Sunday, November 9, 2008

We Own The Night

"A tense, terrifically action dazzler" Peter Travers, Rollong Stone

Bobby Green (Joaquin Phoenix) has turned his back on the family business. The popular manager of El Caribe, the legendary Russian-owned nightclub in Brooklyn's Brighton Beach, he has changed his last name and concealed his connection to a long line of distinguished New York cops. For Bobby, every night is a party, as he greets friends and customers or dancers with his beautiful Puerto Rican girlfriend, Amanda (Eva Mendes), in a haze of cigarete smoke and disco music.

But it's 1988, and New York City's drug trade is escalating. Bobby tries to keep a friendly distance from the Russian gangster who is operating out of the nightclub a gangster who is being targeted by his brother, Joseph (Mark Wahlberg), an up-and-coming NTPD officer, and his father, Burt (Robert Duvall), the legendary deputy chief of police.

We Own The Night Trailer

My rate &
* * * *
Great movie about New York police vs gangster.
Directed by
James Gray
Produced by
Marc Butan, Joaquin Phoenix,
Mark Wahlberg, Nick Wechsler
Written by
James Gray
Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg,
Eva Mendes, Robert Duvall
Distributed by
Flag of the United States Columbia Pictures
Flag of Australia Universal Pictures
Release date(s)
October 12, 2007
Running time
117 min.
Gross revenue

The film is set in Brooklyn, New York from November 1988 through early April 1989. Bobby Green (Joaquin Phoenix) is the manager of the very successful El Caribe nightclub in Brighton Beach that is frequented by Russian gangster and drug lord Vadim Nezhinski (Alex Veadov).

Bobby has distanced himself from his police chief father Burt Grusinsky (Robert Duvall) and his police captain brother Joseph Grusinsky (Mark Wahlberg), preferring to remain on the sidelines and enjoy a hedonistic life with his girlfriend Amada (Eva Mendes). When police forces led by Joseph make a raid on Bobby's nightclub, hoping to net Vadim, Bobby refuses to cooperate. The incident strains his relationship with his father and brother even more, to the point that he and Joseph exchange blows.

The police are unsuccessful in capturing Vadim, who decides to retaliate. At 5:43 pm on the evening of November 24, 1988, Joseph is shot by a masked assailant, and his 1988 Ford LTD Crown Victoria police cruiser firebombed. Joseph survives the ambush, but the extent of the injury requires him to be hospitalized for months. Bobby visits his brother in the hospital and, undergoing a change of heart, resolves to help his father and the police. Despite Burt's apprehension, Bobby goes undercover inside Vadim's drug-smuggling operation. Bobby and Amada are placed under constant police protection and their relationship begins to deteriorate.

On February 20, 1989, Vadim escapes custody while being transported to a hospital. The police prepare to move Bobby and Amada to a new location. During a white-knuckle car chase in a blinding thunderstorm, the police convoy is intercepted by Vadim's men and Burt is killed.

To avenge his father, Bobby decides to officially join the police force without the consent of Amada, who leaves him. Bobby and his brother Joseph work together to organize a final sting operation, set for April 3, 1989. During a raid, Joseph is emotionally paralyzed by the memory of his shooting. Bobby ends up hunting down Vadim by himself. The film ends on November 3, 1989, exactly a year after the film's opening with Bobby graduating the NYPD Police Academy to become a full-time police officer, and still grieving over the loss of Amada.