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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Saturday, October 13, 2007
Movie Reviews: WE OWN THE NIGHT


Bobby Green (Joaquin Phoenix) is just a mild-mannered manager of a Russian nightclub in NYC circa 1988. However, that club happens to be owned by a ruthless crime lord (Alex Veadov) who holds a personal vendetta against Bobby's father, Deputy Police Chief Burt Grusinsky (Robert Duvall). Bobby must do what it takes to save his father without exposing the secret that they're actually related.

Cast Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes, Robert Duvall (more)

Director(s) James Gray

Writer(s) James Gray

Status In theaters (wide)

Genre(s) Drama

Release Date Oct. 12, 2007

Running Time 117 minutes

MPAA Rating R - for strong violence, drug material, language, some sexual content

and brief nudity


We OwnThe Night is a well acted if contrived retread of better crime dramas. Standard crime drama fare such as the car chases and undercover "wearing a wire" situation are here and done very well, the car chase in particular is an excellent piece. Problem here though is that it's all old hat and all been done before and in some case done better. Joaquin Phoenix turns in a ragged but solid performance, wearing a constant look of exhaustion. Mark Wahlberg is surprisingly subdued here but it's a nice change of pace for him and shows a real attempt to avoid falling into the common trap of playing the same character over and over again. Robert Duvall is his usual reliable self and does as much as he can with a limited one note role. Eva Mendes serves as nothing more than eye candy and isn't asked to do much more than look trashy and occasionally yelp and cry. James Gray is a capable director and some shots here are truly inspired but the script is just so basic and well traveled that there aren't really any surprises around any corners. As a whole, this film can be best described as a sometime intriguing but a mostly forgettable affair.


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