Deep Cover

Synopsis: A black uniformed policeman is recruited by a devious drug enforcement agent to infiltrate a smuggling organization seeking to expand into designer drugs. This 'ugly side of the war on drugs' explores the context of race, identity and hypocrisy within a brutal and alienating investigation.
Director(s): Bill Duke
  4 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
107 min

So gather around

as I run it down...

and unravel my pedigree.

My father...

was a junkie.

Don't you never do this sh*t,

you hear me?

this is bad sh*t.

Yeah, OK.

Don't you never be like me,

all right?

Don't do it.

What you want for Christmas?

l don't know.

You don't know?

Boy, you better know

what you want.

Else, how do you expect

to get what you want...

lf you don't know what you want?

-I'll be right back.

-Daddy, don't go!

No, man, don't.

Come on, I'm sorry, boy.

You know

you're my main little n*gger.

You go--you go...

Get out of here, man.

give to the poor.

Let's go, come on.


Merry God damn Christmas, kid!

You been a good boy, huh?


Don't teach my boy

that fairy tale elf sh*t!

did you see?

I'm sorry.

The money.

My father,

when I saw him die like that--

saw him find his grave

in the snow--

l only had one thought.

lt wasn't going to happen to me.

Tell me,

do you know the difference...

between a black man

and a n*gger?

Most n*ggers don't.

Next, please.

Good morning. Have a seat.

So tell me, Officer Winston...

what's the difference...

between a black man

and a n*gger?

Who the f*** do you think

you're talking to?

Right. Thanks for coming in.

So, Officer Stevens...

tell me, do you know

the difference...

between a black man

and a n*gger?

The n*gger's the one that wouldn't

even answer that question.

Most undercover cops

don't know what they're doing...

because it's a day gig.

I'm looking for somebody

who wlll go under...

and stay under--

six months, a year, five years.

What does he have to do?

Buy drugs, sell drugs...

set up the people

that I want to bust.

No. He's a snitch.

He's a drug dealer.

He's a criminal, he's a scumbag.

But most importantly...

he's a scumbag

for the right side.

You'll be on loan to the DEA...

and you'll report

directly to me.

l've stayed away from this

kind of stuff all my life...

drugs and stuff.

l've never even had a drink.

l never have, and I never will.

Because your father was

killed robbing a liquor store...

when you were ten years old?

I'm God. I know everything.

Why did you join the force?

Because I wanted to be

of some use...

to make a difference somehow.

Have you ever seen

your psychological profile?

You score almost exactly

like a criminal.

Look at this.

''Resents authority.

''Rigid moral code...

''but with no underlying

system of values.

''lnsufficiently developed

sense of self.''

Look at all the rage...

look at all

the repressed violence.

I'm telling you, undercover...

all your faults

will become virtues.

You'll be a star there, John.

You'll do a lot more good

there than in uniform.

You will be of use.

You will make a difference.

Those guys...

after work, they went home

to their wife and kids.

Then one day on the street,

they forgot where they were...

and now they're dead.

But you'll never go home...

so you won't forget.

Because there's only one rule

in this game, John--

don't blow your cover.

l didn't want the assignment.

l sat there

the whole interview...

thinking that if I took it...

lt would be the biggest mistake

of my life.

And I was right.

I'm looking for a room.

So you see?

That's what's wrong--

there's just

no imagination these days.

Hey, bessino!

That's Belinda Chacon...

and if you want my opinion...

you'll stay away

from that b*tch.

lf you want to get anywhere

in drug enforcement...

don't bother

with street dealers.

You take one of them out...

there's ten more

to take their place.

Go after the big guys...

try to knock out

the big networks.

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Michael Tolkin

Michael L. Tolkin (born October 17, 1950) is an American filmmaker and novelist. He has written numerous screenplays, including The Player (1992), which he adapted from his novel of the same name (1988), and for which he received the Edgar Award for Best Motion Picture Screenplay (1993). The Return of the Player, followed (2006). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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