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We Own the Night
DVD disk
02.19.2008 By: Quigles
We Own the Night order
Director:
James Gray

Actors:
Joaquin Phoenix
Eva Mendes
Mark Wahlberg

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A New York nightclub manager tries to help put away the Russian gangster who's trying to kill his brother and father, both of whom are cops.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
A word of advice to the filmmakers behind WE OWN THE NIGHT: if you don't want to disappoint your audience, don't set expectations that can't be met. Talent-wise, this crime drama has a lot going for it, but the story feels like a by-the-numbers retread of what you've seen in dozens of better films, with characters that would be horribly dull were it not for the actors playing them. It also doesn't help that the film's opening scene consists of a seductively posed Eva Mendes masturbating on a couch, which presents such a high level of awesomeness that it's no wonder why what follows is nothing less than underwhelming.

This is a movie that always feels like it's building up to bigger and better things, but manages to continually fall short. Perhaps the reason for this is that, despite being billed as a thriller, the film is better suited as an intimate character-based family drama. But even then problems arise; the characters just aren't that interesting, and the only person who really gets to stretch his dramatic muscles is Joaquin Phoenix.

There are a few intense action sequences to help balance some of the tedium, with a stunning first-person perspective car shootout serving as a highlight, but it's not enough to offset the overall mediocrity of the film. As well made as WE OWN THE NIGHT is, it's too much of a middling experience to fully recommend.
THE EXTRAS
Basic stuff.

Audio Commentary (with writer/director James Gray): A solid, informative track.

Tension: Creating We Own the Night (15:13): Your standard making-of featurette.

Police Action: Filming Cops, Cars and Chaos (10:20): Deals with two of the big action set pieces.

A Moment in Crime: Creating Late 80's Brooklyn (8:58): A featurette on the set design.

There are also a number of Previews.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
WE OWN THE NIGHT offers nothing new, but if you absolutely love the actors, as well as all things related to the "crime" movie genre, then it makes for a decent rental.
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