Michael Sauter
December 01, 1995 AT 05:00 AM EST

First Degree

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
performer
Leslie Hope, Rob Lowe
director
Jeff Woolnough
genre
Mystery and Thriller

We gave it an C+

Cop investigates rich man’s murder, falls for beautiful widow, loses moral bearings, and heads for tragedy. That’s the predictable story in First Degree, a made-for-cable noir knockoff, which is coolly stylized on the surface — and trite to the core. Trite, that is, until some lulu plot twists and a climax that’s surprising only in the degree of its shameless contrivance. Rob Lowe is out of his depth as the hard-boiled detective, while Leslie Hope (Talk Radio) is implacably coy as the femme futile. Even if they were the first movie couple to do it standing up in an alley, there’d be no body heat here. C-

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