[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/strikingdistance_7587.jpg]]

->''"Loyalty above all else, except honor."''
-->-- '''Lt. Vincent Hardy'''

Tom Hardy (BruceWillis) is a 5th generation UsefulNotes/{{Pittsburgh}} cop investigating a serial killer, when he is demoted to river patrol for suggesting that the serial killer is another cop. Released and set in 1993.

!!Tropes in this film:

* ATeamFiring: A large group of police officers take aim at a car and shoot it up from both sides. None of them hit the suspect nor any parts which would impair the car's movement.
* ApatheticCitizens: During the first ChaseScene, ''not a single car'' pulls over to the side of the road at the sound of 15 police cars chasing a suspect. The passerby on the sidewalks look over at the cars with mild interest, but ''no one'' stops in their tracks or takes cover. Even a guy pushing a baby carriage along the cliff side only glances over at the chase, seemingly with no concern for the child.
* BottomlessMagazines: Played straight by the BigBad as Tom is chased to his boat, but averted to the point of being ridiculous earlier in the film when Tom runs out of ammo while on his police boat so he uses the emergency FlareGun.
* CallBack: As Tom and his father chat, his father asks, "What happened to that nurse you were seeing?" Tom replies that "it didn't work out." This is the same nurse murdered later in the film.
* CallingCard: The killer playing "Little Red Riding Hood" over the phone.
* CatScare: Tom is looking at a map, reviewing the locations where bodies were dumped, when his cat wanders in and walks over the map. He's annoyed. . . until he sees the bloody footprints the cat has left. He follows the trail outside, where he finds the [[spoiler: the body of his coworker/friend Kim Lee]]. Paired with BreakInThreat when you realize that the killer was that close but chose not to harm him.
* CatchPhrase: "Let me rephrase that" and "Who's the best cop?"
* ClearMyName: Tommy's obsession with both sets of serial murders--and the fact that he had a relationship with all of the victims in the current set--leads him to become a suspect.
* CoolHouse: Tom lives on a houseboat, not far up the Allegheny River from the city.
* DirtyCop: [[spoiler: Jimmy. Between his police brutality by day and his work as a SerialKiller by night. Nick too, given that he killed Tommy's father (albeit, by accident) and allowed an innocent man to be arrested for the first set of murders that he knew his son was responsible for and tried to frame ANOTHER innocent man for the second set]]
* DramaticGunCock: Tom, as he infiltrates a boat that's been hijacked. As he accosts one of the men and asks him how many others are there, the man refuses to answer. Tom says "let me rephrase that", then cocks the shotgun he's holding.
* DrivesLikeCrazy: Tom joins up with the chase by going the wrong way down Bigelow Boulevard.
* EveryCarIsAPinto: A pickup truck slams into an overturned police car. Boom. A FlareGun is fired at a fleeing suspect's car. Boom.
* FairCop: Jo. Kim Lee, too, even though she's more of a dispatcher rather than a cop.
* {{Frameup}}: The man arrested and convicted for the first set of murders, based on ''one'' person's false claim of seeing him dispose of a body. Then, the second set of murders consists of women whom Tommy had previously had a relationship with. This, coupled with his obsession with the earlier case, eventually makes him the prime suspect. [[spoiler: Though Jimmy's primary intention seems to be taunting Tommy by killing the women he loved and the frameup was just an added bonus. His final murder of his friend/coworker Kim Lee seems to be the only one intentionally meant to set him up--the body is dumped right outside his house, along with the murder weapon]]
* FruitCart: The police run into a truck loaded with very poorly secured (and obviously empty), cases of [[ProductPlacement Iron City Beer]].
* HospitalHottie: Nurse Paula, for the brief moments we see her before she's abducted.
* InternalAffairs: [[spoiler: Jo turns out to be an undercover IA sent to investigate Tom, but winds up testifying on his behalf instead]].
* IronicEcho: Jimmy Detillo says this to Nick Detillo after killing him when it's revealed that Jimmy is wearing a bulletproof vest:
-->'''Jimmy Detillo:''' Who's the best cop now, huh? Who's the best cop now?
** And said again by Tom Hardy before shocking him in the mouth with his tazer gun in the river:
-->'''Tom Hardy:''' Who's the best cop '''now'''?
* JumpScare: Played twice as Jo returns to her apartment after a crappy day. First, she's startled by the sound of her ringing phone as she starts to open her closet door. As she turns to answer it, the still-unseen killer barges out of her closet to attack her.
* KindheartedCatLover: Hardy
* LemmingCops: Man, these cops just won't give up in the chase in the beginning of the movie, even at horrible damage to their cars, and driving off a hill!
* MadeOfExplodium: When a TV and VCR are pushed into a wall on a cart, they explode and spark.
** As well as the cop car that blows up when hit by another.
* MadeOfIndestructium: The bad guy has his car shot up by the ATeamFiring listed above, then it drives off a ten-foot ledge and lands in a parking lot. Then it drives away, continuing the chase.
* MeaningfulName: The judge is named "Helen Kramer", which is very close to "Helen Keller". [[DontExplainTheJoke Justice is blind, you know]].
* {{Nepotism}}: Tom and his father are 5th and 4th generation cops. Toms uncle and cousins are all on the force. They all hold some rank, too. [[spoiler: One of them is "the best cop", too]]
* MurdererPOV: Several as the killer plays cat-and-mouse with the cops, as he stalks a victim, and an especially creepy one as he watches Tom and Jo make love.
* NeverFoundTheBody: Cop Jimmy Detillo commits suicide by jumping off a bridge into a river, just like his mother did. His body is never found. [[spoiler: However ''unlike his mother'', he survives and lays low for a few years.]]
* NewscasterCameo: Ken Rice and Sally Wiggin continued to broadcast in the Pittsburgh area for over 20 years.
* NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent: Dennis Farina with his pronounced Chicago accent and Bruce Willis, Tom Sizemore and Robert Pastorelli with their equally obvious NewYorkCity accents. Problem was, they are playing characters who were born and raised in UsefulNotes/{{Pittsburgh}}.
* NoodleImplements: The remote control police car is used every time by the Polish Hill Strangler each time strikes - but the only people who ever know this are the Strangler, the victim and the audience. Why play with a remote control car before leaving your calling card? What's the point?
* OfficerOHara: Tom and his father are Irish, but somehow, his uncle and cousins ended up with an Italian surname.
** Easy explanation: Vincent and Nick aren't blood brothers, rather, Nick married Vincent's sister.
* PoliceAreUseless: Tom feels this way because he doesn't know who he can trust with his suspicions. As it turns out, he's absolutely right. To his credit, at least one of the officers apologizes when he realizes his mistake.
* RailroadTracksOfDoom:
* RedHerring: [[spoiler: Danny, who had just gotten back from California when the killings began again anew. There's also the moment Tom finds a body outside his home. He's devastated, thinking that it's Jo. . .and just as devastated to discover it's his co-worker and friend Kim Lee. It's quite shocking for the audience as well--it's Jo who we saw being attacked just a few minutes earlier, and unlike the other murdered women, Kim Lee was merely a friend, not lover.]]
* ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight: Tom continues to investigate the Polish Hill Strangler, despite no longer working in Homicide. This includes stealing files from Homicide.
* StopOrIWillShoot: Tom and Jo see what they think is a wrapped body being thrown into the water. They immediately pursue the suspect, ignoring the obvious question of whether the possible body in the package thrown in the river may still be alive, and [[YouFailLawForever fire upon the suspect with a shotgun and a FlareGun just because he isn't stopping when asked]].
* StrawLoser: Tom's original partner in river patrol, who exists only to fall off the back of boats. He doesn't do much to ''deserve'' it, he's just there for it.
* StuntDouble: The man "jumping" Tom's boat off the dam is rather obviously not Bruce Willis.
* TelevisionGeography: To locals, the chase scene route at the beginning ''kind of'' makes sense, sorta. The tunnels they go through are about a mile and a half from the route they take through downtown, and they drive along notoriously time-consuming routes.
** Also the EstablishingShot of the courthouse isn't in Pittsburgh at all, it's the New York State Supreme Court.
* WordSaladTitle: "Striking Distance" refers to nothing in the movie, unless you count that sometimes the characters are actually within striking distance of each other.
** The shooting title was the more appropriate "Three Rivers". It was possibly changed to make it seem more like an action film.
* YouWouldntShootMe: Used twice, in a flashback and the standoff in the cabin.
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