Ralph Potts reviews this engaging and eclectic thriller about a small town sheriff that sets out to find the two kids who have taken his patrol car on a joy ride.
Studio and Year:
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Universal - 2015
Feature running time:
English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
English SDH, Spanish, French
Kevin Bacon, Camryn Manheim, Shea Whigham, James Freedson-Jackson, Hays Wellford
Jon Watts & Christopher Ford
Blu-ray Disc release Date:
September 29, 2015
"Their first drive could be their last"
A pair of ten-year-olds find an abandoned cop car in a field. When they take it for a joyride, it seems like they could kill themselves at any moment. But things only get worse when the small town sheriff goes looking for his missing car. The kids find themselves in the center of a deadly game of cat and mouse they don't understand and the only way out is to go as fast as their cop car can take them.
One of the things that I really enjoy about reviewing movies is coming across films that you expect little from, that turn out to be quite entertaining. Cop Car
is just such and film. It's a small film both in scope and narrative it tells an overtly simple tale that proves quite engaging. The script, co-written by director Jon Watts, has the feel of a short story, eschewing upfront character/plot development in favor of an escalating plotline involving two unassuming boys that on a whim, opt to throw caution to the wind.
What follows is a grimly chilling, and at times, darkly comedic thriller that plays out via a tautly paced, moment to moment series of events that play out through to the end. I would rather not reveal any details other than to say that the story's suspense and unanswered questions are what helps to make it entertaining to watch. Seeking answers isn't the way to watch Cop Car
. Instead just go with it and root for the outcome that you'd expect although you may not get it. This isn't a perfect film by any stretch, but that didn't keep me from enjoying nearly every minute. Kevin Bacon is at his dastardly best (mustache and all) and the two young lads that get the lion's share of screen time absolutely make the most of it.
For genre fans that enjoy a film that beats to the tune of a different drum, Cop Car
is just the ticket.
The rating is for language, violence and brief drug use.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA
- DSU Rating * (non-rated element): NA
Cop Car comes to Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 34 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.4 Mbps.
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
By design this film doesn’t boast vibrant colors are eye popping visuals but the encoding appears solid. Colors have a muted level of saturation and those used are rarely bright which give the perception of a limited palette. Overall they are naturally rendered and appear to fall within the visual range intended. Fleshtones have appreciable complexional distinction but the lighting used can sometimes leave them appearing flat and lacking in texture. Blacks are respectable with above average delineation. Shadow detail is quite good which enhances visual perception during the scenes shot in limited lighting. Resolution is adequate so that varying degrees of detail can be seen in close ups but the video isn’t razor sharp or dimensionally strong. It isn’t a bright film which when coupled along with the reserved chromatic scheme gives it a dull finish. This seems to coincide with the creative decisions of the filmmakers and results in stable imagery that lacks the eye popping definition that some may expect from a newer film.
The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix does a nice job rendering the film’s soundtrack. Dialogue has discerning intonation and clarity which resulted in excellent vocal reproduction. Dynamic range is respectable, providing appreciable pop to louder sounds and detectable presence to lesser ones within the soundstage. The short exchange of gunfire in the third act has solid punch and appropriate low frequency emphasis. I didn't find this to be a remarkable audio presentation but felt that is supported the film's thematic tone perfectly.
- (HD) Their first and last ride: The making of Cop Car – 3 minute featurette
- Digital HD Copy
Co-written and directed by Jon Watt, Cop Car
is a small film that tells a simple yet fundamentally gripping tale that is both engaging and entertaining. It comes to Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring faithful and satisfactory high definition audio/video mated with minimal supplement offering that consists of a bland making of feature. Cop Car
is far from traditional fare but its eclectic approach and visceral elements make for perfect fodder for discerning genre fans on the lookout for something refreshingly different.
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