Above the Law (1988) - Rotten Tomatoes

Above the Law1988

Above the Law (1988)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Above the Law Photos

Movie Info

Directed by future Fugitive helmsman Andrew Davis, Above the Law is one of a handful of Steven Seagal films with an appeal extending beyond Seagal's hardcore fans. Making his feature film debut, the star plays a Vietnam vet-turned-Chicago cop (what a parlay!) who uncovers an insidious conspiracy when he plans a major drug bust. The FBI tells him to forget the bust-on direct orders from the CIA. The plot is essentially an excuse for Seagal to smash heads and kick butt at the slightest provocation; still, it is not so much the violence content as the film's depiction of drug users that earned Above the Law an R rating. All this, and Pam Grier and Sharon Stone too!

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Steven Seagal
as Nico Toscani
Pam Grier
as Delores Jackson
Sharon Stone
as Sara Toscani
Ron Dean
as Lukich
Miguel Nino
as Chi Chi
Nicholas Kusenko
as Agent Neeley
Chelcie Ross
as Nelson Fox
Thalmus Rasulala
as Deputy Superintendent Crowder
Gregory Alan Williams
as Agent Halloran
Jack Wallace
as Uncle Branca
Joseph Kosala
as Lt. Strozah
John Drummond
as TV Reporter
Ronnie Barron
as CIA Bartender
Metta Davis
as Rosa Toscani
Gene Barge
as Detective Henderson
Danny Goldring
as Zagon's Aide
Mike James
as Officer O'Hara
India Cooper
as Sanctuary Nun
Henry Godinez
as Father Tomasino
Joe D. Lauck
as Senator Harrison
Cheryl Hamada
as Watanabe
Ralph Foody
as Federal Clerk
Toni Fleming
as Grandma Zingaro
Rom Milanovich
as Man in Bar
Le Tuan
as Interpreter
Chantara Nop
as Cambodian Irregular
Al Rasho
as Grocery Owner
Mike Coglianese
as Branca's Bodyguard
Sandy Holt
as Hostess
Mike Nakayama
as NEC Show Rep
Zaid Farid
as Street Dude
Juan Ramírez
as Machete Man
Mario Nieves
as Man with Gun
Terry Stewart
as Machete Man's Buddy
Lisa Tejero
as Refugee Woman
Chris Karchmar
as Refugee Man
Clare Peck
as Judge Alspaugh
April Tran
as Asian Prisoner
Dennis Phun
as Asian Prisoner
Anthony Cannata
as Wiseguy Hitman
Gary Goldman
as CIA Interrogator
Lee de Broux
as CIA Interrogator
Patrick Gorman
as CIA Interrogator
Michael Rooker
as Man in Bar
Dan Janecek
as Man in Bar
Tom Muzila
as Aikido Fighter
Tom Milanovich
as Man in Bar
Craig Dunn
as Aikido Fighter
Gene Hartline
as Man in Bar
Joe V. Greco
as Father Joseph Gennaro
Nick Kusenko
as FBI Agent Neeley
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Critic Reviews for Above the Law

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (4)

It's yet another variant on the theme of the rogue cop (martial arts division) who abandons his badge to clean up some dirty work in the neighbourhood.

August 16, 2021 | Full Review…

Woefully short on originality, intelligibility and anything resembling taste.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

It contains 50 percent more plot than it needs, but that allows it room to grow in areas not ordinarily covered in action thrillers.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Fortunately for democracy, nothing can stop Nico, who looks like Sylvester Stallone poured into the mould that produced Robert Valentino.

August 16, 2021 | Full Review…

Above the Law has enough off-beat updates on the cops-and-robbers theme to at least make the film visually interesting most of the time.

October 9, 2016 | Full Review…

...the overstuffed narrative contributes heavily to the movie's eventual downfall...

January 20, 2016 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Above the Law

sets the stage for what every other seagal film would be for me - entertaining and fun to watch, a guilty pleasure, although the same as every other film he has ever made in most regards. overall, i love this movie.

danny d
danny d

Super Reviewer


After watching it again, I realised that there was more to this film than a typical Seagal flick. For starters, its his first major hit and it also set the standard for the 90's cop thriller drama. Dont expect this to be an action movie, its a cold hard thriller with Seagal for the first time showing his red hot temper and devestating his opponents as he battles a shadowy CIA group dealing drugs and weapons from South America and into the US. Framed, harrassed and finally marked for assassination, Seagal plays Nico, a diamond hard cop and special ops veteran who crosses the path of his old enemies from Vietnam and the black group who believe themselves to be untouchable. With a good cast and helmed by Andrew Davis (Under Seige and The Fugitive) it is a plot worth thinking about as you dont know how the pieces fit together until the latter part of the movie, so its not a typical dmub story, its got meaning and a moral, which is expressed through Seagal's script and narrative. Very modern and slicker than your average movie, this one is worth watching, dont dismiss it as a cheap Seagal flick, its probably one of his best.

Khris N
Khris N

Super Reviewer

Seagal's first starring role with a very impressive cast led by Blaxploitation-veteran Pam Grier as his long-suffering partner, Sharon Stone as his wife and Rat Pack hangaround Henry de Silva as the bad guy. A good movie and a sign of things to come for Aikido-legend Seagal - at least until he did Under Seige 2.

Derek Daniels
Derek Daniels

Super Reviewer

Above the Law Quotes

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