I wasn’t as impressed as some of my colleagues by Oren Moverman’s directing debut, The Messenger (2009), though Woody Harrelson was terrific as a steely marine who must drive around notifying military families that their loved ones are dead. Harrelson returns in Moverman’s second feature playing a similar character, a bullheaded LAPD officer whose long career with the force is unraveling amid a succession of brutality complaints, and although the role offers the same macho quotient as the earlier one, it’s counterbalanced in this case by funny, observant scenes of his gyno-centric home life. His first and second wives (Cynthia Nixon, Anne Heche) and their respective daughters all live with him in the same sprawling SoCal house, and most of them have strong opinions about his escalating professional problems. Both marriages appear to be over, and the cop gets his sex prowling around neighborhood bars, but he insists on “keeping the family together” with the same irrational devotion he applies to his job. With Ned Beatty, Ice Cube, Robin Wright, and Sigourney Weaver.
Quick with his baton
Woody Harrelson is a cop on the run (from his wives) in Oren Moverman’s Rampart