Colors (1988)

Colors stars Robert Duvall and Sean Penn as partners on the LAPD's gang crime division. Duvall had hoped to spend more time with his family, but he's pulled back into active service because of a step-up in gang activity. He makes no… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: April 15, 1988
DVD Release Date: October 2, 2001
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Critic Score: 78% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Colors takes a hard-hitting yet nuanced look at urban gang violence, further elevated by strong performances from a pair of well-matched leads.

Joe Pollack
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

I expected more from Hopper as a director, at least something different from the tried-and-true formula pictures.

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Janet Maslin
New York Times

Though its story has the makings of standard stuff, and is sometimes sketchily told, nothing about 'Colors is ordinary.

David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews

...appealingly gritty...

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Variety Staff

Colors is a solidly crafted depiction of some current big-city horrors and succeeds largely because of the Robert Duvall-Sean Penn teaming as frontline cops. They're terrific together as members of the gang crime division of the LAPD.

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Desson Thomson
Washington Post

It's an exhilarating sparring match between Duvall's workmanlike fine-tuning and Penn's raw energy.

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Michael Sragow
NPR's Fresh Air

The depiction of gangs in Colors doesn't go deep enough to arouse any passions. The movie makers are more interested in the cops, and they seem to think that we are too.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

Never as eccentric as The Last Movie or Out of the Blue, Colors nevertheless makes most other cop movies look formulary by comparison.

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Hal Hinson
Washington Post

There's great pleasure in watching these two actors work. And Hopper, a great actor himself, knows what they need to thrive.

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Nicholas Bell

Colors remains most potent as a portrait of futility regarding a broken law enforcement system which tends to warp those who desire to make a difference into callous, sometimes inhumane harbingers of violence.

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More reviews for Colors

Flixster Audience Score: 72% Flixster User Reviews
Lenny Muggsy
Good cop film, nothing special about the film if you watch it now, back then it had more of an impact. Good acting and screenplay.
EightThirty .
Oldshool...This is what started that Gangster Gangster ^_^
Lady D'arbanville
A film with issues, still very relevant today, yet dated by the music and clothing. I particularly like the relationship between Penn and Duval, a great rookie… More
xGary Xx
Predating the rash of hip hop inspired gangster films of the early 90s, this gritty story about two cops policing the streets of LA's gang neighbourhoods… More
Al S
A explosive, shocking, unsettling and heart-pounding drama. Thrilling, frequently exciting and all the way exhilerating. Gritty and realistic. Robert Duvall and… More
Dean McKenna
Brave, but ultimately rather disappointing story of mismatched cop Robert Duvall and Sean Penn assigned to gang duty in L.A. Although it has its moments,… More

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