Bobby Green 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 dances with his beautiful Puerto Rican girlfriend, Amada, in a haze of cigarette 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, an up-and-coming NYPD officer, and his father, Burt, the legendary deputy chief of police.
We Own The Night tries to be on par with those of the Martin or Francis caliber. The feel the tone and the touch all distant echoes of films long time done.
Amongst a flurry of great performances, amazing scenes, and sturdy dialog is a core that's as plastic as Gladlock.
There's just something missing. The movie is like a run-on sentence waiting for the much needed exclamation mark, period, or sentence change. Every character evolves but no character has that pivitol moment of revival. The story moves but never has that moment of impact. Everything in this movie simply happens...
The direction in this movie is for the most part great. James Gray does an amazing job with all those scenes that many would overlook. But it seems Gray spent too much time on those small moments and leaves out something in the big ones.
That's the best way to describe this movie. A movie of amazing small moments and empty big ones.
Several things I loved...
1) I love the contrast between the two opening parties. (club and cops)
2) I loved every minute of the sequence when Phoenix is being brought into the drug underworld...and o geeze!!!! OUT THE WINDOW!!!!
3) I loved the car shootout. All the audio was muted except what was going on in the ears of Phoenix. Truly amazing and original sound to a car battle.
4) Eva Mendes was actually really really good.
5) I love that shot of Eva walking down the hall...its in the trailer.
6) Last scene and dialogue of the movie.
Far from a bad movie, nowhere near a great one.