Cop Car (2015) Film Review by Gareth Rhodes

Cop Car (2015) Directed by Jon Watts. With Kevin Bacon, Hays Wellford and James Freedson-Jackson.


Based on title alone, Jon Watts’s Cop Car isn’t a film that’s going all out to sell itself, but, with Kevin Bacon playing ‘bad cop’ and a running time of just over 80-mins, what we have is a tight, strikingly-shot little crime-thriller, reminiscent of an episode of the recent Fargo TV-series. Watts co-writes and directs, introducing us to characters using the bare minimum of back-story while leaning back on visual storytelling as the audience is allowed to imagine what has led to the events the film opens with.

Right off the bat, there’s a ‘Stand By Me’ feel, as we meet two mischievous young boys walking through a field, playing some kind of call-and-answer game of swear words. Initially, it’s an amusing intro, but it isn’t long before they make an unusual discovery, which sets the tone of what is to come.

Without giving too much away, their day crosses paths with Kevin Bacon’s Sheriff Kretzer, a cop on the wrong side of the law. In recent years, Bacon has enjoyed sending himself up in commercials for mobile-phone companies, and in a moment, we’re quickly reminded what a beguiling screen presence he is, as he reaches to the dark side to reveal a not-so enthusiastic need to ‘serve and protect’. Partly due to the events that transpire, there’s something inherently comical about Bacon’s portrayal (the 70’s moustache helps), so much so that in the balance of things, we’re invited to root for him, to a point.

As well as some beautifully composed wide shots of skies and cars on roads, there’s a smart anti-gun message woven into the story, which isn’t heavy-handed, but one that clearly states a point by way of what occurs. While it was never destined to change the world, win awards or break the internet, Cop Car is nevertheless a film you could quite easily miss, and that’d be a shame. 3.5/5


About garethrhodes

Full-time lover of all things creative.
This entry was posted in Film Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Cop Car (2015) Film Review by Gareth Rhodes

  1. Dude the cleaner says:

    Thank you for this one, funny thing there are a lot of critics that did not like it but the film did not make it to France, how ever a French critic review it so I hope it is coming soon. Nice review. You mean that 70’s porno actor mustache. LOL.

  2. I think I have only ever seen Bacon in the EE adverts and I’ve never really thought of him as a very serious actor based on these and more an actor who would suit comedy. But it does sound you’re being very complimentary of this film. And I really want to know what those boys find (and I loved stand by me). Mental note made to keep an eye out for it

  3. Zoë says:

    I should really get to this already. Great review!

  4. Marta says:

    I keep reading good things about this film.
    Good review Gareth!

  5. Matt says:

    Oh nice, I saw a preview for this once a few months ago and never thought about it again. I will have to check it out. I especially like when you mention a bare minimum of backstory. I think a lot of movies today spend too much time on backstory.

  6. Dan O. says:

    Good review Gareth. Does so much, with so little. So great.

  7. Very much enjoyed this one – a hidden gem from last year. Good review.

  8. Jay says:

    I missed this one a bunch of times, guess it was always too low on my list of priorities.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s