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As grim and grinding as its title, Dragged Across Concrete opts for slow-burning drama instead of high-speed thrills -- and has just the right cast to make it work.Read critic reviews
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Police partners descend into the criminal underworld after they are suspended for assaulting a suspect on video.
R (Some Sexuality/Nudity|Language|Grisly Images|Strong Violence)
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the Your Movie Sucks™ files
Roger Ebert | 2011-02-17
Gathered here in one convenient place are my recent reviews that awarded films Two Stars or less. These are, generally speaking to be avoided. Sometimes I hear from readers who confess they are in the mood to watch a really bad movie. If you're sincere, be sure to know what you're getting: A really bad movie. Movies that are "so bad they're good" should generally get two and a half stars. Two stars can be borderline. And Pauline Kael once wrote, "The movies are so rarely great art that if we cannot appreciate great trash, we shouldn't go at all."
"Just Go With It" (PG-13, 116 minutes). This film's story began as a French farce, became the Broadway hit "Cactus Flower," was made into a 1969 film and now arrives gasping for breath in a witless retread with Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston and Brooklyn Decker. The characters are so stupid it doesn't seem nice to laugh at them. One star.
"Sanctum" (R, 109 minutes). A terrifying adventure shown in an incompetent way. Scuba-diving cave explorers enter a vast system in New Guinea and are stranded. But this rich story opportunity is lost because of incoherent editing, poor 3D technique, and the effect of 3D dimming in the already dark an murky caves. A "James Cameron Production," yes, but certainly not a "James Cameron Film." One and a half stars
"I Am Number Four" (PG-13, 110 minutes). Nine aliens from the planet Mogador travel across the galaxy to take refuge on earth and rip off elements of the Twilight and Harry Potter movies, and combine them with senseless scenes of lethal Quidditch-like combat. Alex Pettyfer stars as Number Four, who feels hormonal about the pretty Sarah (Dianna Agron), although whether he is the brooding teenage Edward Cullen he seems to be or a weird alien life form I am not sure. Inane setup followed by endless and perplexing action. One and a half stars
"Certifiably Jonathan" (Unrated, 80 minutes). Jonathan Winters deserves better than this. Jim Pasternak's mockumentary is not merely a bad film, but a waste of an opportunity. Nearing 80, Winters is still active and funny, and deserves a real doc, not this messy failed attempt at satirizing--what? Documentaries themselves? Lame scenes involving an art show, a theft and the "Museum of Modern Art" fit awkwardly with cameos of too many other comics, who except for the funny Robin Williams seem to be attending a testimonial. One star.
"The Green Hornet" (PG-13, 108 minutes) An almost unendurable demonstration of a movie with nothing to be about. Although it follows the rough storyline of previous versions of the title, it neglects the construction of a plot engine to pull us through. There are pointless dialogue scenes going nowhere much too slowly, and then pointless action scenes going everywhere much too quickly. One star.
"The Nutcracker in 3D" (PG, 107 minutes) A train wreck of a movie, beginning with the idiotic idea of combining the Tchaikovsky classic with a fantasy conflict that seems inspired by the Holocaust. After little Mary (Elle Fanning) discovers her toy nutcracker can talk, he reveals himself as a captive prince and spirits her off to a land where fascist storm troopers are snatching toys from the hands of children and burning them to blot out the sun. I'm not making this up. Appalling. And forget about the 3D, which is the dingiest and dimmest I've seen. One star
"I Spit on Your Grave" (Unrated; for adults only. Running time: 108 minutes) Despicable remake of the despicable 1978 film "I Spit On Your Grave." This one is more offensive, because it lingers lovingly and at greater length on realistic verbal, psychological and physical violence against the woman, and then reduces her "revenge" to cartoonish horror-flick impossibilities. Oh, and a mentally disabled boy is forced against his will to perform a rape. Zero stars.
"Life As We Know It" (PG-13, 113 minutes). When their best friends are killed in a crash, Holly and Messer (Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel) are appointed as joint custodians of their one-year-old, Sophie. Also, they have to move into Sophie's mansion. But Holly and Messer can't stand one another. So what happens when they start trying to raise Sophie. You'll never guess in a million years. Or maybe you will. One and a half stars
"Hatchet II" (Unrated, 85 minutes). A gory homage to slasher films, which means it has its tongue in its cheek until the tongue is ripped out and the victims of a swamp man are sliced, diced, slashed, disemboweled, chainsawed and otherwise inconvenienced. One and a half stars
"The Last Airbender" (PG, 103 minutes). An agonizing experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented. Originally in 2D, retrofitted in fake 3D that makes this picture the dimmest I've seen in years. Bad casting, wooden dialogue, lousy special effects, incomprehensible plot, and boring, boring, boring. One-half of one star.
"The A-Team" (PG-13, 121 minutes). an incomprehensible mess with the 1980s TV show embedded within. at over two hours of Queasy-Cam anarchy it's punishment. Same team, same types, same traits, new actors: Liam Neeson, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley, "Rampage" Jackson, Patrick Wilson. One and a half stars
"Sex & the City 2" (R, 146 minutes). Comedy about flyweight bubbleheads living in a world where their defining quality is consuming things. They gobble food, fashion, houses, husbands, children, and vitamins. Plot centers on marital discord between Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Mr. Big (Chris Noth), a purring, narcissistic, velvety idiot? Later, the girls are menaced for immodest dress during a luxurious freebie in Abu Dhabi. Appalling. Sure to be enjoyed by SATC fans. One star
"The Good Heart" (R, 98 minutes). Oh. My. God. A story sopping wet with cornball sentimentalism, wrapped up in absurd melodrama, and telling a Rags to Riches story with an ending that is truly shameless. That fine actor Brian Cox and that good actor Paul Dano and that angelic actress Isild Le Besco cast themselves on the sinking vessel of this story and go down with the ship. One and a half stars.
"Kick-Ass" (R, 117 minutes). An 11-year-old girl (Chloe Grace Moretz), her father (Nicolas Cage) and a high school kid (Aaron Johnson) try to become superheroes to fight an evil ganglord. There's deadly carnage dished out by the child, after which an adult man brutally hammers her to within an inch of her life. Blood everywhere. A comic book satire, they say. Sad, I say. One star
"Nightmare on Elm Street" (R, 95 minutes). Teenagers are introduced, enjoy brief moments of happiness, are haunted by nightmares, and then slashed to death by Freddy. So what? One star
"The Bounty Hunter" (PG-13, 110 minutes). An inconsequential formula comedy and a waste of the talents of Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler. He's a bounty hunter, she's skipped bail on a traffic charge, they were once married, and that's the end of the movie's original ideas. We've seen earlier versions of every single scene to the point of catatonia. Rating: One and a half stars.
"Cop Out" (R, 110 minutes). An outstandingly bad cop movie, starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan as partners who get suspended (of course) and then try to redeem themselves by overthrowing a drug operation while searching for the valuable baseball card Willis wants to sell to pay for his daughter's wedding. Morgan plays an unreasonable amount of time dressed as a cell phone, considering there is nothing to prevent him from taking it off. Kevin Smith, who directed, has had many, many better days. One and a half stars.
"The Lovely Bones" (PG-13). A deplorable film with this message: If you're a 14-year-old girl who has been brutally raped and murdered by a serial killer, you have a lot to look forward to. You can get together in heaven with the other teenage victims of the same killer, and gaze down in benevolence upon your family members as they realize what a wonderful person you were. Peter Jackson ("Lord of the Rings") believes special effects can replace genuine emotion, and tricks up Alive Sebold's well-regarded novel with gimcrack New Age fantasies. With, however, affective performances by Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci and Saoirse Ronan as the victim. One star.
"The Spy Next Door" (PG, 92 minutes). Jackie Chan is a Chinese-CIA double agent babysitting girl friend's three kids as Russian mobsters attack. Uh, huh. Precisely what you'd expect from a PG-rated Jackie Chan comedy. If that's what you're looking for, you won't be disappointed. It's not what I was looking for. One and a half stars.
"Old Dogs" (PG, 88 minutes). Stupefying dimwitted. John Travolta's and Robin Williams' agents weren't perceptive enough to smell the screenplay in its advanced state of decomposition. Seems to have lingered in post-production while editors struggled desperately to inject laugh cues.Careens uneasily between fantasy and idiocy, the impenetrable and the crashingly ham-handed. Example: Rita Wilson gets her hand slammed by a car trunk, and the sound track breaks into "Big Girls Don't Cry." When hey get their hands slammed in car trunks, they do. One star. View the trailer.
"Did You Hear About the Morgans?" (PG-13, 103 minutes). Feuding couple from Manhattan (Hugh Grant and Jessica Sarah Parker) are forced to flee town under Witness Protection Program, find themselves Fish Out of Water in Strange New World, meet Colorful Characters, survive Slapstick Adventures, end up Together at the End. The only part of that formula that still works is The End. With supporting roles for Sam Elliott and Wilford Brimley, sporting the two most famous mustaches in the movies. One and a half stars.
"The Twilight Saga: New Moon" (PG-13, 130 minutes). The characters in this movie should be arrested for loitering with intent to moan. The sequel to "Twilight" (2008) is preoccupied with remember that film and setting up the third one. Sitting through this experience is like driving a tractor in low gear though a sullen sea of Brylcreem. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson return in their original roles, she dewy and masochistic, he sullen and menacing. Ah, teenage romance! One star
"The Boondock Saints II: All Saint's Day" . (R, 21 minutes) Idiotic ode to macho horseshite (to employ an ancient Irish word). Distinguished by superb cinematography. The first film in 10 years from Troy Duffy, whose "Boondock Saints" (1999) has become a cult fetish. Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus are Irish brothers who return to Boston for revenge and murder countless enemies in an incomprehensible story involving heavy metal cranked up to 12 and lots of boozing, smoking, swearing and looking fierce and sweaty. One star. View the trailer.
"Gentlemen Broncos". (PG-13, 107 minutes) Michael Angarano plays Benjamin Purvis, a wannabe sci-fi Doctor Ronald Chevalier (Jemaine Clement). Alas. the great man rips off the kid's book, just when get kid has sold the miniscule filming rights. All sorts of promising material from Jared Hess ("Napoleon Dynamite"), but it's a clutter of jumbled continuity that doesn't add up, despite the presence of Jennifer Coolidge. Two stars. View the trailer.
"The Fourth Kind". (PG-13, 98 minutes). Nome, Alaska (pop. 3,750) has so many disappearances and/or alien abductions that the FBI has investigated there 20 times more than in Anchorage. So it's claimed by this pseudo-doc that goes to inane lengths to appear factual. Milla Jovovich is good as a psychologist whose clients complain that owls stare at them in the middle of the night. One and a half stars. View the trailer.
21 and a Wakeup . (R, 123 minutes). A disjointed, overlong and unconvincing string of anecdotes centering around the personnel of an Army combat hospital in Vietnam. Amy Acker plays an idealistic nurse who is constantly reprimanded by absurdly hostile officer (Faye Dunaway). Plays like a series of unlikely anecdotes trundled onstage without much relationship to one another. One episode involves an unauthorized trip into Cambodia by a nurse and a civilian journalist; it underwhelms. One and a half stars. Visit the website.
"Cirque de Freak: The Vampire's Assistant". (PG-13, 108 minutes) This movie includes good Vampires, evil Vampanese, a Wolf-Man, a Bearded Lady, a Monkey Girl with a long tail, a Snake Boy, a dwarf with a four-foot forehead and a spider the size of your shoe, and they're all boring as hell. They're in a traveling side show that comes to town and lures two insipid high school kids (Josh Hutcherson and Chris Massoglia) into a war between enemy vampire factions. Unbearable. With Joh C. Reilly, Salma Hayek, Ken Watanabe, Patrick Fugit, and other wasted talents. One star. View the trailer.
"Couples Retreat" (PG-13, 107 minutes). Four troubled couples make a week's retreat to an island paradise where they hope to be healed, which indeed happens, according to ages-old sitcom formulas. This material was old when it was new. The jolly ending is agonizing in its step-by-step obligatory plotting. I didn't care for any of the characters, and that's about how much they seemed to care for one another. Starring Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman, Faizon Love, Jon Favreau, Malin Akerman, Kristen Bell, Kristin Davis and Kali Hawk. Two stars. View the trailer.
"Fame.". (PG, 90 minutes). A pale retread of the 1980 classic, lacking the power and emotion of the original. A group of hopeful kids enroll in the New York City School of the Performing Arts and struggle through four years to find themselves. Their back stories are shallow, many seem too old and confident, the plot doesn't engage them, and although individual performers like Naturi Naughton sparkle as a classical pianist who wants to sing hip hop, the film is too superficial to make them convincing. Two stars. View the trailer.
"All About Steve". (PG-13, 87 minutes ) Sandra Bullock plays Mary Horowitz, a crossword puzzle constructor who on a blind date falls insanely in love with Steve, a TV news cameraman (Bradley Cooper, from "The Hangover"). The operative word is "insanely." The movie is billed as a comedy but more resembles a perplexing public display of irrational behavior. Seeing her run around as a basket case makes you appreciate Lucille Ball, who could play a dizzy dame and make you like her. One and a half stars. View the trailer.
Dragged Across Concrete
The following weapons were used in the film Dragged Across Concrete:
WARNING! THIS PAGE CONTAINS SPOILERS!
A suppressed Beretta 92FS pistol is also used.
Det. Brett Ridgeman (Mel Gibson) carries a stainless Colt Python as his sidearm.
Heckler & Koch USP
Det. Anthony Lurasetti (Vince Vaughn) carries a two-tone Heckler & Koch USP.
CZ Scorpion Evo 3 S1
The gunmen use the suppressed CZ Scorpion Evo 3 S1 during the bank robbery.
Heckler & Koch MP7A1
A suppressed Heckler & Koch MP7A1 is seen used by the gunman at the convenience store.
Remington 700 (Choate Ultimate Sniper Stock)
Lurasetti also is seen using what appears to be a suppressed Remington 700 bolt action fitted in a Choate Ultimate Sniper Stock.
Across concrete wiki dragged
‘Dragged Across Concrete’ Review: The Evil That Men Do (Repeatedly)
- Dragged Across Concrete
- Directed by S. Craig Zahler
- Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
- 2h 39m
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A dribbling tear tells you much about “Dragged Across Concrete,” a self-satisfied slow burn of a movie. This salty emanation slides through a slit that a very bad man with a very big knife cuts in the duct tape covering a hostage’s eyes. The captive is a bank employee who has been snatched during a violent robbery. She’s trussed up in the getaway van, and her fate looks bleak. Some of her colleagues were killed during the heist, and one was castrated for no real reason except as a declaration of flamboyant cruelty — putatively on the part of the villains, though the blame really lies elsewhere.
A severed hand or finger probably would have sent a similarly strong message to the terrified bank employees. But genital mutilation is something special, an outré shock. It’s a reminder that spectacular violence can be a useful tool for slapping stories and viewers awake. The castration certainly underlines the depravity of the villains, who with each bullet and flick of the blade strengthen the case against them, paving the way for their preordained bloody punishment. Mostly, though, it is directorial swagger, just like the tear that spills from the duct-tape blindfold.
The writer-director S. Craig Zahler has embellished “Dragged Across Concrete” — a neo-exploitation potboiler about brutal men on both sides of the law — in both modest and grandiose ways. He’s clearly given a lot of thought to this strain of detective-gangster fiction, to its cruelty, extremity, pessimism and flashes of nihilism. His detectives, Brett (Mel Gibson) and Anthony (Vince Vaughn), fit their types to a T, entering the story with ready guns and well-honed cynicism. Before long, Brett is pressing one of his boots down on the neck of a handcuffed Latino suspect and tossing a near-naked Latina woman into a shower for an interrogation — a Mickey Spillane-style warm-up for the sadism to come.
The story is as predictable as expected, with the usual guns, cars and money, though drawn out to an unhurried 158 minutes. There are ostensible good men turned bad, and one who is perhaps less bad. There are women (Jennifer Carpenter makes sympathetic a disposable character), a retinue of the negligible, the victimized, the soon to be dead. Most of the characters fit into three categories — evil men, men who stand in evil’s way and collateral damage — and some from each will be sacrificed on the hard-boiled altar. This includes a baby, whose sole function is to fool you into thinking that things won’t turn really ugly. They do, which makes optimistic viewers suckers.
Zahler likes to pull back to show you people in their environments, in vaulted and confining spaces. He plays around with light and dark, but mostly dark, and a lot of the story takes place in shadows or low illumination. Almost everyone lives in an impersonal home seemingly decorated by the same depressed interior designer, with muted colors and generic furnishings that turn each dwelling into a showroom. The characters are less blank largely because of Zahler’s writing, his eccentric metaphors and monologues. More prosaic is his hard embrace of the same old-fashioned American anti-authoritarianism — with its hatred for rules matched only by a love of guns — that helped define Dirty Harry.
The movie is generally watchable, even at its slowest and ugliest, simply because the actors are solid even when their characters are repellent. Gibson delivers a tamped-down performance, going for stolid, while Vaughn runs his mouth and enjoys his flashy bits. The most sympathetic character, Henry (a fine Tory Kittles), occupies another story line that soon crosses Brett and Anthony’s. A newly released ex-con, Henry has a brother who uses a wheelchair and a mother who’s been turning tricks while he’s been in the pen. Brett has a daughter and a wife who has multiple sclerosis and uses a cane. Zahler seems to want to make Henry a counterweight to the detectives (Brett especially), as if to suggest that they’re alike, though their worlds and power couldn’t be more different.
This spurious parallelism, though, does suit the movie’s dog-eat-dog worldview or its baiting representation of the white characters’ racism. Some openly voice their bigotry, which might have been a bold choice if Zahler had interrogated it rather than given himself convenient outs. Anthony makes a joke about Martin Luther King Jr. Day. He also has a black girlfriend, which is presumably meant to complicate his character but instead feels like a directorial hedge. When Brett’s wife says that she wasn’t a racist until she moved into their crummy neighborhood, her rueful delivery suggests that she was regrettably forced — dragged across concrete, perhaps — into prejudice. Zahler just lets her racism hang in the air unanswered, which says plenty.
Dragged Across Concrete
2018 film directed by S. Craig Zahler
Dragged Across Concrete is a 2018 American neo-noircrime thriller film written and directed by S. Craig Zahler. The film features an ensemble cast including Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn, Tory Kittles, Michael Jai White, Jennifer Carpenter, Laurie Holden, Fred Melamed, Udo Kier, Thomas Kretschmann, and Don Johnson. It premiered at the 75th Venice International Film Festival on September 3, 2018, and received a limited theatrical and video-on-demandsimultaneous release from Summit Entertainment on March 22, 2019.
In the city of Bulwark, recent parolee Henry returns home, interrupting his mother with a customer. After chastising her for turning to prostitution, Henry reunites with his younger brother Ethan.
Three weeks later, police detectives Brett Ridgeman (Mel Gibson) and Anthony Lurasetti (Vince Vaughn) raid the home of Vasquez, a known drug dealer. Ridgeman is unnecessarily rough with the suspect, and coerces Vasquez's girlfriend into revealing a duffel bag of money and narcotics. The bust is a success, but the detectives are called before their superior, Chief Lt. Calvert (Don Johnson). Explaining that a video of Ridgeman subduing Vasquez has been released to the media, Calvert is forced to suspend both detectives for six weeks without pay.
Ridgeman's daughter Sara is continually harassed, and his wife Melanie, a former cop with multiple sclerosis, pleads with him to move them to a safer neighborhood. Lurasetti is similarly desperate for money, with plans to propose to his girlfriend Denise. On a tip from Friedrich, a wealthy businessman with criminal connections, Ridgeman recruits Lurasetti to help him surveil and rob the mysterious Lorentz Vogelmann. Having bought an engagement ring, Lurasetti stalls in proposing to Denise, unsure if he can continue with Ridgeman's plan.
Henry and his childhood friend Biscuit are hired by Vogelmann, whose masked associates – one wearing black gloves, one with grey – have committed a series of robberies to buy a customized bulletproof van with airless tires. Bank employee Kelly Summer (Jennifer Carpenter) struggles to leave her newborn son, but returns to work for the first time after her maternity leave. Vogelmann, Black Gloves, and Grey Gloves take the bank hostage, with Biscuit and Henry disguised as security guards in the van. Using methodical, tape-recorded instructions, Vogelmann demands the bank's supply of gold bullion. Kelly, fearing for her life, is shot trying to prevent a colleague from notifying the police via email. She is then summarily executed as she is dying and pleading.
Tailing the van, Ridgeman and Lurasetti realize Vogelmann is robbing the bank. The thieves escape with the bullion and a hostage, Cheryl, having castrated the bank manager. Unsettled by Vogelmann and his henchmen's brutality, Biscuit and Henry are forced to surrender their weapons. Realizing they may be killed, Henry distracts Biscuit with memories of their childhood, and chooses not to reveal they are being followed by the detectives.
Lurasetti learns five people were killed in the robbery and the thieves have taken a hostage. He berates Ridgeman for not intervening sooner or notifying the authorities, but Ridgeman asserts that law enforcement would be too late, and only the two of them can deal with the thieves. Lurasetti opts against delaying his marriage proposal to his live-in girlfriend Denise and leaves her a voicemail guiding her to the engagement ring. He argues that they are both practical people and she wouldn't go in for a big proposal.
Arriving at a garage in the countryside, Biscuit leaps out of the van and is shot, as Henry wounds Grey Gloves with a hidden gun. Mortally wounded, Biscuit swallows the van's key; imploring Henry to take care of his mother, he is shot dead. Ridgeman and Lurasetti arrive, donning body armor and ballistic masks. Cheryl is sent to pull Biscuit's body into the van, while Lurasetti, an Army marksman, is unable to disable the van with his sniper rifle due to the airless tires. Black Gloves cuts the key out of Biscuit's stomach, but Ridgeman rams the van, knocking it over.
Threatened by Vogelmann, the half-naked Cheryl seemingly escapes from the van. Lurasetti tries to guide her to safety and just as she reaches Lurasetti, she presses a gun inside his body armor and fires a number of rounds. Ridgeman executes Cheryl but not before she fatally wounds Lurasetti. Ridgeman then quickly kills Black Gloves as he exits the van. Ridgeman hands the dying Lurasetti his phone and he listens to a voicemail from Denise who declines his proposal before succumbing to his wounds. Ridgeman fills the van with tear gas, and kills Gray Gloves just as he surrenders. Before he can torch the van, Henry fires a warning shot and insists the valuable contents of the van be spared. Ridgeman climbs on top of the van and kills Vogelmann before the latter can shoot him through the retractable slit. Henry shoots Ridgeman in the foot and reveals that he has recorded the entire incident on his cellphone and identifies Ridgeman as a detective. Disarming Henry, Ridgeman proposes they split the score, and together they load the bodies and the bullion in the getaway car.
Towing Lurasetti's car from the scene, Henry finds another hidden gun. When they reach the dump site, Ridgeman produces the hidden piece and holds Henry at gunpoint, demanding he erase the cellphone video. Jostling back and forth Henry produces his own weapon and mortally wounds Ridgeman, angrily decrying Ridgeman for not accepting him at his word. Henry agrees to bury Lurasetti and tells Ridgeman that his family will be taken care of, Henry buries all the bodies. He promises Biscuit that he will return later and give him a proper burial.
Eleven months later, Henry lives in a lavish mansion with his mother and brother. He sends Melanie and Sara a package, addressed to them from Ridgeman, containing a share of the gold bullion.
On February 1, 2017, S. Craig Zahler was signed to direct Dragged Across Concrete from a screenplay he had written. A film about police brutality, it would star Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn, who had previously worked together in the 2016 film Hacksaw Ridge. Keith Kjarval of Unified Pictures produced the film along with Zahler and Dallas Sonnier of Cinestate, Assemble Media's Jack Heller, and Sefton Fincham of Look to the Sky Films, with Kjarval's Unified Film Fund financing. In May 2017, Lionsgate acquired the US distribution rights to the film, and would release it through its subsidiary, Summit Entertainment.Principal photography on the film began on July 17, 2017, in Vancouver.
The film's world premiere was at the 75th Venice International Film Festival on September 3, 2018, and given a theatrical release in the United States on March 22, 2019.
Dragged Across Concrete was released on digital download, DVD and Blu-ray disc in the United States under Lionsgate Films on April 30, 2019, including two special features, a short featurette titled Moral Conflict: Creating Cinema That Challenges and a forty-minute 3-part featurette, Elements of a Crime.Studio Canal released it in the U.K. on August 19, 2019, across all three formats.
On review aggregatorRotten Tomatoes, Dragged Across Concrete holds an approval rating of 76% based on 147 reviews, with an average rating of 6.90/10. The website's consensus reads, "As grim and grinding as its title, Dragged Across Concrete opts for slow-burning drama instead of high-speed thrills -- and has just the right cast to make it work." On Metacritic, the film has an average score of 60 out of 100, based on 28 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
At the 40th Golden Raspberry Awards, an annual "award" for films of low quality, Dragged Across Concrete was nominated in a new category, "Worst Reckless Disregard for Human Life and Public Property."WhatCulture criticised the nomination, saying that "It feels as though voters just wanted to nominate Joker for the enormous social media publicity it would generate, and then shaped a dubious awards category around it. Dragged Across Concrete is an even weirder pick, though, both because of its low-budget nature and the fact that there's not that much carnage in it. Michael Bay's 6 Underground is clearly a far worthier nominee than either of those films, given how much obvious human collateral damage is racked up amid the chaotic action sequences."
- ^ abcd"Dragged Across Concrete (2018) - Financial Information". The Numbers. Archived from the original on April 1, 2019. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
- ^ ab"Biennale Cinema 2018 - Dragged Across Concrete". Venice International Film Festival 2018. Venice Biennale. July 23, 2018. Archived from the original on June 22, 2019. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
- ^ abTartaglione, Nancy (September 3, 2018). "Vince Vaughn On Reteam With Mel Gibson In 'Dragged Across Concrete' – Venice". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
- ^"Dragged Across Concrete". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on April 1, 2019. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
- ^Anderson, Ariston (July 25, 2018). "Venice Fest Lineup Includes Coens, Luca Guadagnino and Alfonso Cuaron". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
- ^Han, Karen (March 22, 2019). "The vicious Dragged Across Concrete can't be apolitical when it stars Mel Gibson". Polygon. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
- ^ abKit, Borys (February 1, 2017). "Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn Reteam for Thriller 'Dragged Across Concrete' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
- ^ abMcNary, Dave (May 18, 2017). "Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn's Police Brutality Thriller Nabbed by Lionsgate". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
- ^Brown, Scott (June 30, 2017). "Hollywood North: Johnny Depp to film Richard Says Goodbye in Vancouver". The Vancouver Sun. Postmedia Network. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
- ^"SIX Season 2 & Dragged Across Concrete Start Filming in BC". What's Filming?. July 18, 2017. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
- ^"Dragged Across Concrete DVD". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
- ^"Dragged Across Concrete Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
- ^"Dragged Across Concrete Blu-ray U.K."Blu-ray.com. Retrieved January 28, 2020.
- ^"Dragged Across Concrete (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 27, 2021.
- ^"Dragged Across Concrete reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
- ^"Razzie Awards: 'Cats,' 'Rambo: Last Blood,' 'Madea Family Funeral' Lead With 8 Nods Each | Hollywood Reporter". www.hollywoodreporter.com.
- ^"RAZZ NEWZ". The Razzies!.
- ^Pooley, Jack (February 8, 2020). "Razzies 2020: 10 Nominees That Make No Sense". WhatCulture.com.
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- Songs from 1927
Actually, what’s happening is much simpler: we forget to think of Henry as a lead because he isn’t written as one. Not in a genuine sense, anyway. He isn’t a character; he’s insurance—a callout to exactly that “different perspective” Zahler wants to tout. But in the first place, Henry is part and parcel of the film’s broader problems. He’s an ex-con fresh out of prison who’s got a little brother in a wheelchair (setting right whatever happened to his brother is what got Henry arrested in the first place) and a mother who’s been turning tricks to make ends meet. Henry gets hired with a partner, Biscuit, to serve as a driver for Vogelmann and his unpredictably violent henchmen during their robbery, which inevitably goes wrong.
The more genuinely provocative version of Dragged Across Concrete wouldn’t have three leads, per Zahler’s suggestion, but four: Henry’s partner, Biscuit (Michael Jai White), would be a fleshed-out character, too. The film would hinge on a more indelicate balance between two pairs of men: one white, one black, one a set of crooked cops, the other a set of crooks, navigating the fucked-up circumstances of this amoral little universe in which the worst consequences aren’t the things that happen to you in the broader world, but rather the things you’re compelled to do to yourself. The trouble you’re bound to get into.
The unevenness between these two pairs isn’t a flaw: it’s Zahler’s deliberate engineering, and as such, it’s telling. As partners, Ridgeman and Lurasetti are a closed circuit. They work together; they’re punished together. Their mutual pressures to persist on this mission are as headstrong and stupid as they are inevitable and, somehow, psychologically necessary. It’s hard to imagine men like these having both pressing personal needs and the means—the power—to fulfill those needs, yet somehow still not doing so. Didn’t you hear what Ridgeman’s wife said? Their daughter—who’s essentially being playground-bullied, nothing more—might get raped. No wonder dad is out to rob crooks! That’s the lesson of the early scene on the balcony: these officers are fueled by the sense that a job needs to get done, and that the straightforward solution—the stuff that they already know works—is a lot cozier than playing by the rules.
You sense all this because Zahler, a talented writer, is working with two exceptional lead actors whose jadedness is, by this point, meta-text, who breathe and batter a grizzled overcurrent of empowered cynicism into their roles thanks to writing that supports it. But where does that leave Henry and Biscuit, their moral counterpoints? The two cops get comparatively lush backstories and pointed motivations, the two black crooks get bland stereotypes (mouths to feed, a mom who’s turned to sex work, yadda yadda) instead of personalities. Where the two cops get beefy mouthfuls of grease-stained language to play with and spacious scenes that so deliberately take their time you can almost feel your pulse slow—the two black crooks get a corny monologue about a childhood birthday party, a palliative meant to calm them down when things go haywire. But if they’re good enough to be hired for a job by a master criminal like Vogelmann, why are they so easily shook?
It isn’t arbitrary. You can feel the wheels of diminished accountability turning during some of Henry and Biscuits’ scenes—the sense that if Zahler treats these black characters “fairly,” the audience might read moral complication into the film, just enough for its defenders to say you can’t boil it all down to a MAGA worldview. You can’t boil the movie down to a MAGA worldview, but that’s not because a couple of black guys get speaking roles.
Zahler wants to have it both ways. The problem isn’t that Vince Vaughn’s character casually spits out racist asides about drinking dark roast on M.L.K. Day—it’s that Zahler gives this guy a black girlfriend who, among other things, takes her boyfriend’s involvement in a racist police incident curiously in stride. The problem isn’t that Ridgeman and his wife jump to the illogically racist conclusion that their daughter is at risk of rape by black thugs—it’s that Zahler’s premise depends on our believing that black kids in the neighborhood would really attack a white girl who’s the child of cops. Which further depends on our believing that a not-vehement but still racist and violent white cop, as Zahler characterizes him, would wait for his daughter to be attacked five times before doing something about it. And it depends on our believing that “doing something about it” would be a low-grade scheme to steal enough money to move to a better neighborhood rather than, say, raising holy terror on the blacks who’d attacked his daughter. Not anti-black violence, in other words, but measly theft. Is the guy racist or not? Who can say! He’s complex.
The movie could have subverted simplistic political takedowns by having the guts it only pretends to have, by showing us that there are bad people—not good—on both sides. But Dragged Across Concrete is energized by a dynamic in which the bad white guys get to say, do, and represent whatever repugnant worldview they want, and everyone else, as written by Zahler, just sort of absorbs it. This is a hard-boiled crime movie, but Zahler can’t seem to imagine that the people who aren’t white shitbag cops might be shitbags in their own right—that they would give their cop boyfriends a bit more shit for beating up on Latinos (or, you know, just for being a cop), for example. Even Henry, an ex-con, had "good" reasons for landing himself in jail. To what purpose, really? At the very end, when the film seems to metastasize this problem into an ironic twist, it settles for a black character showing fairness to a white cop while having little reason to believe the cop would do the same in his position. It’s a display of selflessness, of charity, that deflates the entire movie, letting it tidy up its sophomoric provocations with an act of generosity straight out of the bushido code. Is black nobility really preferable to gangbanger archetypes in what is, top to bottom, a movie about awful people? I thought this was a crime movie.
Why does Zahler hedge? He wants to appear bold enough to write and direct a provocative movie about racist cops—personae non gratae so far as liberal culture is concerned. Yet it's worth wondering whether he's bold enough to stage those provocations, and the conflicts they’d incite, within the movie itself. He’s bold enough to have his characters assail us with racist ideas—but God forbid anyone within the film react. He wants antiheroes to get to talk about blacks and Latinos as if they are implicitly threats to white hero cops’ well-being. But he tells on himself when he hesitates to explore whether this might really be true, whether Ridgeman and Lurasetti really ought to be covering their asses from exactly those people—which would have made this movie dangerous enough to live up to the hype. These guys have fashioned their city into a wild West where they, formerly the law, are now the outlaws. Which means: no rules. In a give-no-fucks genre such as this one, you’d rightly expect the black characters to give equally few fucks. Zahler, not his officers, is the one covering his ass in the end.