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We Own the Night is worth watching

January 26, 2011

By Dillon Sutherland, Staff Writer

A copy of We Own the Night can be found in the Duckworth Library.

We Own the Night is a crime drama that came out in 2007.  The film revolves around a successful nightclub owner, Bobby Green played by Joaquin Phoenix, and his family.  Bobby Green’s family has traditionally been police officers including his veteran officer father played by Robert Duvall and his brother, played by Mark Wahlberg.

Bobby turns a blind eye to drug trafficking in his club and as the film progresses and the police begin to move in, Bobby is faced with an impossibly difficult decision.  He must either look out for his club and continue to aid the drug lords, or he must turn in informantion and help his family bring them down.

The plot of the film sounds like a rather generic one, but it is very interesting. The movie is entertaining and thrilling throughout, keeping the viewer attentive to see what choices will be made.  There are several tense, pulse-pounding scenes that definitely deliver.  Writer and director James Gray does an excellent job creating shots and scenes that convey the drama of a situation.

Also, it is not only the plot that helps power the movie, but the acting.  Joaquin Phoenix in particular does a magnificent playing the compelling role of a truly torn character.  As the movie progresses, you can get a true sense of how he feels.  Eva Mendes, who plays Phoenix’s girlfriend, also does a good job portraying a woman terrified of what may happen.  Wahlberg does what he can, but his role is not nearly up to par with the one he had in The Departed.

However, with the great roles and intense scenes, the movie may not necessarily stand out amongst similar movies.  We Own The Night is not a movie that is widely known.  Also, it is a rather generic type story.  Gray does incorporate his own style and flair, but in the end, it is a predictable drama where you already know the general outline.  All in all, We Own the Night is definitely worth watching, but do not expect to be blown away.  I give it a B.

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