Ethan Hawke’s first day with the LAPD drugs squad turns into a lesson in corruption, robbery and murder on eye-opening drive around the tougher side of town with veteran cop Denzel Washington.

In an Oscar-winning performance, Washington is terrific as a brutal, duplicitious, crude and unlikeable character who seems to know everything there is to know about undercover police work – and more.

However, his increasingly bizarre behaviour means that Hawke is soon wondering whether he’s sitting next to a psychotic maniac rather than a model cop.

The clever way in which we are made to share Hawke’s puzzled point of view generates a huge amount of suspense and the pivotal, coincidence-driven twist makes the movie.