Q & A (1990)

R   |    |  Crime, Drama, Thriller

Q & A (1990) Poster

A young district attorney seeking to prove a case against a corrupt police detective encounters a former lover and her new protector, a crime boss who refuses to help him in this gritty ... See full summary »

Add this title to your Watchlist
Save movies and shows to keep track of what you want to watch.




  • Timothy Hutton in Q & A (1990)
  • Timothy Hutton and Nick Nolte in Q & A (1990)
  • Nick Nolte in Q & A (1990)
  • Armand Assante and Luis Guzmán in Q & A (1990)
  • Timothy Hutton and Nick Nolte in Q & A (1990)
  • Sidney Lumet in Q & A (1990)

See all photos

More of What You Love

Find what you're looking for even quicker with the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review

User Reviews

29 April 2010 | agsconnolly
| Stuck between greatness and clunkiness
Q & A is one of the most enigmatic films I've seen. It veers drastically between exceptionally good and oddly clunky and sometimes threatens to be pretty poor – and not necessarily in that order. It follows an investigation into a shooting by Michael Brennan, an experienced and ferociously tough police officer played magnificently by Nick Nolte in his pomp. The investigation is conducted by Timothy Hutton, who is a true revelation (to me, at least) as an almost equally tough, but mostly non-violent, lawyer. The situation is muddied by a shady drug-runner (Armand Assante) and a manipulative senior officer (Patrick O'Neal).

The introduction to Nolte's character is fabulous scene-setting, as he holds court with fellow officers regarding some previous rough-housing of a suspect. The Brennan profile is deep and somewhat mysterious – we like him, we hate him, we are disgusted by him….and we want to see more of him. Speaking of which, the film could have benefited from more interplay between Nolte and Hutton. Hutton's brilliantly understated resilience to the aggression of Nolte and Assante, is a surprise and adds a true edginess to the film. Unfortunately, the same can't be said of the very clunky love interest Hutton has with Assante's mistress – we discover they are former lovers who split up over some fairly tenuous business about her father being black. The continued revisiting of this strained relationship is weak and uses time that one feels could be better served building the Brennan character or at least promoting the Nolte/Hutton feud.

Other questionable points in the film concern the various plot turns that are almost casually thrown in and, whilst we don't lose track of proceedings, one feels we could have been given a better idea of how the characters arrive in certain situations. In short, by occasionally rushing things, Q & A often has you wondering if it's a bad film.

But there are some moments that are truly great – various scenes with Nolte, and a short office tantrum by Hutton towards the end. You certainly feel that if this film featured more high profile actors it would be considered much more significant than it is currently. I would recommend Q & A to anyone simply for the performances of Nolte and Hutton – and obviously to fans of gritty cop dramas, who will love it anyway.

Critic Reviews

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Can't Get Enough of "Barry"

The "Game of Thrones" star loves all things HBO, and shares why two of their shows top his Watchlist.

What is Nikolaj watching?

Featured on IMDb

Check out our guide to superheroes, horror movies, and more.

Around The Web


Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com