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In Too Deep (1999 film)

In Too Deep is a 1999 American crime thriller film directed by Michael Rymer from a screenplay written by Michael Henry Brown and Paul Aaron. The film stars Omar Epps, LL Cool J, Stanley Tucci, Pam Grier and Nia Long.

In Too Deep
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMichael Rymer
Produced byPaul Aaron
Michael Henry Brown
Written byMichael Henry Brown
Paul Aaron
Music byChristopher Young
Edited byDany Cooper
Distributed byMiramax Films
Release date
  • August 25, 1999 (1999-08-25)
Running time
104 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$7 million
Box office$14,011,454


Jeffrey Cole (Omar Epps) is a recent graduate of the Cincinnati police academy who dreams of working undercover. Cole manages to get an undercover assignment the day of graduation and earns the praise of his superiors. He is soon given the task of taking down statewide crack dealer Dwayne Gittens (LL Cool J), an underworld boss so powerful that his nickname is "God". Gittens is known as a family man and a man of the people, contributing to his community and helping those in need. However, there is another side to him, a ruthless leader of a criminal empire who will torture or kill anyone without question. Gittens controls eighty percent of the drug traffic in Cincinnati, controls many of his opponents through bribery or intimidation, and appears to be untouchable.

Cole goes undercover, posing as a drug dealer under the name of J. Reid from Akron, Ohio. He is determined to be the man who brings down Gittens underworld empire. Cole has to prove he has street cred to gain a place in God's crew. At one point God sends Cole out on a mission with a couple of his cohorts with the intention of Cole killing a man that God wants dead. Cole chases the target but intentionally missed his shots. The crew believe he's loyal, but has bad aim. Cole eventually becomes close with one of the members of Gittens' crew, Breezy T. (Harper). Later on, Cole eludes an assassination attempt by members of Gittens' crew that he was with earlier. Cole goes to Breezy T., thinking that he was set up by Breezy or God. Once Breezy advises that he had nothing to do with that, nor did Gittens, and the guys acted on their own accord, Cole leaves.

Cole's superiors are impressed at his undercover work and how close he has gotten to Gittens, earning his trust while providing his superiors with intricate details into the organization. Cole's superior, Preston D'Ambrosio (Tucci) worries that the line between cop and bad guy is getting blurred and that both identities are becoming one. He begins to see behavioral changes in Cole, as he starts to assume the J. Reid identity, and D'Ambrosio believes that Cole is getting too far deep undercover. D'Ambrosio places Cole on forced hiatus from undercover and sends him to a place in the woods far from the city to get his head straight and re-discover himself.

During that time, Cole rediscovers his identity and meets Myra (Long), an aspiring model during one of Cole's photography classes. The two eventually begin dating and D'Ambrosio begins to take notice of his new life away from undercover work. Cole tries to convince D'Ambrosio to let him go back undercover in the Gittens case, to no avail. D'Ambrosio is too concerned for Cole becoming the J. Reid persona and losing his identity for good. D'Ambrosio is eventually overruled by District Attorney Daniel Connelly (Jake Weber) and DEA agent Rick Scott (David Patrick Kelly), reasoning that Cole is the only undercover cop to infiltrate Gittens crew as deep as he has, and Cole is the person who can bring down Gittens' organization. Cole is then reassigned to the Gittens case. Myra, realizing that he has to go back undercover, begins to distance herself from Cole.

Cole starts to see Gittens becoming unhinged and his sporadic violence in the community, going as far as torturing, then later killing his second in command for making a pass at his baby's mother. The ruthlessness starts to get to Cole, as he dives deeper into his J. Reid cover. The further Cole goes undercover, the more his identities and loyalties are blurred. The younger members of Gods crew feel scared and under appreciated, and because of J. Reid letting them know he appreciates them are willing to kill “God” and give him control of the Drug Empire. Because of this, Cole begins to alienate himself from his superiors, his fellow officers, and even Myra, as Cole begins to lose reality of who he is.

D'Ambrosio wants to pull Cole out of undercover again, as he sees his officer becoming unhinged and becoming J. Reid. Connelly and Scott disagree, and they come up with a sting to bust Gittens meeting with his suppliers, to which D'Ambrosio eventually agrees after Cole convinces him the importance of this sting. A gunfight ensues when police arrive to arrest Gittens and the suppliers. Gittens advises his crew to lower their weapons and surrender. Cole shields Gittens from police and a standoff ensues between the officers and an unhinged Cole, struggling between his loyalties. Realizing he is losing himself, Det. Angela Wilson (Grier) talks him down and reminds him that he is Jeffrey Cole, not J. Reid, and to lower his weapon. Cole eventually gets a hold of himself and lowers his gun. As Gittens is being read his Miranda rights, Scott requests Cole to bring Gittens in. Gittens, in disbelief, denies all allegations that Cole is an undercover cop. Eventually Gittens realizes the magnitude of the situation, calls Cole a sellout, and leaves in police custody.

During trial, Cole testifies against Gittens and his organization. Cole puts in a good word for Breezy T., helping him reduce his sentence. Because of the evidence against him and Cole's testimony, Gittens is convicted and sentence to two consecutive terms of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Gittens and Cole share a final glance before Gittens is taken away.

As Connelly and Scott hold a press conference for the conviction of Gittens, Cole and Myra are driving and listening to the press conference. Cole switches off the radio, while Myra reminds Cole that his undercover work was the sole reason Gittens is behind bars. The last scenes are shown where Cole is teaching new young officers about undercover work, and the importance to never lose their cover or get too deep.



The movie had mixed reviews.[1][2]

Box officeEdit

The movie recouped its budget.[3]


A soundtrack containing hip hop music was released on August 24, 1999 by Columbia Records. It made it to No. 28 on the Billboard 200 and No. 8 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and featured 50 Cent's debut single, "How to Rob".


Varèse Sarabande issued an album of Christopher Young's score for the film on September 21, 1999. Young was very displeased with the album.[4]

Track listingEdit

1."In Too Deep"3:10
2."Cool J"2:15
3."Slam Guru"3:27
4."Hair Wind Child"3:56
5."Thank Not"1:53
6."Wild Life"1:51
7."Suite 201"2:50
9."God's Alive (Inside a Movie)"2:30
10."Ant Heel Blues"2:58
11."Tank Trips"1:38
12."Jay Ball Sweat"2:55
13."Frisco In the Trash"2:34
14."Missing Vocal"3:11
Total length:37:37

In 2008, Christopher Young personally rearranged the score into a promotional album that he produced. The album contains the song "Give me a reason" performed by Dave Hollister. About the final product, Young said: "Thanks for giving it another shot. At long last I think I can finally live with this score."[5]

Track listingEdit

1."Give Me A Reason"4:13
2."Tank Trips 2"4:09
3."Simple Sister"7:01
4."Give Me A Reason (reprise)"4:57
5."In Too Deep"3:11
6."Frisco Back in the Trash"4:48
7."Thank Not You"3:41
8."Give Me A Reason (song CD version)"3:57
Total length:35:57

Relevant informationEdit

This movie was based on a book about the takedown of a Boston ganglord named Darryl Whiting but born Duane O. Gittings hence the nickname GOD.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Cop Thriller 'In Too Deep' Rises Above Formulaic Plot". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
  2. ^ "FILM REVIEW; A Conflicted Detective, A Drug Lord Named God". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
  3. ^ "Company Town : Company Town Film Profit Report". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
  4. ^
  5. ^

External linksEdit