The New York Times: "Neither remake nor sequel, this 'Bad Lieutenant' is its own special fever-swamp of a movie, an anarchist film noir that seems, at times, almost as unhinged as its protagonist."
Roger Ebert: "No one is better at this kind of performance than Nicolas Cage. He's a fearless actor. He doesn't care if you think he goes over the top. If a film calls for it, he will crawl to the top hand over hand with bleeding fingernails. Regard him in films so various as 'Wild at Heart' and 'Leaving Las Vegas.' He and Herzog were born to work together."
The Los Angeles Times: "No one is likely to classify 'Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans' as a comedy but, compared with Ferrara's tale, it's downright antic. Herzog is not the first name to leap to mind when thinking about big laughs but, next to Ferrara, he's Judd Apatow. The original film was intensely serious about itself; in the title role, Harvey Keitel went all in, hitting a record intensity level in an already intense catalog of performances."
'Bad Lieutenant' showtimes and tickets
Peter Travers: "Is redemption possible for this bad lieutenant? At one point, he orders that a dead man be shot again because "his soul is still dancing." If you find God in that line, then welcome to your movie heaven."
Variety: "If one watched this movie without knowing the identity of the director, it would admittedly be difficult to give it much credit, since it is so indifferently made, erratically acted and dramatically diffuse."
Premiere: "All madcap mannerisms and coked-up psychosis, Cage excels as the sleep-deprived, drug-addled cop, although his self-destructive character never quite plumbs the depths of Harvey Keitel's in Ferrara's cult classic."
Hollywood Reporter: "It has a seriously involved performance from Nicolas Cage as a good detective on a downward spiral of drugs and gambling; there is a lot of very black humor; and it develops, somewhat surprisingly, into something suggesting a kind of cheerful pessimism."
Entertainment Weekly: "'Bad Lieutenant' doesn't go where you expect, but it has a stubborn, trippy logic."
Village Voice: "Instead of plumbing the depths of spiritual degradation, Herzog's movie is-largely due to Cage's performance-almost fun. Shoulders hunched nearly to his ears, face contorted in a perpetual glower, the star appears to be channeling Frank Langella's Nixon. Is this shambolic maniac Herzog's idea of an American hero?"
Chicago Tribune: "Herzog is obsessed with obsessives, and Cage's character - like the movie - will work best with those who, like Herzog, have a natural antipathy for the rabble-rousing cliches of the vigilante cop genre."