Q & A
Following Serpico (1973) and Prince of the City (1981), veteran urban crime film director Sidney Lumet completed a thematic trilogy about New York City police corruption with this noir drama. When New York City cop Mike Brennan (Nick Nolte) shoots an unarmed Hispanic drug dealer in cold blood, he quickly plants a gun on his victim and manufactures some eyewitness testimony. D.A. Kevin Quinn (Patrick O'Neal) calls in his assistant district attorney, Al Reilly (Timothy Hutton), to conduct a perfunctory investigation of the incident, but Brennan's obvious guilt during a question and answer session makes Reilly dig deeper. The crusading lawyer is soon uncovering a web of corruption that reaches from Brennan into Quinn's office. At the same time, Reilly learns that his ex-girlfriend Nancy Bosch (Jenny Lumet, the director's daughter), is now dating his chief witness, Puerto Rican drug dealer Bobby Texador (Armand Assante). Q&A (1990) was based on the novel by Edwin Torres, a New York State Supreme Court judge whose two other novels were later adapted into the film Carlito's Way (1993). Lumet would again return to the subject of New York's corrupt criminal justice system with Night Falls on Manhattan (1997).