‘A Cops and Robbers Story’ Review: Keep Your Enemies Closer

This documentary follows a police officer who rose through the ranks while concealing his criminal past.

Corey Pegues, the subject of the slim and sober documentary “A Cops and Robbers Story,” started in law enforcement in 1992, eventually becoming a commanding officer in his 20-year career with the New York City Police Department. But as a Black officer, Pegues was often treated with suspicion by his fellow policemen, who would snidely comment that he was too close to the community he was patrolling.

What these officers didn’t know was that Pegues had once been part of a drug gang in Queens known as the Supreme Team. When he trained new officers, his presentations included criminal data on his own friends and former associates. Pegues was, in effect, living a double life.

Pegues’s story is told through photographs, home videos and, most significantly, through present-day interviews with him, his family, friends and former contacts in both the police department and among members of the Supreme Team. The director, Ilinca Calugareanu, also includes re-enactments to stage the dramatic episodes from Pegues’s life, such as his failed attempt to shoot and kill a man.

The re-enactments are attractively filmed, with stark cinematography and colorful costume choices. But their inclusion disrupts the flow of the narrative, often looping back to demonstrate scenes that have already been explained.

The repetition of verbal and visual storytelling points to the limited scope of this film. “A Cops and Robbers Story” explores Pegues’s split loyalties, but the talking head interviews tend to isolate characters whose very intimacy is the subject of the film. If the central problem of Pegues’s life was that his past and present could never interact, the documentary replicates rather than resolves this tension.

A Cops and Robbers Story
Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 24 minutes. In theaters and available to rent or buy on Apple TV, Google Play and other streaming platforms and pay TV operators.

Source: Movies -


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