Colors (1988) - Rotten Tomatoes


Colors (1988)



Critic Consensus: Colors takes a hard-hitting yet nuanced look at urban gang violence, further elevated by strong performances from a pair of well-matched leads.

Colors Videos

Colors Photos

Movie Info

Colors stars Robert Duvall and Sean Penn as partners on the LAPD's gang crime division. Duvall had hoped to spend more time with his family, but he's pulled back into active service because of a step-up in gang activity. He makes no secret of his contempt for his novice partner Penn, but eventually comes to rely on the younger man as a valuable street contact. The central crisis is the battle for supremacy between the "Crips" and the "Bloods", with every effort to call a truce stymied by the gang members themselves and by undue police intervention.

Watch it now


Robert Duvall
as Officer Bob Hodges
Sean Penn
as Officer Danny McGavin
Randy Brooks
as Ron Delaney
Grand L. Bush
as Larry Sylvester
Glenn Plummer
as Clarence Brown, `High Top'
Rudy Ramos
as Melindez
Virgil Frye
as Sheriff Foster
Jack Nance
as Officer Samuels
Brian Davies
as Robert Craig
Sherman Augustus
as Officer Porter
as Rita Gallegos
Brandon Bluhm
as Tommie Hodges
Mark Booker
as Young Crip
Eugene Collier
as Young Crip
Ron Boyd
as Cop at Sharon's
Verda Bridges
as CRASH Secretary
R.D. Call
as Rusty Baines
Lawrence Cook
as Officer Young
Brian Davis
as Robert Craig
Marianne Diaz-Parton
as Rita Gallegos
Howard Mungo
as Man at Recreation Center
Nay K. Dorsey
as Man at Recreation Center
Roy A. Nunez
as CRASH Officer
Ted Markland
as CRASH Officer
Dennis "Chicago" Fanning
as C.R.A.S.H. Officer
Tomas Goros
as Phillip
Trysh Jefferson
as Young Girl
Annie Joe Edwards
as Shouting Woman
as Killer-Bee
Tina Lifford
as Mrs. Craig
Mario López
as Felipe's Friend
Lawrence Low
as Cop at Car Wreck
Roberto Martin Marquez
as Grieving Husband
Shawn McLemore
as Willie Wright
Lawrence Lowe
as Cop at Car Wreck
Micole Mercurio
as Joan Hodges
Nigel Miguel
as Snakedance
Allan Moore
as Shooter
Ray Oriel
as Homeboy
Roger Vernon Pamplin Jr.
as Fighting Inmate
Kim Pawlik
as Officer
Anthony Pena
as Traffic Officer
Frances E. Nealy
as Neighbor Woman
Daniela Piquet
as Bird's Girlfriend
Tee Rodgers
as Dr. Feelgood
Richard Rust
as Hearing Officer
Sharon Schaffer
as Crip Girl
Ara Thorpe
as Sharon Robbins
Tony Todd
as Vietnam Vet
John Zenda
as Officer Rutley
Johnny Marr
as Musician
Glen Plummer
as Clarence 'High Top' Brown
Jo Marie Payton
as Woman #2 at Recreation Center
Paula Bellamy
as Woman #1 at Recreation Center
View All

News & Interviews for Colors

Critic Reviews for Colors

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (8)

I expected more from Hopper as a director, at least something different from the tried-and-true formula pictures.

August 16, 2021 | Full Review…

Colors is a solidly crafted depiction of some current big-city horrors and succeeds largely because of the Robert Duvall-Sean Penn teaming as frontline cops. They're terrific together as members of the gang crime division of the LAPD.

March 26, 2009 | Full Review…

Never as eccentric as The Last Movie or Out of the Blue, Colors nevertheless makes most other cop movies look formulary by comparison.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…

Though its story has the makings of standard stuff, and is sometimes sketchily told, nothing about 'Colors is ordinary.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/4

It's an exhilarating sparring match between Duvall's workmanlike fine-tuning and Penn's raw energy.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

There's great pleasure in watching these two actors work. And Hopper, a great actor himself, knows what they need to thrive.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Colors


Good cop film, nothing special about the film if you watch it now, back then it had more of an impact. Good acting and screenplay.

Lenny Muggsy
Lenny Muggsy

Super Reviewer

A film with issues, still very relevant today, yet dated by the music and clothing. I particularly like the relationship between Penn and Duval, a great rookie film.

Lady D'arbanville
Lady D'arbanville

Super Reviewer


A explosive, shocking, unsettling and heart-pounding drama. Thrilling, frequently exciting and all the way exhilerating. Gritty and realistic. Robert Duvall and Sean Penn are excellent. Their performances are truly brilliant and satisfying.

Al S
Al S

Super Reviewer

Colors Quotes

News & Features