Review: ‘The Seven Five’ a slick documentary on corrupt New York cop

‘The Seven Five’

From left, Chicky, Michael Dowd, Kenny Eurell, and Walter Yurkiw in Tiller Russell’s “The Seven Five.”

(Sundance Selects )

It would be hard to imagine a more entertaining corrupt-cop documentary than “The Seven Five,” a slick and fascinating portrait of disgraced New York policeman Michael Dowd.

In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Dowd was an officer at Brooklyn’s 75th Precinct, situated in a particularly rough neighborhood that led the city in homicides and police shootings.

Director Tiller Russell relates an evocative tale of cocaine-fueled temptation and greed, interspersing footage from a 1993 hearing for Dowd (who was sentenced to 14 years) with new interviews with the seemingly unrepentant Dowd, his former partner and contemporaries on both sides of the law.

The cocky Dowd’s systematic progression from cop on the take to drug trafficker is choreographed with the sort of verve and gusto that gave Billy Corben’s 2006 Miami-based documentary, “Cocaine Cowboys,” a similar rock ‘n’ roll style.


With a wildly colorful cast of characters (especially the swagger-ific drug lord Adam Diaz) and sound bites (“Forget Beverly Hills … the ghetto is one of the richest neighborhoods there is!”), there’s no missing that “The Seven Five” would make one swell Hollywood movie.

Just ask Sony Pictures, which has just enlisted “Get Shorty” screenwriter Scott Frank to work on its upcoming feature adaptation.


“The Seven Five”


MPAA rating: R for language, grisly crime scene images, drug content.

Running time: 1 hour, 44 minutes.

Playing: Sundance Sunset, Los Angeles.

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