Bad Lieutenant

A police Lieutenant goes about his daily tasks of investigating homicides, but is more interested in pursuing his vices. He has accumulated a massive debt betting on baseball, and he keeps doubling to try to recover. His bookies are beginning to get agitated. The Lieutenant does copious amounts of drugs, cavorts with prostitutes, and uses his status to take advantage of teenage girls. While investigating a nun's rape, he begins to reflect on his lifestyle.


Please answer the following questions in your journals;

  1. Is the lieutentant a bad person? If so, what makes him bad?
  2. Is the lieutentant looking for redemption? How does he try to find it?
  3. What feelings do you have for the lieutenant? Did you feel as though you were his friend or enemy while watching the movie? Were you disgusted by him or did you have empathy for him?

  4. The moive uses the literary technique of 'magical realism' (when the lieutentant and Jesus meet at the church and he is handed goblet). Do you think this event in the film changed the lieutentant, or is he just as bad after?

  5. Consideing the outcome of the movie's final scenes, does the lieutentant become Jesus, or someone whose problems became too big for them?

  6. How did you feel after watching this film?
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