Movie Review: 21 Bridges

Embattled cop, citywide chase, conspiracy theories, crooked cops? That’s what a solid formula for a crime thriller consists of usually. Those are also the elements that 21 Bridges has. Does this cop crime drama take you on a ride you want to be part of throughout? Find out below.


NYC is under a crime filled whirlwind. Leave it up to detective Andre Davis (Chadwick Boseman) to begin a citywide hunt for two cop killers. If it was only that easy. It’s not. The manhunt for two cop killers quickly turns to a game of survival for Davis as Manhattan shuts down, literally.

The opening scene sets the tone for the rest of the movie. Action packed and intense robbery gets things going. They won’t wait around to deliver a quality shootout. The stage is set for what’s to come.


When I think Chadwick Boseman, obviously Black Panther is what comes to mind immediately. Boseman is one of the best actors today, but the success of Black Panther has taken some significant focus away from his previous work and the caliber of acting he’s capable of outside the Marvel world. Anyways, Boseman is very good in the role. It’s cool to see him playing a tough and brave cop.

There is an interesting mix of actors with significant roles in the movie. Sienna Miller plays Frankie Burns, a fellow cop. Burns plays a significant role in the plot. It was initially surprising that Miller would be in this movie and play the part she did. It’s an interesting choice for her that made me a believer.

J.K. Simmons plays a police chief. Unlike Miller, this is exactly the kind of role you’d envision Simmons playing. Taylor Kitsch plays a baddie, Ray. It’s nice to see Kitsch making his comeback after a few unfortunate bad movie choices.

Very good cast all-around. This isn’t a huge blockbuster by any means, so the quality of actors is pretty impressive.


The story comes from by Adam Mervis and you can tell he’s got an understanding of NYC and the NYPD culture. The movie has a gritty New York look and feel to it.

The script doesn’t hold back. I liked how it starts out firing (no pun intended). The web of culprits grows quickly and the action starts early and doesn’t let up. I liked how this movie keeps you guessing.

The twists and turns were good enough to throw me off, but the ultimate reveal isn’t terribly shocking. The lead-up to it is convincing though.


I found it to be very engaging and entertaining. It’s a cat and mouse game that tests the limits of the lead character. At times he seems like he could be the one most in danger and should be the one that’s looking behind his back. I liked this double sided element of suspense.

This is a pretty fast paced movie that moves along dropping plot twists like a sprinkler. I actually would have liked it to take a breath and slow down at some points to set-up some of the action. You don’t get much time to think, which sort of fittingly resembles the state that Boseman’s character is in. Even though it feels kinda rushed.


I enjoyed it. If you’re a fan of action crime thrillers, you’ll get all you can ask for. It’s refreshing to see Boseman in a role like this. NYC purists will get a kick out of it also. The twists and turns are satisfactory, even if they ultimately aren’t the most surprising. It’s not spectacular or genre defining, but it’s a solid movie. 21 Bridges are just enough to get you sticking around Manhattan.

GENRE: Action, Crime, Drama


RUNTIME: 1 hr 39 min

RELEASE DATE: November 22, 2019

’21 BRIDGES’ Score: 70%

Written by Jim Alexander

Jim Alexander hails from Chicago where he started his journalism career as a film critic and founder of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle (CIFCC). He's a Rotten Tomatoes approved critic. Jim founded Reel Talker as a platform to share his love of movies and entertainment. Jim's favorite part of being a journalist is getting to meet and interview actors, filmmakers and entertainers. Jim is a host and on-camera personality for AfterBuzz TV. Aside from his work with Reel Talker, he's the site owner of the Bachelor Universe website, where he recaps and talks about all this ABC's 'The Bachelor'. He also runs the Reel Talker Podcast that can be found on iTunes. In his free time he enjoys attending sports events and playing in recreational leagues. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

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