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Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009)

The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans (original title)
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Terence McDonagh is a drug- and gambling-addled detective in post-Katrina New Orleans investigating the killing of five Senegalese immigrants.


Werner Herzog


William M. Finkelstein (screenplay) (as William Finkelstein)
3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicolas Cage ... Terence McDonagh
Eva Mendes ... Frankie Donnenfield
Val Kilmer ... Stevie Pruit
Xzibit ... Big Fate (as Alvin 'Xzibit' Joiner)
Fairuza Balk ... Heidi
Shawn Hatosy ... Armand Benoit
Jennifer Coolidge ... Genevieve
Tom Bower ... Pat McDonagh
Vondie Curtis-Hall ... Captain James Brasser (as Vondie Curtis Hall)
Brad Dourif ... Ned Schoenholtz
Denzel Whitaker ... Daryl
Irma P. Hall ... Binnie Rogers
Shea Whigham ... Justin
Michael Shannon ... Mundt
Joe Nemmers ... Larry Moy


After Katrina, police sergeant Terence McDonagh rescues a prisoner, hurts his back in the process and earns a promotion to lieutenant plus an addiction to cocaine and painkillers. Six months later, a family is murdered over drugs; Terence runs the investigation. His drug-using prostitute girlfriend, his alcoholic father's dog, run-ins with two old women and a well-connected john, gambling losses, a nervous young witness, and thefts of police property put Terence's job and then his life in danger. He starts seeing things. He wants a big score to get out from under mounting debts, so he joins forces with drug dealers. The murders remain unsolved. A bad lieutenant gets worse. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The only criminal he can't catch is himself.


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug use and language throughout, some violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





English | Spanish

Release Date:

11 December 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »


Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$245,398, 22 November 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,697,956, 28 February 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Nicolas Cage actually snorted baby powder for the cocaine scenes. See more »


When Big Fate and his crew shoot up the three guys who are after The Lieutenant's money, you can clearly see one of the bodies on the office floor move a finger when the iguana approaches him. See more »


Terence McDonagh: You don't have a lucky crack pipe?
See more »


Arranged by Brian Leake
Published by Standard Music Library (PRS)/Henning Music (BMI)
Courtesy of 5 Alarm Music Library
See more »

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User Reviews

Into the Nuthouse with Nic Cage and Werner Herzog
9 December 2009 | by evanston_dadSee all my reviews

Director Werner Herzog welcomes you to La-La Land once again in his latest film, starring Nicolas Cage as the world's worst cop.

Whether you love or loathe this film, I bet I can guarantee that you won't think it's ordinary. This is Herzog, after all. As for me, I thought it was decent, but give me Herzog's "Grizzly Man" or "Aguirre: The Wrath of God" any day.

What those two films have in common is a central figure -- one an actor, one not -- who are far more interesting and watchable than Nicolas Cage. Cage, playing a cop hooked on dope whose entire life is governed by trying to figure out where and how he can get his next fix, plays crazy like no one's business, and crazy certainly fits the film's tone, but I still think Herzog would have been wise to reel him in a little. Cage is so mannered that his acting becomes distracting. He pulls you out of the film instead of into it. Mid-way through, he inexplicably begins speaking in a voice reminiscent of a deranged Jimmy Stewart, and it's all I could focus on.

The film is staged as one long nightmare; there's a certain morbid fascination at seeing this sleazy guy's life unravel before our very eyes. Then, in the film's final moments, Herzog plays a joke on us that could have gone badly awry but instead works very well, and mimics the feelings one has upon waking from a bad dream. It's all clever and certainly watchable, but I couldn't help but wonder as I left my seat -- what's the point?

Another unusual film from an endlessly unusual filmmaker.

Grade: B+

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