This convoluted crime drama lacks both the art and the edge of a solid noir, but its raunchy sex scenes, intricate story line, and decent lead performances should satisfy genre aficionados. Ellen Barkin gets to indulge her nasty side as a profit-motivated bad gal with a few residual scruples, while Laurence Fishburne gives a typically modulated performance in an equally seedy co-lead role. Supporting player David Ogden Stiers actually gives the best performance as a proud judge fallen on hard times. Bad Company really isn't an actors' showcase, however; it's a moderately successful meditation on old-fashioned greed, pure and simple. Ross Thomas's screenplay doesn't have too many new things to say about the subject, but it does serve up perennial themes with plenty of plot twists. Fans of the writer's novels will enjoy the many throwaway ideas he threads into his work here. Overall, though, Bad Company is the cinematic equivalent of an airport paperback: fine to consume if you're bored or captive, but nothing you should go out of your way to check out.
by Brian J. Dillard review