"In a completely different stylistic vein, “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans,” which co-stars Eva Mendes as the coked-up call-girl lover of the anti-hero, reminded me of Orson Welles’ great “Touch of Evil.” Neither film really cares about who killed whom, or why. Their mixture of tones, from anguish to irony to grotesque slapstick to pathos, borders on the sociopathic or, at their peaks, the ecstatic.
Herzog’s achievement is far more modest than Welles’, but both swan dives into the cesspool ask the question: What happens when the enforcer becomes the exploiter? Without cheapening the memory of Katrina, Herzog sends McDonagh into a downward spiral, in a city struggling to pull itself out of the drain. Ferrara’s ’92 “Bad Lieutenant” is steeped in Catholic guilt; Herzog’s is steeped in nondenominational hypocrisy. Cage is a gas; the movie’s a peculiar, lingering variation on the themes of corruption and addiction. Herzog has made a film to join his “Grizzly Man” and “Encounters at the End of the World” in a fruitful decade of obsessional portraits."
-- Michael Phillips, from an ecstatic review of Werner Herzog's THE BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF NEW ORLEANS, 11/19/2009