Terence McDonagh (Nicolas Cage), is a hard working detective from New York recently relocated to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. He's good at his job, receives many honors and even risks his life jumping in to save a prisoner from uprising water levels, against his partner's Stevie Pruit (Val Kilmer), wishes. In doing so, he causes damage to his spine now requiring Vicaten on a regular basis. But the drug just wets his appetite and he finds himself wanting more. He uses his badge and gun to hassle small time users where he knows he can score. This one clean cop now steals the drugs he's supposed to turn in.
Terrence is assigned to a crime scene where a family was brutally murdered. He uncovers one witness that can identify the killers. Problem is, there is no evidence to pin the killers to the crime so he desperately needs to find this witness who manages to evade him. He knows he's looking for "Big Fate" Donald Godshaw (Alvin Xzibit), but now that his only witness is gone, Terrence decides if you can't beat them join them. He'll help Godshaw out by alerting him if the police are on to him. This way Godshaw can run his business safely and Terrence can score his drugs and some extra dough to pay off debts with his bookie (Brad Dourif).
In love with a hooker named Frankie Donnenfield (Eva Mendes), Terrance also supplies her habit while she supplies his needs. Together he and Frankie, have robbed some of her clients in order to supply their addictions. But they may have just messed with the wrong person when money and drugs are taken from one of Frankie's clients, a hood named Dave (William M. Finkelstein). But working with Godshaw, dodging thugs, feeding his addiction and trying to do his job might be too much for even this bad lieutenant.
2009 - Toronto Film Critics Association - Best Actor
Nu Image/Millennium Films, Edward R. Pressman Film Corporation, First Look Pictures
Director: Werner Herzog
Writer: William M. Finkelstein
Producers: Gabe Polsky, Stephen Belafonte, Edward R. Pressman