stallone amazingly portrays a cop who must think like a terrorist, a cop who must turn himself off emotionally in order to trap evil doers. Of all of Stallone's big screen character's, it's Detective Sergeant Deke DaSilva who is America's most needed hero.
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One of the best terrorism films made
gh11046124 November 2001
I find Nighthawks to be one of the top three films relating to the subject of terrorism. Although many films dealing with political terror tend to either make the terrorist/hero character so grotesquely evil/good that they like cartoons (see both Under Siege films, Delta Force or Navy Seals if you want comic book terrorism), or the information relating to terrorism is inaccurate. Director Bruce Malmuth takes information from actual incidents from the 1970s (known in terror circles as Fright Decade #2), a good screenplay, true-to-life characters, and weaves them into a dramatic morality play. In a perfectly cast role, German Rutger Hauer, whose country had it's own war against The Baader-Meihoff Gang/Red Army Faction just a decade before, is at his best as the slick, sinister freelance terrorist Wulfgar, loosely based upon real-life terrorists such as Carlos the Jackel. Persis Khambatta goes evil after Star Trek and goes it well with her portrayal as Hauer's contact, and Nigel Davenport is excellent as the terrorists' European nemesis, Hartman. This, in my opinion, is one of Stallone's best performances. The rest of the cast is in fine form, even adult star Jamie Gillis as Lindsey Wagner's oily boss. Historically factual events give this film a lot of weight. During Davenport's briefings, actual terrorist acts are referenced, such as the Vienna OPEC Raid and the shooting of a policeman at point-blank range. In reality both acts were carried out by The Jackel himself. Slides flashed on the war show actual photos, and techniques used by terrorists are woven into this film. The only downside to this film is the removal of The Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar" and Keith Emerson's (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) remake of the Yardbird classic "I'm A Man," in favor of something totally unworthy of being put on scotch tape. Emerson's score is a perfect marriage for the visuals in this film, and the removal of "I'm a Man" from it's place where the hero first IDs the villain is a mistake of the first order. Since Sept. 11, terrorism has been getting a lot of attention. Hollywood will eventually get around to over dramatizing/sentimentalizing it, but even after 20 years, this film stands some pretty harsh examinations. If you're interested in good movies about terrorism, you can't do much better than this.
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A textbook on how to deal with international terrorists
simba-1814 September 2001
More timely and appropriate. A textbook on how to deal with international terrorists. America, take a lesson. Sylvester Stallone does a great job and Rutger Hauer is as usual, brilliant. Also, Nigel Davenport's character as terrorist expert is right on the money. Don't miss this one. Very appropriate in these troubled times.
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One of Stallone's Best!
Zorin-222 January 1999
"Nighthawks" is one Sylvester Stallone's best films. It ranks up there with his other films "Rocky" and "First Blood". The action sequences are excellent and surprisingly has great acting from Stallone, Billy Dee Williams, and Rutger Hauer as the terrorist. "Nighthawks" is far better and more realistic than his late 80's films such as "Cobra" and "Tango & Cash". For Sylvester Stallone fans, this will hit the spot just like "First Blood" did.
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The quintessential well executed eighties thriller
Elde22 March 2000
This film stays faithful to itself, and it's premise. It aims to be good entertainment and not much else, and succeeds commendably. Besides a bit too much stress on how great Stallone's character is at the beginning of the film the film flows rather nicely. There is a terrorist, who is a very bad man, which will do anything just to prove himself to everyone else. And there is a cop who likes to do his job clean. But with terrorism it doesn't always work that way, and that is the films meaningful angle. Although it seems like the director realized that entertainment was number one, and nothing should get in its way, therefore the film never stops to ponder too much over the police/baddie similarities, and usually after brief atmospheric tense character scenes it goes back to the action.

The action takes most of the film up, although it's not overdone too much, sometimes you do wonder if they could have run around for a bit less time. The script is the only thing that lets this down, with some of the events being a bit dubious. You do get the feeling from time to time that the scriptwriter wasn't quite sure how to chain some events so they seem a bit forced. But other ideas are kind of cute to make up for it.

Although it is full of cliches, this is not really a downside to the film, which seems to be shouting out that cliches aren't that bad. And being from the early eighties you could always argue that it was actually laying the ground for cliches to become such.

Acting is good, even from Sly, this really is the role he was born to play. He is the Rocky of the NY street undercover police. Hauer rocks in no small way, and Nigel Davenport shouts like no one (you'll see what I mean).

Watch and enjoy. That's all folks.
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Excellent eighties action-thriller!
chrisjan15 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I am a fan of Stallone for many years now. Started all with "Rocky" when I was a kid.

"Nighthawks" has nothing to do with the roles Stallone is famous for: His muscles. We don't even see his muscles in this movie. In stead we get a Stallone with a beard and HUGE glasses and acting relaxed.

A lot of people say Stallone can't act. I disagree, just look at this movie.

Stallone plays a street-cop who has to deal with a terrorist played by our national (Dutch) pride: Rutger Hauer.

This is a great action thriller, with great actors like Rutger Hauer, Billy Dee Williams and Joe Spinell (who also had a big part in "Rocky").

The action is great, just look at the sequence when Stallone and Williams are trying to catch Rutger Hauer in the subway. Great music also. The end is nice too, bit of a surprise there.


At the end (when Stallone shoots Hauer) the scene is cut. We see him shooting only two times, but the original scene is with 6 shots. So 4 shots were removed (for television).

Another fact is that Stallone directed a big part of this movie because the original director quit or was fired.

So if you're looking for a good action-thriller with a nice eighties feel and some good acting, look no further.
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Solid engaging action thriller
AlabamaWorley197111 April 1999
It's a little dated now, but NIGHTHAWKS is still interesting. Stallone's character is an INTELLIGENT, SENSITIVE guy who finds it really hard to put aside his training to become an anti-terrorist force. Rutger Hauer is as creepy as ever. I really like this movie and watch it whenever it turns up on cable, as it frequently does.
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