We Own The Night (2007)

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Joaquin Phoenix plays a nightclub owner approached by his brother – who is a policeman in the NYPD – to help him investigate a drug dealer.

We Own The Night has the heavyweight names and artsy photography to trick the casual browser into thinking that it is an intelligent and insightful piece of film making. Unfortunately, the cocktail of nasty Russian gangsters, dysfunctional cop family stereotypes and bedside vigils is straight out of a Steven Seagal movie. In fact Phoenix’s shambling, mumbling performance even reminded me of him and by the end when the police department hands over a badge and a shotgun to a guy who tends bar for a living it actually seemed even less credible. On the other hand, at least Seagal films can be so bad they’re amusing, whereas this is just mind-numbingly dull.

Add fatuous dialogue and a mercilessly predictable plot and you have something with pretensions to being high drama but is in fact a tedious bore.

3.5/10

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