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We Own the Night (2007)

We Own the Night (2007)

Joaquin PhoenixMark WahlbergEva MendesDanny Hoch
James Gray


We Own the Night (2007) is a English,Russian,Spanish movie. James Gray has directed this movie. Joaquin Phoenix,Mark Wahlberg,Eva Mendes,Danny Hoch are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2007. We Own the Night (2007) is considered one of the best Action,Crime,Drama,Thriller movie in India and around the world.

Brooklyn, 1988. Crime is rife, especially drugs and drug violence. A Russian thug is building his heroin trade, while everyone laughs at the cops. Brothers have chosen different paths: Joe has followed his father Bert into New York's Finest; he's a rising star. Bobby, who uses his mother's maiden name, manages a club. Bobby too is on the rise: he has a new girlfriend and a green-light to develop a Manhattan club. Joe and Bert ask him to help with intelligence gathering; he declines. Then, Joe raids Bobby's club to arrest the Russian. From there, things spiral out of control: the Russian puts out a hit on Joe, personal losses mount, and Bobby's loyalties face the test.


We Own the Night (2007) Reviews

  • Solid and engaging if a bit too sombre for its own good

    bob the moo2008-08-04

    The Grusinsky family is a family of cops, father Bert is Deputy Chief and son Joe is Captain. However son Bobby has shunned this side of the family and, to Bert's chagrin, is using his mother's maiden name and is running a club in Brooklyn, mixing with those who see the police as a joke and the city as theirs. As a result the family is split, with neither willing to see the others' point of view. When Joe leads a raid on Booby's club and picks up several men of a high-profile Russian mobster the outcome is bloodshed - with a hit put out on Joe. With the Russians unaware of the family connection, Bobby must decide who he stands with and the risks he is willing to take for his family. We Own the Night came and went in the cinemas over here and struck me as being one of those thrillers that gets made that is solid enough to watch but not remarkable enough to do really well. This was enough to make me check it out anyway though and it turned out to be pretty much what it appeared to be in the overview. This is no bad thing though because a solid thriller is still a solid thriller and sometimes that is a welcome relief from all the noisy, superficial blockbusters handed to us week in, week out. Set in the 1980's, the film does recall the cop thrillers of the 1970's to a certain point and it does feel like an old fashioned film in terms of the characters and the way it is shot and the rather grey and oppressive feel to the city of the time does lend itself to the narrative. It's not a film of gripping tension though. There are several really well done scenes that are unbearably tragic and tense (the shoot-out between cars is particularly good) but mostly the film takes a slower pace that focuses on the characters. It is a good direction to go but the problem is that Gray allows it all to get just that bit too sombre and heavy and it does have an impact on the film in regards slowing it down somewhat. This seems to have been passed onto the cast as well, who are generally restrained in their emotions - again not a massive criticism but it does feel a bit like all these factors are weighing down the film to a certain extent. Phoenix impresses despite this and he does convince in his character even if he himself comes over like he has a weight on his shoulders that is crushing him; I get that that is part of his character but again it adds this sense of slowness to proceedings. Wahlberg is underused and has too little time and opportunity to make the most of his character - he is very much a supporting player. Duvall is better because his presence adds more and the lack of time doesn't take away from him as he does what he has to do. I enjoyed seeing Mendes doing more than being her usual foxy and a bit playful self - trust me, I do love her in that mode but she is capable of more. Gray and his cinematographer provide style when it matters but I think he is mostly responsible for the rather heavy feel to the entire film and it does rather suck the energy out of the film. I'm not suggesting that this film should have been zingy and "fun" but just that it is sombre to the point of being a bit too much like hard work at times. In terms of content, characters and themes I found that it all worked but that this sense of weight did affect it. Still a solid film that is dramatically satisfying in an old fashioned way but these issues do prevent it being as memorable as it could have been.

  • Standing ovation -- Not just at cannes


    I saw that We Own The Night received a standing ovation at the European critics screening and premiere at Cannes. Well, I can tell you at the preview screening I saw a while ago in the US, the audience applauded enthusiastically as well. The audience was totally into this movie in a way you don't usually see anymore. Not just grooving on it, but engrossed. Reminds me of The Godfather not just the movie, but the way the audience enjoyed it. Only reason I didn't give it a 10 was I don't give most movies at 10 unless they're like The Searcher or Vetigo. Again I don't want to give away too much about the movie because I hate now how everyone knows everything about a movie's plot before it opens. Let's just say it's both a crime movie and a family drama. A socially conscious melodrama and a cop story. And it has a couple of great action scenes. The acting was top notch by Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg (better than in The Departed), Robert Duvall (always good) and especially Eva Mendes who I've never seen like this before. 9/10

  • Why Own the Night?


    This movie is a real disappointment, especially if you enjoy most of the past performances by Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg. Both actors have built a fine body of work, and Robert Duvall is one of the finest actors working today. However, We Own the Night fell short in so many areas I had to offset the otherwise love fest other users are having with this movie. You could blame the script, as the dialog was weak in spots, and uninspired throughout. Phoenix' character, who is both son and brother to New York cops, has chosen a different path. But very unfortunate circumstances lead to his immediate entry into the police force, as a parole officer, where he instantly becomes the De-facto boss of the narcotics division. Prior to this though, he is placed into protective custody, but is allowed to go back to his nightclub, or the apartment of his girlfriends mother, and to even walk the streets if he sees fit. Duvalls character is always either mad at one son or the other, and frequently makes boneheaded decisions and statements that keep sending Phoenix further along a downward spiral of hopelessness and self loathing. Wahlberg plays a role that is both under developed and boring. You could blame the direction, especially during the last 30 minutes of the movie. What did start as a unique story with a convincing amount of tension slowly falls apart, and at the end becomes laughable. The ending is so anti climatic that it too becomes comical. As Phoenix and team are tracking the movie's arch nemesis through a field of reeds, he calls off the search, orders a retreat and sets the field on fire. The team waits for the smoke and flames to flush the bad guy, when Phoenix goes back into the field. Impervious to heat and smoke, he hears a rustle and drops our villain with a single blind shot to the heart. The bad dude utters "Bobby" (Phoenix's character) and dies. But wait, it's not over there! Phoenix dramatically (pun indeed intended) exits through the smoke to find all the other cops now well away from the field and encircling the venerable handcuffed master-mind of the movie (no need to get too much into detail, it would further ruin the silliness and humor of the moment). The movie does have merits, as I said. It is a period piece and does do the nightlife of 1988 justice. The violence is gritty and there is a lot of tension built up as the story unfolds. Nevertheless, these cannot overcome the many short falls and agony that one must endure. You will be thankful when credits roll at the end.

  • Excellent!


    I caught a recent screening of this film and as a fan of thrillers I was more than impressed. The film creates a handful of true white-knuckle scenes but also accomplishes telling a story that has weight and depth. I love when a film takes its time to develop real characters and not repeats of what we've already seen. The crime genre is so full of clichés already. This film pays homage to classics such as French Connection while breaking new ground in its family/police drama. Phoenix, Wahlberg, Duvall and Mendes are all superb. Eva Mendes deserves a particular mention, as she has not yet been seen this way before.

  • A Plot Threadbare from Overuse


    WE OWN THE NIGHT is the quote from the lower portion of the badge on the uniforms of NYPD police family Deputy Chief Bert Grusinsky (Robert Duvall) and one of his two sons Capt. Joe Grusinsky (Mark Wahlberg): the other son Bobby (Joaquin Phoenix) did not follow the family tradition of police work but instead is involved in nightclubs - and yes there is a schism of resentment. Bobby has distanced himself further from his family by changing his last name to 'Green', living with a Puerto Rican girl Amada (Eva Mendes), and bonding to a wealthy Russian family who owns the nightclub where Bobby works - a front for a drug dealing business. Writer/Director James Gray ('The Yards' and 'Little Odessa') has a feel for this underbelly of New York City and captures the 1988 mood of life in the city and beneath the city with style. The problem with the story is that it has been done so many times that it is simply stale yesterday's lunch. Two brothers at opposite end of the family spectrum require a major tragedy to bring them together, and to offer any more information to this fairly thin plot would be a disservice to those who plan to see the film. The cast is strong, partly because each of them has played similar roles countless times and have the ideas down pat. It should be noted that two of the producers of the film are Mark Wahlberg and Joaquin Phoenix, probably a reason the film was made... There are some exciting moments and enough surprises and tense times to keep the adrenaline rolling, the smaller roles are very well cast, and one of the shining attributes of the film is the gorgeous Russian liturgy inspired musical score by Wojciech Kilar. It is not a bad film; it is just too much in the same mold as countless other New York police dramas. Grady Harp


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