Rampart chronicles the decline of a police officer in the notorious Rampart Division of the LAPD in the late 1990s. Although it's billed as a genre film, it's not driven by character or narrative in any conventional sense, instead opting for neorealist procedural, anchored in incidental, observational treatment of daily routine. In fact, what's powerful about the film is how unshaken this daily routine is by the swathe of accusations and allegations brought against Sergeant Dave Brown (Woody Harrelson), suggesting something more intractable or inextricable than the corruption in his department, something that extends to the other characters, who rotate with the washed-out, opaque languor of an Altman cast. At this level, Oren Moverman offers something more like a portrait of LA, or a portrait of the Rampart Division as a synecdoche for LA, finding some common denominator of analog awkwardness between Homicide: Life On The Street and Cops. As Moverman harshens the sound, blurs the visuals, and generally emphasises the disjunction between them, the film gradually feels like waking up from a hangover, or breaking the surface of an over-chlorinated pool, putting the audience in the uncomfortable, if not uninteresting position of continually trying to blink something out of their eyes, or shake something out of their ears. It's in this disjunction that the film works most beautifully, as Moverman and screenwriter James Ellroy transform their particular brand of ambience into something approaching a period piece - a vision of LA on the cusp of streamlined technological integration, but, for now, jamming and spluttering like a temperamental dial-up connection.