Movie Review: We Own the Night – Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes & Robert Duvall

by Jason of New Movie Friday on October 12, 2007

in Movie Reviews

Watch We Own the Night via Amazon Instant VideoMovie: We Own the Night (R)
Released: October 12th, 2007
Runtime: 1 hr. 58 min.
Ticket Price: $7.50 Matinee
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes & Robert Duvall
Directors: James Gray

Rating: Worth an Early Matinee –

Synopsis: A nightclub manager wants to remain neutral in the war on drugs between the cops and the Russian drug dealer that frequents his club. His brother and father our both cops and when his brother gets shot, he wants to know what he can do to help. He goes into business with the drug dealer to get a location on his product and how he gets it shipped in. Things don’t go well and he ends up in protective custody. When the bad guy escapes, he gets special dispensation to join the police force and help get the guy. The story takes place in 1988 New York City.

Review: We Own the Night is a solid crime drama, but a bit on the slow side. The story is interesting, if familiar, but what makes this film go, is the performances by its stellar cast.

The story revolves around Bobby Green, played by Joaquin Phoenix (Walk the Line, The Village), a nightclub manager. A Russian drug dealer and his entourage frequent his club. Phoenix gets the most screen time and is something to watch.

Mark Wahlberg (Shooter, The Departed) plays Bobby’s brother. He is the new head of a new unit of the police tasked with shutting down the drug trade. He wants his brother to keep an ear to the ground and help out, but Bobby wants nothing to do with it, or his family of cops. Wahlberg doesn’t get as much screen time as Phoenix, but makes the most of it.

Robert Duvall (Broken Trail, Secondhand Lions) plays the father of the two and Police Chief. He has always wanted both his kids to follow in his footsteps. He is always good onscreen and things are no different here.

Eva Mendes (Ghost Rider, Hitch) shows she’s more than just a pretty face, even though she is the pretty face in the movie. She comes off very well, given the acting talent around her.

A bit of levity in an otherwise serious movie was when Ed Coch shows up in a couple of scenes as the Mayor, given the story takes place near the end of his third term in office, as the Mayor of New York City.

If you can find an early matinee somewhere this weekend, then you might want to check it out; otherwise there are better options on the big screen right now.

What did you think about We Own the Night?

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